We are the Indoor Air Quality/Odors Experts
As a 10 - year member of the Indoor Air Quality Association I have had the opportunity to attend many seminars & workshops on a variety of indoor air quality issues. These have ranged from LEED building regulations to mice activity in the indoor environment.
The most common odor problem far & away are urine odors in oriental & area rugs. As I repeat many times over KIDS - DOGS - CATS
our best friends. We have become masters at removing the resulting odors from an ACCIDENT !!!!
As good as we have become at removing the odors, removing the resulting staining is very difficult & in the case of a hand woven Oriental it may be impossible to remove the yellow staining
Basic rule of odor removal is to;"Remove the source of the odor"
This is generally easier said than done. Masking an odor with perfumes air sprays ect. are not permanent solutions. With woven wool rugs the face fibers are generally tied around the cotton warp yarns. So pet urine - vomit or #2 will penetrate the wool fibers - because this accident is hot and acidic - it will become absorbed by the cotton interior fibers. This means the accident is onlty the tip of the sewerage iceburg. The only effective method of removing these odor causing substances is a full immersion wash process in our cleaning plant. On wall to wall carpet the carpet & pad absorb these contaminates protecting the wood floors below.
Far and away one of the most difficult task is to identify an ODOR then to locate the source of that odor! Most cases we have been involved in it was necessary to rely on our own olfactory nerve (sense of smell). Many times the owners can direct use to the source, other times it becomes an educated guess. Dead Rodents - Skunk - Cigarette - Mold - Musty - Urine odors are the most common that we deal with on a regular basis.
This case was easy, as there were 2 live mice living in this rolled up rug.
Each odor may require several techniques to eliminate. Occasionally, after removing the source, additional cleaning may be required and in some cases the use of a Ozone machine is used to remove residual air borne odors i.e skunk/cigarettes.
There are some devices that can detect an odor & its location. Generally, an odor caused by a VOC (volatile organic compound) i.e fuel oil gasoline etc. Can be detected with electronic sniffing devices. In the case of Urine a black light & or moisture detectors are used.
Fuel oil odors are common in basements and require some extreme techniques to remove them. One home in Truro, several gallons spilled on a concrete floor and leached into the ground under the concrete. The concrete was removed the oil soaked soil removed & replace with clean soil, then new concrete installed.