Cigarette smoke


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Old 07-29-14, 08:51 AM
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Cigarette smoke

We are currently looking at buying a house and have a question about cigarette smoke. The house we are looking at was built in 1993. I know the owners, and they both smoke. When I asked the owner if they smoke in the house they said that they usually don't. She did say that they occasionally smoke in a workshop (unfinished) in the basement.

When we walked in the house, we could smell smoke...it wasn't overpowering (like someone always smoking in the house), but it was definitely there. The house needs paint and carpet, which we would replace.

I've done some research on the topic, and have seen mixed opinions on whether the smell can be removed. In this situation, I don't know how much of the smell is from smoking inside vs. the current occupants smelling like smoke (their clothes, belongings, etc.). If I replaced the flooring and painted, I'm wondering what my chances are of eliminating the smell? My wife is very sensitive to smell. I'm afraid of buying it and not being able to get rid of the smell.

Any ideas / opinions would be appreciated!
 
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Old 07-29-14, 08:58 AM
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Oil based primer on the walls and ceiling before you paint.

Clean or replace all soft materials like carpet and drapes.

Clean any remaining hard surfaces like flooring, cabinets and countertops..

This will take some work but it's possible. I would ask for a concession on the price for the effort and materials involved. You could go one step further and ask a fire remediation company what they would charge to remove the odor and go from there.
 
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Old 07-29-14, 09:03 AM
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Sealing all the porous surfaces with a solvent based primer before repainting will insure that the odor is sealed and the nicotine won't bleed thru the latex top coat. Anything you can't prime and paint needs to either be cleaned or replaced. Sometimes just airing out the place good is enough.
 
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Old 07-29-14, 09:10 AM
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FWIW, both I and DH used to smoke, a lot, and in the house. Once we quit, we got new furniture, painted (we just used the paint with the primer in it) new rugs and along with some airing out, the cigarette smell went away pretty quick.

p.s. I'm not telling you not to prime first, just telling you what we did and it was nothing extreme, yet it worked. If they only smoked in the basement, any smell will go away really quick with airing out and getting rid of any curtains and rugs. The smell will stay in that stuff.
 
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Old 07-29-14, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I have one more question about painting: If they smoked in the unfinished basement, would I have to do anything with the exposed floor joists and the underside of floor boards exposed from the basement?
 
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Old 07-29-14, 09:28 AM
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With time, the smoke smell will go away. How long, though, is hard to determine. If it's not fast enough, you may need to prime all of that wood. Doesn't sound so fun to me.

Might be worth checking whether any of your friends or neighbors own an ozone generator, as they tend to work very well with smoke odors.
 
 

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