Abby and Brent Thompson own and operate Paul Davis Emergency Services of the Golden Triangle, located in Starkville, Miss. They recently sat down with R&R to share the most common sources of odor they treat – smoke, sewer and skunk – and advice for removing each.


  • “As simple as it sounds, a thorough cleaning is the most common. You have to clean everything – tops of door frames, cabinet hinges, pull out the dishwasher and clean behind it, etc. It should be the most involved, deep cleaning that the house or business has ever gone through. Just the smallest amount of soot left behind can make the smell linger.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to call for advice. Having someone that is currently doing this service to bounce questions off of is invaluable. There are many types of fires, including poultry fires, wildfires and electrical fires, and they all need to be handled a certain way.”
  • “Clean from the bottom up. It seems like that should be the other way around, but cleaning from the bottom will help eliminate soot streaks.”


  • “Remove all porous items and treat non-porous items before turning on drying equipment.”
  • “Sewer water is Category 3; treat it as such. Full personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn by all employees. All porous material should be removed from the home or business.”
  • “Electrostatic sprayers are great for this type of application. Although COVID-19 brought these to the forefront, restoration companies have been using them for some time to apply disinfectants.”


  • “If a skunk has gotten into your home or business, you must seal and paint to remove the smell.”
  • “There are a lot of new products on the market to help combat odors: Hydroxyl machines, disinfectants, virucides, deodorizers, etc. Get familiar with these products and when it is the right time to use specific ones.”
  • “Our favorite item to combat odor is a product called ProKure. It comes in a liquid form and a gas form. It attacks the odor at its source.”