If your office is located in an older building, you may notice a peculiar musty smell that permeates the air. Most people associate this odor with older homes or stores, but an office should have a professional atmosphere. Clients may be turned off by the unpleasant smell when they visit, possibly even costing you a sale. To get rid of this odor for good, try to find the root cause and eradicate the problem.
Though your cleaning service mops and dusts weekly, you may need a deeper cleaning. In old buildings, dust and dirt settle, becoming increasingly difficult to remove. Make sure the entire building is cleaned thoroughly, including ceilings, walls, floors, and storage areas. Floors should be scrubbed well by hand or with a power scrubber, as mops don't always have the power to do the job properly.
Move all the furniture and vacuum, mop, or steam-clean well to remove dirt and grime. Using scented products may help get rid of the odor.
Buy New Furniture
If your rental came fully furnished, you may be tempted to keep the old furniture. However, some of these pieces may harbor old smells that can't be removed. When smells persist after thorough cleaning, check the furniture as a potential source. A thorough cleaning may do the job here, too, but chances are the furniture should go. If new furniture isn't in your budget or seems too expensive, a fresh coat of paint or varnish may also do the trick.
Clean Your HVAC System
Your heating and air conditioning system have probably been around for decades. Because duct work is only replaced when necessary, you should have it thoroughly inspected and cleaned. Old, musty ducts can circulate dust and smells throughout the building. To keep dust at bay, you should also replace the filters every month or two. Some older buildings accumulate dust more easily, so keep an eye on the filters and replace them more regularly, if needed.
Flush the Pipes
Just like older HVAC systems, pipes that sat empty too long may put off a pungent smell. You should flush the pipes with fresh, clean water and vinegar to rid them of smells. If the odor still persists, have a plumber check for leaks or improper installation. Building codes change drastically over the years, so your pipes may no longer be up to current regulations.
Once you rid your office of its unpleasant smells, your clients are sure to notice the charm of your historic building rather than its faults.