LESLIE: Marilyn in Missouri, welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you?
MARILYN: We bought an old house and the people had dogs in the house and a bunch of old wood in there. Anyway, we cleaned it all out; we tore the carpet out. The house is aired out since last March – which is just about a year now – and there still is a smell. Not bad as it was but it’s still there and we want to know what to do to get rid of it.
TOM: OK. What kinds of materials are we talking about here? Is there carpet down that was there from the old folks?
MARILYN: There was but we tore it all out and it’s just plain, wood floors; old, wood floors are all there is now.
LESLIE: So you left – was it a hardwood that was under the carpet? You left that there? Are you dealing with the subfloor or you put something else on top?
MARILYN: No. It’s just the wood floor that was there.
LESLIE: That could be the major issue.
TOM: Is the wood floor like a finished wood floor or is it like a subfloor, like a plywood floor?
MARILYN: No. It’s just plain, wood floor; there’s no finish on it. There’s no subfloor or anything else, I don’t think.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Oh, OK. So what is it, like a stripped floor? Like a hard …
MARILYN: Oh, there is a subfloor but this is the wood on top of it.
TOM: So this is like a hardwood floor?
MARILYN: Hardwood floor, yes.
TOM: Have you been thinking about finishing it?
MARILYN: Yeah. But we want to make sure we can get the smell out first or ….
TOM: I have a feeling that’s part of the problem because the floor is unfinished.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Is the finish.
TOM: If you sand this floor down and finish it, any odor that’s in it is going to be sealed.
LESLIE: Sealed in with it.
TOM: You really need to – you cleaned up as much as you can here.
TOM: The only thing you can do is finish the floor, paint all the walls and ceilings but make sure you prime them with an oil-based primer.
LESLIE: Because you want to seal in whatever odor is stuck to that wallboard.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Exactly. And in fact, I think it’s – I think – and there’s a topcoat that you can use and I think it’s – Dutch Boy has an odor-eliminating paint that contains Arm & Hammer – like a baking soda component to it.
TOM: Where once the paint dries, it has a certain capability of odor absorbency sort of power to it.
MARILYN: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.