How to get rid of smell from water damage

March 17, 2014 Uncategorized

Ozone has gotten a bad name as an air pollutant in some areas of the country including here in Houston. Odor removal using ozone generators would seem to be oxymoronic. But in fact ozone is the most effective way to remove odors, especially organic odors (odors caused by carbon compounds such as decaying organisms and smoke to name a few) due to water damage problems. Unbeknownst to most people is the fact that odors in public facilities like grocery stores and large dumpster areas are often controlled by the ozone produced by continuously running ozone generators. The low levels of ozone these machines continuously give off keep the smell of spoiled or spilled food under control. Supermarket operators know that customers won’t stay in a store that smells of spoiled food any longer than they absolutely have to. However shoppers will shop leisurely (and spend more money) in a fresh smelling store. So you can see that ozone odor elimination already affects you more than you know and is being used in environments you frequent to help maintain a pleasant atmosphere.

Problem odors come in all shapes and sizes. Smoke, strong smelling cooking spices like curry, pets and pet waste, rotting food, decaying organisms, and mustiness are just a few of the problems where ozone can be used very successfully in odor removal. Houston also has a very humid climate that tends to exacerbate odor problems. Things that are damp tend to give off more odor. Think of a wet dog. But, removing the source of the odor and treating the area with heavy concentrations of ozone can eliminate even the most stubborn odors.

So what is ozone? Ozone is a molecule made up of three oxygen atoms. The oxygen molecules we breathe every day are made up of two oxygen atoms, so ozone is like super charged oxygen. It is unstable compared to oxygen and more readily interacts with other molecules. This is the same reason why it can be a respiratory irritant in too high of concentrations.  And just as oxygen oxidizes or “burns up” carbon products such as coal or oil, ozone oxidizes or “burns up” the carbon based odor molecules causing the problem. So as you can see, ozone treatments result in odor elimination, not just odor masking. And the beauty of it is that because it is so unstable it breaks down quickly after the ozone generator is turned off, reverting back to simple oxygen molecules, making the area habitable again within a few hours. You can experience this process at work for yourself.  Ever wonder why the air smells so clean and fresh when you walk outside after a thunderstorm? Lightening is nature’s ozone generator. The vast amount of ozone it produces in the atmosphere oxidizes the odors caused by everyday human activity and leaves the air smelling fresh and clean. And that pleasant familiar “after the storm smell” is actually the smell of the ozone produced during the storm. Treating odors with ozone produced from ozone generators does the same thing on a smaller scale.

Ozone is very effective, but the first thing that needs to be done when removing odors is to eliminate the source of the odor. Otherwise, you will eliminate the odor that has already been produced, but if the source is still present it will continue to produce more odors. For example if there is rotting food in a refrigerator that has been turned off for some time, the food must be removed and any seepage from the food cleaned up. That will eliminate the source of the odor but the refrigerator will still reek of rotten food smell. That is where the ozone generator comes in. It is the best option for removing the odors that are still present after the source has been eliminated. Houston odor removal may be a little more challenging than in some dryer climates, but removing the source of the odor and treating the residual odors with ozone has proven to be the best method of odor elimination. Drymore is a Water damage restoration and Fire Damage Cleanup Houston TX company.

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