My RV Smells Awful!

You’re getting the RV spruced up, looking forward to hitting the road again. But it smells. That will sure ruin the trip, shut up in a compact living space with gosh-knows-what odors. You have several possible sources of the odors. It could be any or all of them!

Bathroom ODOR

Store shelves are lined with chemicals to eliminate bathroom odors in RVs. It doesn’t matter how small or how large, it’s a problem across the board. Some chemicals are used when waste is disposed of in a septic tank. Some are formulated for use in a city sewer. Either way, there is no guarantee that they’ll work, unfortunately.

Another problem could be the lack of adequate ventilation for the black water tank (the tank that holds waste water). The tank is vented out the roof of the RV, but there are times while driving that the wind pushes the air back down the vent pipe instead of drawing it out, and the smell goes wafting through the coach. Also, the vents have a slight vacuum when you are driving, and sometimes there is a stronger vacuum in the rear of the coach that causes the tank to draw air inside—with the same result. Then there are the times that leaves or other debris clog up the ventilation system. No matter what the cause, the smell coming in rather than going out does not make for a fun vacation.

Gray Water Tank

In addition to the black water tank, there is a gray water tank for the water from kitchen and bathroom drains. Granted, not nearly as bad as the water in the black tank, but if the water sits for too long, it can produce a very offensive odor. If food waste from the kitchen drain ends up in the tank, the odor is even worse.

Drain odors

Just like in your home, all the drains in your RV have a curved plumbing fixture called a P-trap that keeps heavy debris (hair, grease, the wedding ring!) from forming a clog deep within the plumbing system (as well as keep valuables that drop down the drain easier to retrieve—some of the time). While the RV is in storage, water left in the P-traps can grow bacteria. That smell will go all through the RV. Likewise, water left in the clothes washer lines.

Potable Water

Sooner or later it could happen. You fill up your fresh water tank only to discover too late that the water smells (and tastes) wonky. There are areas of the country that have water that smells like sulfur. As you probably know, sulfur smells like rotten eggs. Not exactly your chosen fragrance for your RV.

Varmint odors

So maybe the little fella just wanted to hop a ride. Or find a warm place in cold weather. And there’s a big ol’ RV just standing there with no one using it. The varmint finds his way in and makes a home for himself. Then he dies. Now that’s an odor you’ll never forget. Under the dashboard seems to be a favorite place for them. It’s nice and warm with the sun coming in the windshield. The RV’s engine compartment also makes a warm, cozy place to nest.

Closed Up RV

Sometimes the most innocuous smells become unbearable after being closed up tight for months, more unbearable if closed up for years, perish the thought.

Carpets and Pets

 Wall-to-wall carpeting sure seemed like a luxury improvement to RVs. Remember when all the flooring was laminated? Like many improvements, there is a flip side. Maybe Rover has had some accidents, maybe Tigger has, maybe both of them. If the RV has been closed up for a time, the smell you didn’t notice last time you used the RV is going to hit you right in the face now.

Save yourself the headaches. Before you start packing up the RV to take off down those happy trails, call The Odor Guys at 207-839-9111. We can remove those odors for you. We can come to you or clean your vehicle in our secured facility. We are available throughout New England, including all of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Car Odors from the HVAC

When you turn on your car’s HVAC, you expect some cozy warm air in the winter and a refreshing blast of cool air in the summer. If, instead, the car is filled with a foul odor, you’re totally baffled. You don’t smoke. You don’t allow smoking in your car. No fast food wrappers on the floor. No old gym clothes on the back seat. Rover was a good boy last time he was in the car.  What could it be? Here are a few of the “suspects.”

Mildew

If the smell is kind of stale, kind of musty, kind of moldy, mildew is growing in the HVAC system. It’s a fairly common situation. There are a few places susceptible to mildew.

  • Your car’s climate control system, particularly in the evaporator core and near your a/c unit’s condenser. Mildew thrives in moist, enclosed places.
  • The heater box when it remains damp instead of drying out. Heater boxes typically have pipes that allow the condensation to drain out. Like when you see water under your parked car if you’ve been using the a/c, it came from the heater box. If something has interfered with the heater box draining properly, water collects in it and, ta-dum, you have mildew.

Antifreeze

The smell of antifreeze can come out of your HVAC system, but it isn’t offensive to everyone. It smells like maple syrup to some people. But to others, it’s a sickening sweet smell and a trigger for a headache. If you have antifreeze leaking into the heater box, the smell will spread throughout your car.

Hydrogen Sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide smells like rotten eggs. Catalytic converters alter exhaust gasses to reduce harmful emissions into our environment. When your converter goes haywire, it can alter the gasses so that they become hydrogen sulfide. That odor can also come from old lubricants used in manual transmissions.

Dust

While you’re driving, dust is collecting inside the car’s vents, and it isn’t merely the kind of dirt that swirls up from the road as the car passes by. It can contain pet dander, flakes of skin and other forms of biological waste that create an odor that’s going to come into your car through the vents.

Four-legged Guests

All rodents need is an opening the size of a dime to be able to slip into your car. They may be nesting in the heater box or packed into the blower motor. They don’t smell real lovely under the best of circumstances, but if they’re living there, they are, naturally, doing their business, and their “business” is in the fresh air intake, heater box and/or the air ducts.

Worse yet, you may have the odor of a dead creature coming through those vents. Either a rodent has passed away while visiting your car or a larger animal, such as a cat, has sought warmth or refuge in the undercarriage. You turn on the motor, and the cat is in the wrong place at the wrong time. The fur flies and . . . we don’t really need to get more graphic, do we?

Skunk

Skunk gets its own category, not because its odor is “singular,” but because a skunk doesn’t take up residence in your car. You would have to hit a skunk for it, or parts of it, to get into the undercarriage  and vents. You have the stench of a dead animal, and compounding that, the skunk’s musk settles into the plastic, and it’s going to be there any time you crank up the heat. And you don’t even have to hit and kill the skunk. All you need to do is drive through the musk and it’s in your air vents.

No matter if you find your “guest” and shoo off the living or dispose of the body of the deceased, the odor lingers on. It could take a couple weeks. It could take a month or more. Are you prepared to drive around with the odor blowing on you, on your clothes, sinking into upholstery and carpet?

To rid your car of all odors, call The Odor Guys at 207-839-9111. We have the equipment and the experience to remove all odors from your vehicle.

Interior Car Odors

“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Perhaps not, but covers send a message regardless. I see a book cover with a knife dripping blood on it. I get the message that it’s going to be a violent story. Our clothes are “covers” that make particular statements. I see a woman in Louboutin shoes, and I assume she’s wealthy. She may not be, but that’s the message. Our cars “wrapped around us” as we move through this world make statements also. Whether it’s new or old, high-end or junker, even the color can be an extension of ourselves. So what statement are you making when you invite a passenger into your car and he just about chokes. Or maybe he’s one of those “tell it like it is” types and says, “Did something die in here?” Odors are usually more obvious to others, but, really, you’ve noticed it yourself, haven’t you? So what’s smelling up your car?

Cigarette Smoke

So you don’t smoke, but there was that one time that you let a particularly distraught friend light up. Amazingly, that’s all it takes—one time. Cigarette smoke gets everywhere, into the air vents, into fibers. And it lingers. And lingers. And lingers.

Now, if you or a passenger has smoked something else (not saying what—we’ll keep that between the two of us), that smell also lingers. Some people liken it to skunk! An additional problem with that “scent” comes about if you get stopped for, say, a traffic violation. The police are well acquainted with it, and you could end up in worse trouble than you were before for rolling through a stop sign.

Trash and Leftover Food

You don’t have French fries strewn around your living room. Or fast food wrappers scattered about. So why have them in your car? When those smells get old, they are far from appetizing.

I’m including spills here also. They’re somewhere in between trash and leftovers, I suppose. Coffee, for instance, smells so good when it’s fresh and hot. And so putrid when it’s old and sunk into the carpet or upholstery. “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” You will want to if a potential employer or your dream girl gets into your car. It’s a terribly sour smell—stomach turning to many.

Mold

Water can get into the interior of your car through a window opened even a crack in a heavy rainstorm, a poorly fitted door or sun roof, trunk lid or hatch back. Water provides a perfect breeding ground for mold. What you may smell is MVOC (mold volatile organic compound) gases produced by some species of mold, and it’s obnoxious. The smell may stay around even after the actual mold has been removed, because the gases are in the seats, carpeting and headliner—even if those items were never wet and moldy.

Mold is more than an unpleasant odor for some people. For your passengers who have respiratory problems, compromised immune systems or similar issues, for the elderly and infants, exposure to high levels of MVOC gases can pose serious health risks.

Dirty Clothes

If you were at one point on your way to the laundromat, please get there and get those clothes out of your car. Or maybe you like to have your gym bag handy—for whenever the mood strikes. Not a good idea to keep it in your car. If you are an athlete, do you remember how your high school locker smelled? If you are not an athlete, even worse when you got whiffs of them as you walked by.

Furry Creatures

Mice love cars. They’re dry and safe and comfy. The glove compartment is a particularly valuable piece of mouse real estate. But they can make themselves at home nearly anywhere: HVAC ducts, door panels, under the seats, in the trunk. Once you’ve smelled rodent, you’ll know it forever, especially if they die there and decompose. Oh, boy! And like other odors discussed here, you can remove the source, in this case the rodent (dead or alive) and the odor remains.

Call The Odor Guys

Put your best self forward. It doesn’t matter if your car is new or old, tricked out or junked up, a clean-smelling, and clean, car will make a powerful positive message about you. Besides that, if you have people that you drive around, it’s the considerate thing to do.

We have the equipment and experience to remove these odors from your vehicle. Give us a call at 207-839-9111 or drop us an email.

 

Chameleon Chemical Detection Armbands Now Available from BioSpecialists

Safety, both for first responders and the general public, is always top priority for us at BioSpecialists. With that in mind, we are happy to announce that Chameleon chemical detection armbands are now available from BioSpecialists. Chameleon armbands, from Morphix Technologies, are the most innovative, easy-to-use toxic chemical detection kit on the market, and we are proud to offer them for sale.

The Chameleon armband easily attaches to the forearm, even fitting over gear. This allows for hands-free chemical detection, with no liquid samples needed. While using the Chameleon, a first responder will be able to tell if there are harmful chemicals or vapors present at any potentially hazardous scene. If the cassette in the arm band changes color, he or she will know that there are toxins present, and to act accordingly.

The Chameleon can be used in a variety of situations, including suspected chemical suicides or meth labs. There are a number of kits available, with the Haz-Mat kit containing the greatest number of cassettes. Download the PDF to see more.

What you can’t see can hurt you! Equip your team today! Kits are available starting at $55 plus shipping. For more information, please contact us at BioSpecialists. 866-331-7731 or wyork@bio-specialists.com.

 

BioSpecialists Supports the Yellow Dot Program

CFAA-YellowDotRecently, Ted Hatch of the Gorham Police Department told us about the Yellow Dot Program. Here at BioSpecialists, we really wanted to help get the word out about this helpful and important program.

The national program is the first of its kind here in Maine, and is free to participate in. It is designed to help first responders at the scene of a motor vehicle accident, giving them access to detailed medical and emergency contact information about the occupants of the motor vehicle.  This kind of information can be crucial, as many times car accident victims are unable to communicate for themselves.

Participants of the program receive a Yellow Dot decal, a Yellow Dot folder and an information form with the participant’s name, an identifying photo, emergency contact information, personal physicians’ information, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and medications being used. The decal, placed in the car window, alerts the first responders to look for the information folder in the glove compartment.

The program is free and open to people of all ages, though there is an emphasis on senior citizens. For more information, and to register, look for the yellow dot icon on our website, or go to yellowdotme.org.

 

BioSpecialists to Provide Biological Hazards Cleanup for FAA Northeast Locations

BioSpecialists is very pleased to announce  that we will be the exclusive provider of biohazardous materials cleanup for several airport locations in the Northeast. The areas covered are those that are in FAA control and include the airports and equipment locations in Biddeford, Cumberland, Brunswick, Kennebunk, Wiscasset, Fryeburg, Auburn/Lewiston, Freeport, Scarborough, as well as the Portland tower, flight lines and FAA buildings, all in Maine. It will also cover White Field in New Hampshire.

BioSpecialists will be involved on a case-by-case basis, to remediate the scene, making sure there was no spread of bloodborne pathogens anytime there was a potential for biohazardous contamination in one of these areas.

The most significant risk at a trauma scene is from contact with blood and bodily fluids. Since 1991 health and medical care officials have recognized the danger of contact with bloodborne pathogens which may be contained in any spill of blood and body fluid.

Bill York, President and CEO, notes that the FAA has taken a very proactive step in partnering with BioSpecialists. “We are pleased that the FAA is thinking ahead and getting ready to respond to dangerous situations involving biohazardous materials. We are very excited about working with them, and helping to keep the public safe.”

BioSpecialists Speaks to WMTW on Meth Problem in Maine

Last week, WMTW Channel 8 did a story on meth labs here in Maine. The focus was on the fact that now home labs are becoming less common, as usage of the “one pot” method grows. With this method, people can make meth in small containers, such as soda bottles, making it easier to contain and throw away evidence.

Bill York of BioSpecialists was interviewed for the story. He commented on the fact that this method makes it much harder for the police to catch suspects. It also is very dangerous, as meth could be being made almost anywhere. And even a microscopic amount of residue could be toxic to anyone exposed to it.

Professional remediation of a meth site is critical to public safety. BioSpecialists is properly trained in meth clean up, and is the most experienced in the industry.

Read the full story from WMTW here.

BioSpecialists Again Makes the Bangor Daily News

Recently, the Bangor Daily News published an article on the growing problem of meth in Maine. BioSpecialists was featured in the article, as we took place in a meth lab remediation training over the weekend.

Meth is an extremely dangerous drug, and the production of it creates a toxic byproduct that will cover the surrounding area. Exposure to the tiniest amount can create serious health problems, so it is imperative that the cleanup of a meth lab is handled by trained professionals.

BioSpecialists is now the only company in Maine that is properly trained and ready for meth remediation. We are pleased to do our part in helping with the scary problem of meth.

Read the entire Bangor Daily News article here.

BioSpecialists Featured in the Bangor Daily News

Here at BioSpecialists, we were excited to be interviewed recently by the Bangor Daily News. The article describes with some detail some of the more difficult parts of our day, and includes a video featuring our own Rob Simmons.

We know that many people aren’t even aware that death or trauma scene clean up is an actual service out there, and we are happy to get the word out. We hope that you don’t ever require our services, but if you do, we want you to know that we are the most qualified, experienced, and compassionate.

Read the full article here, and learn more about us.

You Decide Who To Hire, Not The Insurance Company

Recently BioSpecialists got a call to do a death scene cleanup. We made arrangements to go, but before we could get there the victim’s family called us. It seems that the homeowner’s insurance company had told the family not to work with BioSpecialists, as we were not on their list of preferred companies and have never worked with them before. The company they wanted the family to use was not really in the biohazard cleanup business, in fact they were not licensed or permitted to even do this type of work. The insurance company seemed to want to cut corners to save money, at the expense of the homeowner’s safety.  Luckily we were able to make it clear to the family that the insurance company cannot dictate which clean up company to hire. We completed the job professionally, respectfully and in a timely manner.

We really want to stress the fact that you, the insured, have the right to call whichever cleanup company you wish. It is not up to the insurance company. We believe that we are the best option, because we are the most qualified and experienced. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured and permitted to address all biohazard contamination conditions. We don’t do fire and water damage, focusing only on biohazardous situations. We handle public health hazards 100% by the book. People need to be safe and never worry about a possible exposure situation from a substandard company. Getting the job done right the first time is a far bigger value in the end.

For more information about how we work with insurance companies, visit the pricing and insurance information page on our website.