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Case study #2
Pet urine odor in Flooring

Click on the pictures for a larger version of the picture.

The Story:
One cat and one dog with a territorial problem.
The carpet was removed and the walls were painted in preparation for carpet installation.
After 2 treatments with OdorXit, the urine odor in the room was noticeable but overwhelming until the base boards were removed.

This picture shows the back of the base board that was removed from the wall to its left. Notice the yellow staining at the end (b) and both edges (A & C) of the strip. This is hormonal spray and it is also under the new paint on the wall above and behind where the base board was on the wall. The piece of base board on the other side of the wall at (C) is also stained in the same manor. To get rid of the odor that was painted over, 12 inches of drywall was removed and replaced and the interior of the wall was sprayed with OdorXit because it was stained due to capillary action.

The first course of glued down Prague flooring (C to D) has been removed to expose the extent of contamination beneath. Flooring section E and F show the difference between heavily (E) contaminate flooring and slightly contaminated (F) flooring. The same is displayed in section C and D.

Tack strip G provides a clear example of a tack strip that needs to be replaced.

Area H is an example of flooring lightly contaminated with urine, but the area under and behind the base board is a much bigger problem with hormonal spray

The room on the right side of the wall is the area displayed above. This area of plywood is in need of replacement because of the level of staining and its refusal to dry. Further, with a stain like this, the urine has seeped under the wall and is hiding between the plywood subflooring and the 2 by 4 plate at the bottom of the wall. Infecting OdorXit Concentrate between the plate and subfloor usually eliminates the odor without resorting to removal. This link shows the interior of the wall and tools needed to inject Concentrate into the under wall area.

Note the 2 black marks (B), they are nails that have rusted extensively.

The stained flooring along the wall is soft and will eventually rot. Plywood, unlike hardwood flooring, is made of soft wood and is vulnerable to this type of damage. Sealing the area with an alcohol or oil type product will not help this situation

This is an example of what happens at the edge of a piece of plywood sub-flooring when the contamination is primarily on one side of a joint. The board on the right is nearly untouched while the one on the left is severely damaged. This is recoverable because the wood is not spongy and the edge is easily accessed by OdorXit solution to eliminate the odor.

Fire place hearths are a favorite place for cats. The large stain in the corner between the brick and wall does not appear to be all that contaminated, but rest assured, when a fire is started in the fire box, the odor will abound.

When the tack strip and padding were removed they were still wet.

In this case, the floor and the hearth were both involved and needed treating.

This picture is of the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room. The kitchen flooring installer was still working on the job as this picture was taken.

This is an area that should have been treated before the new floor covering was installed. The stains could have been water from the kitchen but sniffing the stain revealed that they were not!

Small areas of untreated urine contamination like this will eventually provide the new owner with those little wisps of odor on humid days or after cooking a big meal or when a small amount of mop water enters the area. If they have a pet, it will find this area in a heart beat and re-mark it with its own scent.

Later, the owner removed a 3 x 2 section of the new floor covering and the adhesive, then treating the urine stain. The floor covering was replaced with new. It almost matched.

Removing the adhesive is very important and difficult. The residue of the adhesive probably prevented some of the urine residue from being neutralized completely.

The Rest of the Story

Rehabbing a house with pet urine contamination can be done quickly and easily even if small portions of wood need to be replaced. Plywood sub-flooring is easy to treat and easy to spot problem areas, but the areas must be odor free before continuing with painting and new flooring coverings.

Hormonal spray on walls and trim strips as in picture 1 and 2 are often near significant urine spots though they are not at all limited to being in the same area. These areas must be addressed BEFORE painting so that the contaminant on the wall can be effectively treated.

This study is meant to demonstrates that urine contamination on sub-flooring is easy to identify and treat. I might add, the source of this type of staining is by no means limited to pets.

Please do not take this case study or its conclusion as an indictment of cats or pets in general. IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE ONE! I have a dog and 2 cats pictured on this site, and would not trade any of them. They also do not soil my house.

Updated April 2013

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