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Old 01-06-2013, 05:18 PM
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Does anybody know if it is a big health risk to live in a house where the previous owner of about 50 years has smoked heavily, if you do some really heavy cleaning before moving in
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:28 AM
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Big? I would say no. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke so I would likely pass unless the smell could be taken care of completely but the health aspect wouldn't concern me.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:43 AM
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Probably not a health risk, but a lot of work.
Wash everything possible with warm water with Boraxo in it.
Ok to use the laundry version of Boraxo.

Be sure to wash walls/trim that you plan to paint.
If you paint over smoke without washing, the paint will not stick as well.

Start out with a bit of water (not a full bucket) and throw water out when it gets dirty.
If possible, use rags to scrub the walls and wash the rags in the washer with hot water and bleach.
Do not get the rags too wet, you want damp, not sopping, and use a fresh rag when the one you are using shows dirt.
I use old T-shirt pieces, but you can buy white rags at Lowes/Home Depot.
Do not use the red rags for sale as shop rags, the color will run and turn everything pink.

Sponges may disintegrate as you wash and put small particles over the surface that will cause a mess when you paint, so test them before starting and keep an eye out as they wear out.

You may find you have to wash and let dry and later go over again to get all the residue off the surface.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:09 PM
Location: satellite beach fl
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The house we lived in in Wheeling was built in 1898 and the original family (I believe 3 generations) lived in it until 1998 when they sold it to my parents. All 3 generations smoked, heavily for 100 years. Not just cigarettes, but unfiltered cigarettes back in the day and cigars. After leaving the windows open every day for probably 2 weeks and fresh paint inside, you would have never known. I feel like the wood floors helped, I lost faith in American housing architecture because of carpet and stucco homes.
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