Fighting Odors With Ozone Technology

An unused industrial yard in Colorado recently found new life as (among other things) an organic-mulch storage site. The mulch was purchased by residents who could use it in gardens as a fertilizer and soil protector.

Sadly, however, a problem developed at the site that city planners had not anticipated. The mulch had an unpleasant odor; during wind storms, the odor became airborne, resulting in complaints from nearby residents and facilities.

One of those complaints came from employees at a recreational park facility. In time, the mulch storage site was removed, but the foul odor remained. The smell had apparently permeated the various structures, and was noticeable to varying degrees as soon as guests entered the park buildings.

In Las Vegas, Nev., a major hotel property had a similar problem–odors caused by unwelcome guest behaviors. Cigarette and cigar odors left behind in rooms designated as nonsmoking were a perennial problem, as were smells from guests cooking in their rooms. Apparently, some guests, especially those traveling with families, brought along hot plates so they could prepare snacks or even entire meals. The odors left behind by such food preparation were still noticeable days later.

Charlie Marinella, a product manager with U.S. Products, a manufacturer of carpet-cleaning and restoration equipment, including odor-eliminating equipment, has dealt with all of these problems and more. “Although eradicating smoke odors in hotels is not uncommon, the mulch problem was a bit unusual,” says Marinella. “But common or not, serious odor problems cannot be ‘fluffed over’ with an aerosol fragrance.”

Instead, such situations call for professional odor-eliminating processes and systems, designed to handle difficult or unusual odor problems and to eliminate them permanently. But human know-how is also called for when it comes to understanding odors and selecting the proper tools and equipment to eradicate them.

Search For The Source

In the examples above, the sources of the odor problems were obvious. However, this is not always the case. Before any odor-eradication program can be implemented, the source of the odor must first be removed.

For example, employees and customers at one rural bank branch in Texas noticed an unusual and quite unpleasant odor every time they walked into the facility. Staffers first tried spraying an aerosol fragrance to cover up the odor. This was followed by the installation of fragrance systems that automatically released an air freshener throughout the day.

The odor problem persisted. The bank manager had the building’s carpets cleaned using powerful truck-mounted carpet-cleaning equipment, but the odor was still present. Finally, a local contractor was called in to thoroughly search the building from top to bottom and locate the source of the odor. Apparently, hundreds of crickets had managed to find their way into one of the walls of the bank. As they died, their carcasses decomposed, creating a foul odor.

Eliminating the problem, however, would prove to be both costly and problematic, but it had to be done. The first step was to cut open the wall and remove the insect remains. But even after this was completed, the odor problem persisted; unfortunately, the smell had seeped into fabrics, carpets, furniture and other walls. The contractor’s suggestion was to use an electronic-deodorization system, which would safely and quickly remove any remaining odors.

Interestingly, a similar system was used in the park facility and the Las Vegas hotel noted above, with positive results. But what exactly is electronic deodorization?

Electronic Deodorization

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