What is Ozone Shock?

There is a lot of chatter about "Ozone Shock" treatment.  This process introduces high levels of ozone into the building to destroy odors, germs, or mold.  Think about a chlorine shock for your pool that has had a bad algae bloom.  Normal pool cleaning methods won't solve a severe algae problem, so the pool owner throws in a large portion of chlorine to kill of the algae before filtering the gunk out of the pool.  With that said, ozone shock is intended to be  a hard hit of ozone that knocks out the odor, germ, or mold problem.

The majority of cases do not require ozone shock, but a nominal treatment.  We warn people that using ozone should be done in measured steps rather than a massive dump.  Do not think that this is an all-or-nothing process.

As a rule, clean what can be cleaned first.  Ozone is not a substitute for doing the basics of a good cleaning.  After cleaning, bring in a high-powered ozone generator capable of seriously raising ozone to high levels (more than 2 to 4 PPM, and as high as 6 PPM).  You cannot do this with the small, over-hyped ozone generators offered on the Internet.  If the ozone generator is not pushing 20,000 mg/hr or more, you are trying to fill the pool with a straw.  A professional ozone generator will quickly raise and sustain high levels of ozone in the building for a period of time.  This means 1-4 hours in many cases depending on the size of the area being treated.

And, no, you or your pets cannot stay in the the building during treatment.  While ozone is just enriched, non-polluting oxygen; at these levels you will experience respiratory distress if you are in the area for just a few minutes.  Oxygen is generally good for us, but too much of a good thing can be a serious problem.

You can achieve ozone shock in about an hour for a car or van.  You may need to do an ozone shock for 2-3 hours on a hotel room or apartment, and a house may take 3-6 hours for a solid treatment.  Part of the time factor is the volume of the area being treated, the strength of the threat, and even the amount of humidity in the air.  If the humidity is over 75%, ozone production will go down.  So, do not set the ozone machine outside in the heat and pump it in by a house no matter what other "ozone experts" may say.

Also, if you hear someone say, "Crack a window to let fresh air in during application", they are wrong.  If the goal of ozone shock is the RAISE to ozone levels, why would you dilute the treated area with fresh air.  The typical, mistaken response is that the ozone generator needs fresh air to continue making more ozone.  Okay?  So, my coffee maker will make stronger coffee if I add more water than suggested?  It is absurd to think that you are attempting to raise ozone levels by adding in more fresh air.  By the way, the ozone is constantly reverting back to ozone by the minute.  So, there is plenty of available oxygen .... unless the humidity is holding excess oxygen.

Another issue is the tendency to overdo the ozone treatment.  We do not suggest that treatments above 4 hours is wise.  This is particularly true for those new to ozone use.  If you get an ozone generator, take time to learn the amount to apply.  Try a one hour treatment to see how that works.  If the job is not complete, try a 3-4 hour treatment.  If you cook the room for 12 and 24 hours as some suggest, the equipment is either too small to do the job or you are getting bad advice.

Like any good thing, ozone can be misapplied or overdone.  If you have an ozone generator, then respect what ozone can do.  If you are in doubt, bring in a professional.  The National Ozone association offers two types of ozone training.  The Basic Ozone Training course is for the layman who is using ozone for his own problems.  The Certified Ozone Technician is for those who are already in the remediation services or those looking to start their ozone own ozone business.