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Hello! My dh and I are purchasing a condo where a smoker currently lives. We are planning on pulling out all flooring, cleaning the ducts, painting the walls and ceilings with Kilz Max, removing all blinds, and painting all the cabinetry. We're basically covering every surface in the condo with paint, lol. How should we proceed with the cement floors? It's a ground floor condo on a slab.

I'm sensitive to smoke, so even though I'm not going to live there (it's for my mom), I will be visiting and want to make sure we get rid of the smell. Should we clean the floor or paint it with Kilz as well? If we clean it, what should we use? We plan on laying wood laminate and carpet throughout.

Can you think of anything else we should do to eliminate the remnants of smoke? There's also a smoker who lives upstairs, so we'll be insulating behind wall plates and around pipes as much as we can.

Thanks for your help!


Heather
 
Posts: 55 | Registered: Jul 29, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Our last place in SoCA was occupied by a chain smoker and the odor was fierce when we first moved in. We washed the aluminum window frames and windows, particularly the slider patio door, and the wash water came off brown! We replaced the drapes since we didn't like them anyway. We had all the walls and ceilings painted. Then we replaced the carpet; not only for the smell but also dog "waterings". That took care of the smoke ok.

We didn't do anything right away with the hard flooring, and we never had a problem with the concrete slab under the carpet. Just routine floor cleaning took care of the hard surfaces ok.
 
Posts: 12177 | Location: Ft Collins, CO USA | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh, we didn't have any priming done to the walls and ceilings; quality paint took care of that.
 
Posts: 12177 | Location: Ft Collins, CO USA | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As far as the concrete, since the tar and smoke is surface sticky, (Not penetrating like pet urine), I would opt to clean it (if needed) with a grease removing cleaner. TSP is really cheap and effective, so that is what I would use on large areas. If the walls/ceiling tend to have a lot of residue on them, as in sticky brown when washed? Then I would try and get them washed down well with the TSP as with all the other surfaces. Then a quality paint should stick well, and you may not need the Kilz in addition. It can really depend on the saturation of smoke.

But chances are if there was carpet and pad over the floor, that caught all the smoke and as Bob mentioned, should be gone with the carpet.

If you happen to have forced air heat/cooling, having the vents cleaned may also be a good idea.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: conrad,
 
Posts: 9597 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would strongly discourage painting any concrete slab. Paint is a surface covering and sooner or later, it's going to start flaking and coming off. A really good scrubbing should be adequate but if you really feel you need an extra measure, use a clear penetrating concrete sealer. That will fill the pores in any concrete and prevent any odors from coming up and won't cause you problems with needing to be stripped off down the road.
 
Posts: 46 | Location: United States | Registered: Apr 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OK, so it sounds like we should start with a good cleaning first, then move to TSP. We do want to paint everything anyway, just to refresh and the cabinets are pretty cheap quality and we don't want to replace them right now.

Thanks everyone!


Heather
 
Posts: 55 | Registered: Jul 29, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think a good cleaning is the starting point, and may be all you need. TSP is overrated IMHO. We never used it and still don't. Remember that it is just a strong soap, and it must be rinsed off before painting.

Interesting note on the place we moved into: The kitchen cabinets were a pale green lacquer; pale green was the "in" color when he place was built. We knew that had to go, but we got a surprise when we started working with it. The seller wanted to make the cabinets look better so he applied some sort of clear finish, not sure what. But he didn't clean the cabinets first. So his finish was over the original finish and some food particles! Yuck!

We cleaned, then lightly sanded, then primed with an oil primer (Cover Stain) after adding some decorative trim to spark up the flat doors. Then we painted. The result was great!
 
Posts: 12177 | Location: Ft Collins, CO USA | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There certainly are other cleaners that remove the greasy, cigarette smoke residue, but TSP is really CHEAP for large surface cleaning. And yes one does follow with a clear water rinse. Walls are best cleaned from the bottom up too.
 
Posts: 9597 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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TSP is what is used by most fire restoration companies to clean walls after a fire.

I want to stress what Conrad said about washing walls from the bottom up. You have known smoke residue but even if people burn candles, have a fireplace, even cooking, it leaves a residue. If you start at the top and the solution trails down the wall through unwashed areas you may get a streak that will not wash off. I don't know why but I know it happens and nothing but painting stain kill will get that streak off.
 
Posts: 6974 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by murphydog77:
OK, so it sounds like we should start with a good cleaning first, then move to TSP.


Just to clarify, TSP "Is" the cleaner that I have used, it is granular and diluted in warm/hot water. Dries the skin a lot, so some kitchen gloves are good to use while cleaning with it.

To add to metwo's post, I subcontract with a local restoration company after fires, and they use TSP (as well as some other professional products) to clean hard surfaces, prior to painting. Just a clear water rinsed wet cloth or mop works for rinsing too.
 
Posts: 9597 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OK, that's just gross about painting over food particles, lol! We'll definitely sand over the cabinets--we have 3 months before move-in and the perfectionist in me wants it done right.

Good to know that wiping down with a mop or sponge is good for a rinse for the TSP. I knew it had to be rinse off, but wasn't sure how good of a rinse it had to be. We did a walk-through today and closed on the condo, and the smoke smell was pretty strong, so we're eager to get in there and clean it out.

Thanks for all the advice! It's so appreciated!


Heather
 
Posts: 55 | Registered: Jul 29, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Don't forget to open all the windows when you are there. Fresh air does wonders.
 
Posts: 6974 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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