Black Label Restoration’s recommendations for converting

smoking residential units to non-smoking residential units


This recommendation is in two sections:

*Section 1 deals with the actual process needed to achieve the goal

*Section 2 is an “average” cost for the process


Section I – The Process


The process for these purposes is the recommended action needed to guarantee complete removal of smoke odor and restore the unit to a clean and healthy status.  This entire process is based on a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment unit.


Step 1


It takes approximately five to seven days and a team of two to three cleaning experts to clean a unit of this size.  We start with a basic overall cleaning to include all cabinets, bathrooms and other rooms from the ceiling to the floors and all vertical and horizontal surfaces. When dealing with tobacco smoke, there are several additional detailed cleaning steps, and all require an additional charge.  The detailed cleaning list includes appliances, bath and lighting fixtures, tub surroundings, bath vanities, and door and window openings, which include woodwork, frame, and window glass.


The carpet has to be deodorized and sanitized and/or replaced.  If there is a sub-floor it has to be cleaned, sanitized/deodorized and sealed with Fiber Lock primer and/or Hydrocide treatment.  Black Label specializes in salvaging of flooring. (Estimated savings of 50% over replacement.)  If the floors are yellow/brown from tobacco, they have to be removed and replaced in most cases.  If the appliances are porcelain, they can be cleaned; if the appliances are vinyl, they have to be deodorized and sanitized or replaced depending on severity.


The contractor should communicate all of these steps to the on-site manager, the property management company, and/or the property owner.


Step 2


The next step has multiple phases depending on severity. All steps may not be required:

1)     Surface chemical cleaning (smoke-odor and mold-odor counteractants)

2)     Ozone treatments (hot/dry fogging)

3)     Thermal fogging (hot/dry fogging)

4)     ULV fogger (cold/wet fogger)

5)     Vapor Shark treatment (for occupied units)

6)     Duct-cleaning process

7)     Duct-sealing process

8)     Bad-odor blocks placement

9)     Carbon-odor crystals placement in duct systems

10)  Hydrocide treatments and applications (airborne-odor eliminator)

11)  System-filter replacements


For these purposes, a portable ozone machine would probably be used for 24-48 hours, depending on the complexity of the odor.  A thermal fogger would also be used in conjunction with the ozone and/or separately (requiring notification of the fire department) — again depending on the situation.  The ozone machine attacks the smoke-odor molecules and the thermal fogger (hot/dry fogging) is used to penetrate those surfaces, via recreating the smoke with a good odor molecule, that are not easily reached —i.e., behind trims and wherever smoke travels.  In some circumstances, if fixtures are too yellowed and odoriferous, they may have to be removed and replaced.  If the odor has permeated ceiling fans and cabinets, those items may also have to be removed and replaced. In some cases these items can be salvaged and restored.


Step 3


The next step is the sealant process.  Clear Coat and/or Fiberlock Sealant is applied to cabinetry and doors if these items still retain smoke odor.  Smoke will penetrate porous materials like doors and cabinets; but laminate is non-porous, so it can usually be cleaned.  Fiberlock primers are used to seal all of the cleaned areas (as outlined in Step 1).  If the smoke odor is not cleaned throughout, the sealant process is not helpful, as smoke will “bleed” through the sealant.


Step 4


This step is to paint the entire apartment and the woodwork and replace (a) carpet and pad when needed; (b) appliances in extreme cases; and (c) any flooring and any doors that were not able to be Clear Coated.  Of course, there must be pictures and documentation during the entire cleaning process.


Section II – Estimate for Smoke to Non-smoke Conversion

(based on a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment home)


Please be advised that this is only an estimate, an “average” cost for conversions.  The bottom-line figure for the entire cleaning, removal of materials as needed, sealing and replacing is $9,500 - $15,000.


Please contact Jerry Tolley at Black Label Flood and Carpet Professionals (719) 277-0707

if you have any questions or concerns.