Another process utilized by odor remediation experts is called sealing. Sealing is used in a variety of situations, including protecting stains or colors applied to surfaces. Sealing can also be used to provide a contaminate-free surface. In the case of odor remediation, sealing is used to seal in odor molecules to prevent them from becoming airborne.
Technical Definition of Sealant
Broadly defined, sealant can encompass a fairly large spectrum of materials. For example, mud used in creating lodgings in pre-historic times appropriately can be classified as a type of sealant. At its essence, a sealant is a substance designed to block the passage of fluid and other molecules from the item being coated in a sealant.
Usually, a sealant is designed to keep fluids and other materials from reaching the item being sealed. In the case of a sealant utilized to prevent dissemination of odors, the objective generally is to prevent odorous molecules from escaping from the sealed item. With that noticed, an objective of sealant to combat odors is also to prevent fluids from accessing the sealed item. As has been discussed in different sections of this book, a moist environment generally is necessary for odorous molecules to active and foul the air.
Sealants are classified in a number of different ways. These include:
- Weak versus strong
- Flexible versus rigid
- Permanent versus temporary
Permanent Sealants and Odor Remediation
When it comes to selecting a sealant to address a foul odor, the permanent derivation is recommended. The ultimate objective is to initiate an odor remediation strategy that will be effective over time. Using a permanent, strong sealant is the order of the day. Depending on the type of item or surface being sealed, a flexible or rigid sealant type may be appropriate.
Depending on the source of the odor, a permanent sealant might be used before paint or stain is placed on the surface. This typically is the process used when a fire has occurred and odors associated with smoke damage need to be remediated.
Specific Types of Sealants Deemed Effective in Remediating Odors
There is quite a number of different sealant products on the market that have been demonstrated relatively effective at sealing odors. Four such products are noted here. (Bear in mind that the listing of these products is not intended to be a conclusive endorsement. Rather, this list is created to provide you a starting point in your own search for a sealant that will make the most sense and be most effective in your particular situation.)
The four sealant types that have been consistently utilized by professionals and others with a need to remediate foul odors include:
- Kilz I
- Kilz II
Bin is a sealant that has a shellac base. This type of sealant comes in two different “color options,” which are clear and white. Bin sealant dries hard and permanently seals in an odor.
Kilz I is a sealant that is white in color. Kilz I is a xylene base sealant. Kilz I dries hard and does permanently seal in an odor.
Kilz II is a relatively new derivation of sealant that is used to contain malodorous smells. This is a water-based sealant. The one caveat associated with Kilz II is that it is not effective when an objective is odor remediation and covering a severe smoke stain. Although Kilz II is effective at containing a foul odor, it does not effectively contain a severe smoke stain. The smoke stain may end up bleeding through the sealant.
Acrylic is a widely recommended type of sealant for floors. This includes floors made of a variety of substances like concrete and block. An acrylic sealant is effective at remediating pet odors, including challenging cat and dog urine smells. It is also effective at addressing situations involving sewage contamination, which can occur after a system backup in a residence and a flood.
Acrylic seals in any waste or microbes that were not fully removed via some other remediation process. In other words, acrylic represents a sound follow up remediation procedure after another strategy is employed to clean up space in a residence.
Temporary Sealants and Odor Remediation
There are some situations in which a temporary sealant may be recommended for situational odor remediation. Soot Seal is an example of a temporary sealant that can be useful in a broader effort of odor remediation. Specifically, Soot Seal can be used as a duct sealant and encapsulate. It can also be used as a durable, temporary sealant to contain smoke and soot odors.
As a durable, temporary sealant, Soot Seal is applied to such things as migrating soot at a fire scene. This sealant temporarily locks in soot, and associated odor. When that is accomplished, other products can be utilized to clean away the sealed soot.
This type of sealant can be used to temporarily seal soot and similar substances on a variety of materials, including everything from painted walls to carpeting.
Having been duly armed with different types of odor remediation processes and techniques, the next step in this guidebook is a discussion of deodorization equipment and supplies. There is a variety of different types of odor remediation equipment and supplies that it behooves you to understand.