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Fire, misuse leading to extra cleaning..
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:25 pm    Post subject: Fire, misuse leading to extra cleaning.. Reply with quote

We provide gas stoves for heating, but this last weekend our guests, two young couples, asked if they could use our indoor stove. Normally this is not required in Spain in April, but I decided to indulge them after giving them a few instructions by email and telling them where our firewood store is. Big mistake the villa absolutely reeks of soot and burning smell.

I am not sure if there is a remedy to this other than changing furniture etc I would be grateful for any suggestions...I am considering holding back some of their deposit as follows;

->

I was not going to mention it as you were such nice guests, but in the end it seems we have a problem after you used the villa stove. The fact is that since you left the house has a very strong smell of smoke throughout. We have had the villa cleaned and have been away for a six days, leaving windows open for ventilation but unfortunately have found that the house still smells of soot on our return. We have had no choice but to strip all furnishings and the curtains in the house in order to wash them and try to freshen things for our next guests.
This has never happened before with guests or indeed ourselves using the fire. I am guessing
that you used it with the door open for most, if not all of the time. This would also explain the large amount of firewood used in the brief two evenings of use. Normally, with the stove door closed as it should be the fire uses very little wood, and more importantly does not smell at all.
So anyway as you can imagine we have have some added expenses and a few hours of extra work, which I will have to charge for as I am sure you will understand. In this case 75GBP seems fair. We are hoping that the smell can be neutralized and will not affect our ongoing guests.
Anyway, mistakes happen, and I can see that you left the villa otherwise clean, so you would be welcome back anytime in the future

<-

Has anyone had this situation before...?
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Marks



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 2847
Location: Costa Blanca

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

www.hunker.com/12002353/how-to-use-vinegar-to-remove-a-smoke-smell

£75 is very lenient. I would hold the full amount back and then refund after I know all my costs/time etc.
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1700
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose the first question is do you have a recent certificate that proves the chimney has been professionally swept and the stove is in good condition? Obviously a blocked chimney would cause the problems you describe as would a problem with the flue/ventilation or the flue-pipe seal becoming faulty.

Have you had the stove inspected after the guests have left to make sure there aren't any problems that have occurred after the last inspection?

If the chimney is cold and damp, the wind is blowing in the wrong direction and the stove has not been used for a while, you could get downdraft which would cause smoking.

I don't think you can blame your guests for smoking fires.
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newtimber. Perhaps I did not explain clearly. This villa is used by us every weekend and so fire is in regular use during the winter months with no problems. It is a quality cast iron stove with a 4m stainless flue all in perfect condition. The problem here as far as I can tell is misuse by youngsters. If you use a stove with the door open, and cram in as much wood as you can then any stove will probably smoke through the front door, even with good draft, which ours has.

As I mentioned they used in two nights the amount of wood that we would use in a week or more.

Also they used charcoal to start the fire, I dont know if charcoal smells worse than the wood and kindling method we usually use.

We are not new to this and have never had a problem with fire use in over 20 years of stays, although most guests dont use the fire those that do have not had these problems.

I probably will not charge them for this in the end just put it down to experience, as always.

Its a shame because, I will have to close the stove option to further guests in the future. I cannot run the risk of a follow on guests having to suffer the sooty smell for days.
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marks, Thanks for the link for using vinegar.
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1700
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cleanforum wrote:
The problem here as far as I can tell is misuse by youngsters. If you use a stove with the door open, and cram in as much wood as you can then any stove will probably smoke through the front door, even with good draft, which ours has.



Mine doesn't. If the fire is hot and burning lots of fuel, it doesn't smoke.

If there is no obstruction to the flue, it is probably more likely that a burning piece of wood fell out of the fire that they were operating with the doors open.
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point. Yes that may well have been the cause, there were some marks all around the stove floor which could have been burn marks. I have today re-varnished the quarry tiles and fire surrounds to make good.

I myself find the iron wood burning stoves, the easiest thing in the world to use and as you say. I have never had any smoke problems.

Just out of curiosity how do you recommend guests start and use wood burners? I was brought up with open fires, but I guess for many people it might be their first experience.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 6084
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iíve no direct experience of using one, but some people swear by an ozone generator for removing odours that nothing else will shift, and particularly after fires. They require a bit of care - no entering the area while itís running, or for some time afterwards, but they apparently do the trick. Worth a google.

It does sound like misuse by leaving the doors open, either as newtimber suggests with a log falling out, or an odd draft condition/wind direction, or both. We have instructions in very big red letters to keep the doors closed, although we all know guests canít read...

Iím surprised it didnít set off both the CO alarm and a smoke alarm - or maybe they just turned the music up...
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will check the OZone gadgets. Thanks. Yes I wondered about the smoke detector too, although it is a few meters away from the fire. I have a new one, (thanks ABB) and would have expected that to go off. I will check it when I next visit.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1038
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greenbarn wrote
Quote:
Iím surprised it didnít set off both the CO alarm and a smoke alarm - or maybe they just turned the music up...


Agreed, and if they used charcoal to start the fire you are lucky not to have had guests dead or ill from carbon monoxide poisoning (not wishing to be over dramatic, itís true).
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 293
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only leave enough coal, logs and kindling to have just one evenings fire if your'e sensible about the use of the stove.

If a guest crams it all in to create a whopping fire the logs will only last probably a couple of hours at best and that's that over and done with.

Use the fuel provided sensibly and theres enough fuel to last an entire evening, just one evening.

Basically i provide what i call a starter pack, afterwhich they have to buy more themselfs if they want more fires. I have a smoke, heat and co2 censor all within the same room too.

They never buy more.

I started out leaving lots of logs, coal and kindling etc and it was causing problems. Providing a starter pack has resolved those problems and after 4 years nobodies commented or complained.
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The starter pack is a good idea. I have done this in the past. Problem I have is the large amount of wood I have in our outdoor
store, I would have to put it under lock and key..

I did discover a "magic" product at least to deal with the smell. Its a spray from Mercadona (in Spain) only 2 euro. Might get me out of tricky situations with same day changeovers etc in the the future.
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Marks



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 2847
Location: Costa Blanca

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cleanforum wrote:
I did discover a "magic" product at least to deal with the smell. Its a spray from Mercadona (in Spain) only 2 euro.

Do you have the name please?
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The product is called "Eliminador de Olores de Tejidos" in a plastic spray that is white with a blue label. Made by Mecadona's "Bosque Verde" label.
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Marks



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 2847
Location: Costa Blanca

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you!
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