Smoke damage in 1913 house

msbitsyMay 13, 2009

My husband and I have a 1913 Queen Anne style home under contract. It's currently divided up into four apartments and a total disaster. There was a fire in the lower level of the house and the house still reeks. My H and I are going to have the house gutted to the studs and then will have the areas of damage replaced and/or sprayed with shellac. Will this be enough to eliminate the smell?

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"My H and I are going to have the house gutted to the studs..."

There are much easier ways to kill smoke smell than ripping out what are likely plaster walls.

Have you priced plaster wall replacement?
Not veneer plaster (over blue board) but the real thing about 3/4 inches thick?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 10:02PM
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We're not going down to the studs because of the smoke damage -- the house is in bad shape and currently in 4 apartments. We need to remove walls to get the house back to where it should be. We'll keep what plaster we can.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 11:33PM
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If it was divided up anytime in the last 50 years nothing you remove is likely to be plaster.

Shellac is very effective at sealing in fire odors.

Use at least 2 pound cut, and 3 pound would be better.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 5:42PM
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I'm not sure how to remedy the smell but I wanted to wish you the best in your venture. Our recent house purchase has fire damage but thankfully it is mostly on the outside of the house (the porch is pretty burned) although some smoke did come into the house and the back door is charred badly. This is a case where the asbestos shingle siding really did save the house.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:18AM
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I have seem several options used. Spraying with a shellac based primer is probably the used the most often. You may need to do multiple coats. Another option that I have seen used is dry ice "sand blasting" where dry ice crystals are used in place of sand to remove the smoke residue. The dry ice disappears after blasting so clean up is minimal. Google "dry ice fire damage"

Here is a link that might be useful: sample link

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:07AM
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