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Case study #6
Whole House Contamination Project
Not for Weak Stomachs!

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

The Story:
  • A nice house in a nice neighborhood in BC Canada.
  • House was uninhabited for 3+ years because of the smell.
  • This house was acquired at far below market value because of its condition. It will net a very tidy profit when sold though the owners intend keep it for rental income.
  • Previous owner was an elderly lady with 15 cats.
  • Several 40 cubic yard dumpster's of stuff were removed before these pictures were taken.
  • Period of contamination was more than 5 years.
  • Carpet and padding over wood flooring and up walls 4 inches, there was concrete floors in some rooms and the basement.
  • Neighbors complained they could smell the cats from the sidewalk.
This is one area of the living room that shows how the steel heating grate has rusted and the drywall was stained by urine soaked up from the carpet.

Notice how the carpet runs up the wall about 4 inches to act as baseboard. The urine actually wicked up the carpet into the drywall!

Another area in the living room showing the urine damage to the wall and heater strip.

There is simply no way to recover drywall in this condition. It must be replaced. The hope here was to be able to recover the wood plate at the bottom of the wall and the studs with OdorXit after removing the bottom 25 inches of drywall.

This and the next picture are different perspectives of the same area of floor and wall in the dining room. There was a piece of furniture with long legs covering the light part of the wall. Again the heating grate is badly rusted and the pipe destroyed by excrement, but the wall under the furniture was just saturated with urine and spray.

The line separating the wall paper and the textured drywall was also the top of the piece of furniture that was here. Notice the urine and spray stains. This area of drywall had to be replaced all the way to the ceiling. The wood inside the wall was badly contaminated but was recovered.

This is the wall just below the bedroom widow where the cats sat and looked out The dark area was clawed up for some reason but looking at the top of the strip heater, clawing was not all that was going on.

Another area of the bedroom shows yet another destroyed heading grate and large quantities of spray on the walls.

The height of the spray marks in this example is unusual because they are often several feet off the floor. This was because the house was stacked with hundreds of boxes and the cats were on top of the boxes when they sprayed the wall. This also happens with kitchen cabinets that are open on top. The cats jump to the kitchen counter, then to the top of the refrigerator, then on top of the cabinets where they often mark the wall behind the cabinet.

There used to be a water bed frame with drawers in the center of this picture. Yes the cats were inside the frame using it to hide excrement. The trash appears to have been the overflow from the drawers.

The Rest of the Story

The conclusions that can be drawn from this example:
  • Much of the drywall and some of the wood flooring had to be replaced before reconstruction was started. Of course, all the carpeting and padding had to go as well, but OdorXit reduced the cost of rehabbing this house by a very considerable amount, and eliminated the odors from areas that could not have been fixed any other way.
  • Damage to the kitchen (not pictured) was so extensive all the cabinets were replaced along with much of the drywall.

This study is meant to demonstrates that urine contamination can do serious damage to flooring and structural members. 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, dogs 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 them for anything. They also do not foul my house.

Updated April 2013

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