A guide to commercial odour control

Commercial odour control may not be a topic that fills you with joy, but unpleasant smells can cause displeased customers and lost sales.

Odour issues can occur for many reasons, but when you can’t shift that smell, it can cause havoc to your reputation. We're talking possible causes and what to do if your business struggles with lingering odours.

The power of smell

Our sense of smell is one of the predominant triggers for memories. A smell can trigger powerful emotions, lock moments in our subconsciousness, and illicit behaviours we wouldn’t expect. Marketing has used the power of smells to incite people to buy for generations – from cookies raising interest in houses to comforting to familiar smells in candle shops to clean and clinical smells in doctor’s surgeries.

When we can embrace the positive aspects of smells, it can be great marketing for a business. If you are stuck with a less appealing smell, you could be embedding unpleasant memories and disgust reactions in your clientele and staff. Studies have even shown that people are less likely to trust someone they associate with a business that smells bad.

Causes of commercial odours

The first step in odour control is to figure out what has caused it. In some cases, it’s easier than others. A business that works with food may have spilled or spoilt food. If you work in refuse, you may need to be vigilant in their clean-up.

It’s often not that simple to hone in on your odour source, however. Here are some potential causes of your odour issue:

• Smoke damage – never underestimate the lingering power of smoke. If you didn’t have your smoke damage professionally cleaned, the smell can remain on everything from soft furnishings to woodwork.
• Mould and mildew – in a busy commercial setting, it is often troublesome to track down mould and mildew. It could easily be sitting behind furniture, in your air conditioning unit or even in a part of the building you can’t access. Nonetheless, mould and mildew can create an abiding odour and will simultaneously cause a health hazard. An issue not to be ignored!
• Sewage – backed-up sewage issues are something you won’t be able to ignore. Again, the issue could be localized, but it could also be related to an unused area or neighbouring building.
• Animal waste – animal droppings are often the first sign of an infestation or unwelcome visitor, but animal urine can create unwanted odours too. You may not see the source, but tracking it down should be a priority.  
• Biological decomposition – animals and even plant matter can create extreme odours but can be hard to locate. Common spots include under floorboards, in wall spaces and in attics.
• Unknown rotten egg smells - the most common sources of rotten egg odours are sinks and drains. Locate and eradicate to keep your customers delighted to visit you.

What to do when you have unpleasant odours in your business

If the source is something easily locatable and removable, do so and make sure to clean the nearby surfaces well to avoid recurrent issues. However, if the source involves sewage or organic matter, please call a professional, as removing the offending item could be a health hazard.

Often, the source of a bad odour isn't easily found, or once located and cleaned, you can find the smell still permeating the air in your business. In these cases, it’s time to call in a professional team like ours. Not only do we have the correct health and safety equipment to remove odour-inducing items safely, we also use powerful, green cleaning solutions that will leave your business spotless and smelling as designed. Our odourless, solvent-free clean-up will ensure nobody will know you had an odour issue.

If you have an odour issue in your business, call our expert team today. Your business is in safe hands.

ServiceMaster Restore Moncton – Restoring Peace of Mind® since 1972.