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I just ran into this problem a few days ago. Our sweet kitty managed to ruin a room in our house with his urine! I tried to steam clean it out, but to no avail! No matter what I put on it - enzyme cleaner, deodorizer - it would not work. The smell began to permeate my house, so it was time to take action!
Total Time: 3-4 hours - 2 days
I have a better solution...shut doors so the cat/door don't use bedrooms for humans as big toilets for pets. Walk your dogs or hire a dog walker.
The stench and amount of work the new owners have to indure is absolutely uncalled for.
We just bought a home and two of the four bedrooms were used as toilets for a dog and cat! The dog was locked in a room all day!!
People who sell their homes with "pet toilets" should inform the new owners! Instead of advertising (say there is acctually 4 bedrooms) just say 2 bedrooms..let just be real..
The previous owners of the house we bought, covered the stench (open doors, fans whatever) ( they were sleeping above the urine..gross!) and said to us "we will be cleaning the carpet" LOL WELL, after we got our keys the damp "cleaned" carpet released the foul/rank dangerous smell.
We pulled the carpet and low and behold, the subfloors were so rank, yellow and with dark yellow stains!!
What is sad is they had a little girl sleep in that room!!
People and their pets!
How they are willing to sleep in a urine soaked room so their pretious "family pet" can pee on a soft carpet instead of grass is beyond me!! It's an animal.
The damage to the floors, the expense it takes to make it even habitable...its just plain wrong!
My husband pulled the carpet/padding and will bleach subfloor today so we can lay new carpet and MOVE IN!!
I'm not the only one discussed by this common occurrence!
If I were the only one, this site would not exist. Think about it.
Thanx to everyone who gave ideas.. =o)
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I'm replacing carpet in livingroom that a dog has gone to the bathroom on. How do I seal the subfloor so the urine smell doesn't come through?
By Betty from Hastings, MN
We just went through this! My husband used shellac. He applied it 4 times with it drying in between applications. This was recommend to us by our carpet installer. It worked great!
The product I have used on sub-floors is called Killz. It is not too expensive and one gallon will go a long way. One thing to remember though, it is not "paint", in other words, it is not necessary to have a good coat on. See through is fine as long as it is applied evenly over all affected areas. it will work on walls that have been sprayed as well.
I am in the process of cleaning cat spray out of a pillow top mattress cover. I am going to try some of your ideas, I will let you know what works!
Hi. A single wetting of dog urine would not have terrible odor as compared to cat urine. This sub floor must have been peed on repeatedly. I bought a house and tore out the carpets to find a urine stain here and there. I took my pets to a different location. (Send kids out of the house too.) I opened all the windows, and turned on fans.
I carefully poured a bit of pure bleach on the stains, and spread it evenly with a plastic dish brush. Careful, the bubbling you will see is dangerous gases coming off. Good ventilation is extremely important. However, once it was done reacting, and the fans removed the gases from the house and helped dry the wood, the traces of urine were gone. I laid my new flooring over top.
However, if your sub floor is sodden with urine, it will have to be replaced. The fibers of the wood would be compromised, and the floor unstable. I have heard that there is a paint for sealing odors in after a fire that will seal in the scent of urine. I don't know what it is called however. It is pricey.
You could put a layer of plastic sheeting between the floor and the pad. I actually did this, but I put the plastic between the carpet and pad so the pad and floor wouldn't get soaked if our dogs or cats had an accident.
I've dealt with this in the past when I worked for a property management firm. It's not enough to remove the carpet and then use bleach, although the floor may seem OK then. In order to prevent future damage you must prevent ANY residual odor from being noticeable by cats and dogs - that's tough to do because they have such sensitive noses! I've found the best products are shellac-based sealer/primers such as Zinsser's BIN Primer. Be sure to get SHELLAC based, it creates a better barrier to odors than oil or latex primers. Good luck!
Which Kilz primer would I use on the subfloor to cover urine smell, the latex or oil, or the primer and sealer? Can I use the spray version?
By Deb S.
I am not sure Kilz would cover the odor. You might have to shellac it to be sure.
This should tell you everything you need to know. As a former property manager, I have seen Kilz do wonders. And I found oil based is better, as it is water repellent. Good luck.
A horrible cat odor from the next-door (this is a row home) was suddenly getting though to our basement. After sealing all cracks, joists and undersides of the subflooring out to 1 foot with mortar, foam, caulk, and Drylok, the smell was still as strong as ever. A fellow in a video said that shellac is the sealer to use here. I am nearly overjoyed to report that after 2-3 coats of shellac over everything (including the Dryloked party wall), the smell has finally abated. The product we used was:
Zinsser 1 gal. B-I-N Shellac-Based White Interior/Spot Exterior Primer and Sealer $41.98 at Home Depot (the can may also say Rustoleum - they merged with Zinsser)
It's an ethyl-alcohol based (make sure the ventilation is adequate!) liquid that's as thin as skim milk. With a 1-1/2" brush I daubed it into and over the foam, caulk and Drylok, into every nook and cranny, and then with a wide whitewash type brush I did the wall down to the floor. One gallon covered about 100 sq. ft. in 2-3 coats You don't need to work it like paint - it's not paint. You just need to get everything wet. It dries in 45 minutes and then can be recoated. We put the recommended two coats on, and then for good measure a third in the areas we suspected were the prime offenders (when the whole room stinks, it's really hard to pinpoint the source).
After all I was glad the surfaces had already been sealed with the Drylok. I think a lot of shellac would be wasted if it went on a porous surface. I believe they can tint the stuff. Putting white on white, I had to rely on the wet shininess to see coverage, and I do believe that absolutely every square inch must be sealed for it to work.
Having sealed every hole, no matter how tiny, the wall is now airtight, and the shellac seems to live up to its promise (I think there's a money-back guarantee on the stuff). There is nothing more demoralizing than spending lots of time and money to refurbish a place, only to have it made uninhabitable by this most foul of smells. We wish you the best of luck.
Some of the stains are old and some are newer. My dog is old and decided this is her toilet. We have to remove the rug and get in on the stains. It is a big job coming up. I can't send the picture because the rug is still on down, it is wall to wall.
Many people have pet stains on wood floor problems in their homes but often do not realize the extent of the damage because the floor is covered by carpet. One hot summer, we bought a 50 year old house, having seen it with doors and windows open on a hot breezy day. Only after we moved in did we find the really foul smell and stains in all rooms. After we stripped the carpet, we found very large and clearly repeated stains with, again, the awful smell.
The problem is that the urine, feces and vomit soak into the wood and, over time, essentially become part of the wood-stain, smell and all. We tried many cleaners and even sanding, but, finally, realized we needed a new wood floor.
I hope your problerm can be resolved with surface cleaners and you do not need to pay for an expensive new floor. Good Luck!
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My dog ally has created an indoor potty for herself on the carpet. A friend has just pulled up the carpet for me. Now on the wood subflooring there are urine stains. What can I do to get the smell out of that wood? He suggested cleaning it with Febreze. Well, that isn't a cleaner. Then he said he could put more subflooring on top and then tile over it. Ii still think the smell would come through. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Sandy from Baltimore
In my experience, the best bet is to clean it as well as possible. Let it try completely. Then apply a sealing primer like Kilz and seal the odor in. The primer smells pretty bad, but once that odor wears off, the pet odors should be trapped. This fix prevents you from having to replace the subflooring.
Bleach the hardwood floor. Use 1 part bleach to 1 part water. (05/08/2007)
I would suggest trying to sand it first, but make sure you are in a well ventilated area due to the dust and the urine getting into the air. Otherwise,you will need to take up the subfloor. I would "not" put subfloor on top of urine soaked subfloor, that would make it worse for you. In the summer with the heat what a smell that would bring out and why ruin more lumber? Just sand it out, if that doesn't work then replace the subfloor. Also, I would start crating the dog when I was "not" around. Good luck.
It's not a very cheap solution, but it does work, Nature's Miracle. Saturate where the dog used the floor, it should take care of the odors. You might have to repeat it several times; however, it is cheaper than new flooring.
There is a very simple product called "Kids N Pets" I bought it at WalMart. It works beautifully. Just pour some on the area let it soak in and then blot. I have done this on my carpet for doggy diarrhea and for cat urine on a couch pillow. It is all gone. I love this product.
I have 7 cats and when they have an accident, I put baking soda on the spot, wait 5 minutes and scrub. Then I pour white vinegar on it and scrub. You may have to do it a couple of times, because you don't want it to buckle the flooring, but from experience this does the trick.
I have flipped many houses with the pet urine problem. Simple steps: Spray 1 to 1 bleach/water mix over any problem area. Then paint 2 coats Kilz over area. Next is the most important step that no one seems to do, spread 2 coats of polyurethane over the area to seal smell for good. Polyurethane is the protective coat that goes over finished wood floors so nothing penetrates and damages the wood. Lets nothing in or out. Final step is of course carpet or tile.