Knowing About the Problem

Despite trying common remedies like baking soda, vinegar, and air care products, some odors persist and pose a potential health risk. These remedies only offer temporary relief as they merely mask the problem rather than eliminate it. Gregory Johnson is an odor-elimination specialist who does not settle for temporary solutions. He approaches every tough indoor odor problem with the goal of complete elimination.

The types of odors addressed in this Description of Services are the hazardous odors brought on by:

  1. Third-hand cigarette smoke
  2. Pet odors
  3. Decomposition odors
  4. Hygiene odors
  5. Infestation odors

Each of these harmful odors is different; each has its own unique set of properties that require a customized approach to eliminate them. The solution for these odors consists of the cleaning products used and the sophisticated techniques when applying them. It is also important to consider the property's environmental and climatic conditions, which must always be taken into account when developing the customized elimination plan. The products you have tried simply cannot measure up to this process.

A pie chart with the main types of odors.
A picture of some kitchen cabinets that are burnt.

Third-Hand Cigarette Smoke Odor

Third-hand smoke is a relatively new concept that researchers are currently studying. It makes up around 55% of the property odors that Gregory eliminates. The primary concern is for young children and those with underlying health conditions who may come into contact with cigarette smoke residue on surfaces.

Children, in particular, are at risk as they often touch and explore everything and may put non-food items in their mouths that have come in contact with the residue. To protect them and those with underlying health conditions, creating a smoke-free environment and eliminating the chemical residue throughout the entire property is necessary.

Cigarette smoke residue sticks to surfaces and can linger for years, even after a smoker is gone. The residue can become volatilized again with certain changes in weather and use, leading to the return of the odor.

Even if smokers don't smoke inside the home, significant cigarette smoke residue can still be present. A recent study showed that even in large spaces where no one had ever been permitted to smoke, the residue was present from people who spent about 90 minutes in the area without smoking. Only around twenty percent of them were smokers.

There are more than 5,000 identified chemicals found in cigarette smoke. Approximately 150 of these chemicals have been documented as toxicants. Among them are:

  • Butane (used in lighter fluid)
  • Toluene (found in paint thinners)
  • Arsenic
  • Lead
  • Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) (used in chemical weapons)
  • Polonium-210, a highly radioactive carcinogen
  • Carbon Monoxide

When the cigarette smoke residue is properly removed from all surfaces, the contributing source of the odors and the underlying health hazards are gone too.

Pet Odors

We love our pets. In fact, during the pandemic, there was an increase in pet adoptions, as many people sought the companionship of furry friends. However, now that more people are returning to work, their pets are being left behind, and not all are properly trained.

Pet odor can saturate and stain floors, walls, furnishings, and upholstery. The unhealthy component of pet odors is caused by the ammonia content in their urine, which is highly concentrated in cats. Pet urine smell can be easily identified by its strong ammonia odor and can permeate the entire home if left untreated for a long time. When urine evaporates on carpets, it leaves crystals that can become hazardous if not cleaned thoroughly, leading to severe health issues such as shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing, and respiratory infections over time.

A group of dogs sitting in front of each other.

Decomposition Odor

As unfortunate and common as rodents or other small animals dying in the walls or other hidden areas of a home, nothing compares to an undiscovered death of a human being in a home.

The human body has 5 stages of decomposition, where three stages become sources of odor that need to be addressed professionally. These odors cannot be masked by household air-cleaning products.

Stage 1 Fresh (1-2 Days)

This stage has no obvious signs of decomposition. However, internal bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract begin to digest the soft tissues of the organs.

Stage 2 Bloated (2-6 Days)

This is the stage when a pungent odor of putrefaction may become noticeable. This is the first stage where odor elimination may be necessary.

Stage 3 Decay (5-11 Days)

This is the stage where tissue breaks down, and strong odors are very noticeable. Various compounds contribute to the potent odor, including cadaverine, putrescine, skatole, indole, and a variety of sulfur-containing compounds.

These putrid gases and compounds will attract a range of insects and may contribute to an insect infestation that likely requires a different treatment plan.

Stage 4 Post-Decay (10-24 Days)

By the time this stage is reached, most of the flesh has been stripped from the skeleton, and the previously strong odors of decay begin to subside. Interestingly, suppose the body decays on the soil. In that case, the area around the cadaver may also show signs of plant death, signaling that there are dangerous chemical and biological processes at work.

Stage 5 Dry Stage (24+ Days)

There is typically no odor of decay at this point, with the remains consisting primarily of bones, some dried skin, and cartilage. Even though there is no odor from the remains, that doesn't mean there is no odor from the prior stages. The environment will also affect the decomposition and the retention of any harmful or hazardous odors.

A cluttered kitchen with many items piled on top of each other.

Hygiene Odors

Hygiene odors are typically found in hoarding situations, with some of the biggest contributing factors attributed to:

  • Visible animal waste or odor from the waste
  • Evidence of household pests
  • Presence of mildew
  • Improper sanitation, such as overflowing garbage cans, dirt & debris, irritating odors
  • Bug infestation
  • Rotting food
  • Rodents in the walls
  • Human feces

Hoarding can lead to the proliferation of foul odors in the surroundings. Accumulating decomposing waste in such environments seriously threatens one's respiratory health, requiring extreme care when attempting to clean up. Hazmat suits, gloves, and foot protection are necessary to avoid risks.

Moreover, if animal hoarding is involved, animal waste may go unnoticed, and even dead pets can get lost amid heaps of garbage. Both these factors contribute to the decay process, releasing harmful gases into the air, thus aggravating the risk of health hazards.

Hoarding also attracts pests that thrive in unsanitary conditions. Rats, flies, cockroaches, and vermin feed on decaying food and waste, creating homes within the clutter. These pests leave behind droppings and waste, further contaminating the air quality and making the environment hazardous.

Infestation Odors

Common rodent infestations in homes include pack rats, house mice, and roof rats. Such infestations may seriously threaten the occupants' health, as rodents are known carriers of diseases like Hantavirus, Salmonella, plague, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, and more. The presence of rodents in a house also leads to property damage and aesthetic issues. Even after they are removed, evidence of their occupancy often remains.

Lingering odors caused by rodent infestations can have adverse effects on human health, including sleep issues, chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks, itchy rashes, sneezing, and poor vision. It is crucial to eliminate the source of these odors to ensure a clean and healthy environment.

If you are struggling with persistent odors in your home, it is imperative to take action and eliminate the source of the problem to protect your family's health. By downloading this Description of Services and reading this section, you have taken the first step towards achieving a clean, safe living space free of associated hazards.

A squirrel is hiding in the corner of a wall.