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The Cost of Smoking
Please note: This is not an anti-smoking rant... this is simple fact.
A recent study (conducted by Pfizer Canada between Jan.31 and Feb. 6, 2013) suggests that homeowners who smoke in their home lower the value by about 20%.
In my experience, this holds true- especially in those cases where years of smoking (and excessive frying of foods is a culprit, too) had left staining on the walls, ceilings, fixtures, flooring and curtains, furniture etc. I've seen orange goo dripping down walls and stains so severe that the entire home has a yellowy hue. It's very sad.
There are times that buyers won't even step into a smoker's home because of the smell.
I have urged smokers to clean their homes before exposing them to the market, but it often falls on deaf ears. It's quite an undertaking, but it is worth it- & air and fabric freshners do not cut it.
Here's what has to be done:
First, you need to keep your pets and children safely out of harm's way and open some windows... ventilate the area! Replace filters in the furnace and hood fans. It helps to set bowls of white vinegar in the room (some people put saucers of amonia in each room). Purchase, rent or borrow and air purifier and run it in the living room. Scrub the walls & ceilings of every room. TSP (trisodium phosphate) is a super all around cleaner but may not be permitted in your area. Amonia and glycol based products will help to neutralize the odour. Put towels around the baseboard so that you don't have water damage on them... but do make sure you wash all of the ledges, windows and trim, doors and baseboards and the quarter round, too. & don't forget chandeliers, light fixtures, light & outlet covers and fans. Rinse all of the surfaces and allow them to dry.
If you are using TSP, wear a mask and gloves.
Clean all windows and mirrors with vinegar.
At your local paint store, you will find a product called BIN or KILLZ (or ask for something similar). This is a sealer/primer that will help to keep the smoke residue from coming through new paint. Carpets will need a deep cleaning, you can try it yourself- or call a professional, but most often, the carpets need to be removed and replaced.
Launder all draperies. Put a little vinegar in the water to help neutralize odours. Clean all blinds, too. Some blinds can be soaked in the bath with hot water and vinegar. Then you can scrub them with a soft brush and rinse them, before drying. Fabric blinds will likely need to be dry cleaned or replaced. Wooden blinds need to be well-cleaned with an appropriate product.
In addtion, I've heard good stuff about this product: http://smellsbegone.com/ but I have no personal experience with it.