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Treating Particle Board (OSB) Sub-Flooring with OdorXit® Concentrate

Particle board and oriented strand board (OSB) have to a great extent replaced standard plywood as the sub-flooring of choice for most new construction of wood frame construction of housing units. It is strong, easy to handle and cut and produces a solid substrate for carpeting.

Particle board sheeting is one of the most difficult wood sheeting product to remove odors from because it is made of millions of little chips of wood that are glued together and pressed into a sheet. This process produces a strong rigid flooring material that has an enormous amount of end grain exposed. The end grain is very vulnerable to water absorption which causes the material to swell and become soft and spongy. Since most odor causing contaminants are water based, particle board is extremely vulnerable to their absorption as well.

Repairing Superficial Liquid Contamination

In cases where the contamination has not caused water damage to the particle board, it is safe to assume that the amount of OdorXit Concentrate solution required to neutralize the resulting odor will not damage the particle board either.

Removing the contaminant on the surface of the partial board with detergent or TSP and removing the spend cleaner with a shop vac will materially reduce the chances of damaging the particle board with the application of OdorXit solution.. However, applying several light coats of solution is preferred to 1 or 2 heavy applications.

Replacing Liquid Damaged Particle Board

If the contaminated area is puffy and/or soft and discolored, the damaged area needs to be cut out and replaced with new material.

Removing damaged particle board that is not against a wall should be done by cutting around the damaged areas with a hand held circle saw with a tungsten carbide blade set to the depth of the thickness of the particle board plus 1/16 inch and prying the damaged wood out with 1 or 2 wonder bars. The piece being removed should be no less that 16 inches on any side (the spacing of the floor joists) and 2 of the cuts should be over floor joists so the replacement piece can be nailed or screwed to at least 2 joists. If the wood being replaces spans 2 or more sheets of particle board and assuming the the underlying sheet is OSB and not water damaged, the underlying wood should be treated with OdorXit solution before installing the replacement wood. If it is damaged, the damaged area needs to be replaced as well. It may be prudent to screw a piece of 2 by 4 to the bottom of the unsupported ends of the replacement wood to reduce the springiness

If the damaged area is against a wall, it is a safe assumption that the contaminant (usually pet urine) has been drawn under the wall as well.

In cases where the damage in limited, but it is clear that there is urine under the wall, several approaches may be warranted but special tools are required. The base board and toe strip will need to be removed first.

Using a 2 ounce Marinade Injector with a long 3/16" stainless steel needle with the end cut off can be used to inject OdorXit Concentrate solution into a hole of the same diameter drilled at a 45° angle through the drywall and 2x4 plate and 1/8" into the particle board. The holes need to be 6" to 16" apart spanning the contaminated area plus 6" in both sides. Inject enough OdorXit solution so that it runs out from under the wall.

2 ounce turkey baister Wall Cutaway View
Removing and replacing the wooden 2 by 4 plate at the bottom of the wall may be necessary to remove all the odor and damaged particle board. The technique for accomplishing this task without destroying the wall above is not complex but requires some special tools including a "sawsall" reciprocating saw, a utility knife, a 16 ounce claw hammer, 2 Wonder Bars (small flat crow bars) and a screw driver(manual or electric).

Sawsall Saw

Start the process by removing 24 1/2" of drywall for the length of the expected contamination under the wall. If the plate is stained enough that you need to remove it and it is on an interior wall remove 24 1/2" from the other side of the wall in the same area. Always stop cutting out the drywall at the center of the next stud. This will give plenty of access and insure that the drywall replacement piece is strong enough to be easily handled and make a strong replacement panel. The tapered edge on the 1/2 sheet of drywall should be facing up to produce a professional seam joint.

Using the Sawsall, cut off each exposed wall stud about 12" from the floor at a 45° angle with the angle on the short dimension so that the bottom part of the stud can be easily swung out from under the upper part without moving the upper part and popping all the screws/nails holding the drywall to the stud. Because the Sawsall is a reciprocating saw, it vibrates, some times violently. DO NOT let it vibrate violently! Hold the cutting platform at the end of the saw tightly against the wood you are cutting to prevent the vibration. Slow the saws speed as you near the end of the cut for the same reason.

With the bottom of the studs removed or bent out of the way, cut the plate on both ends with the Sawsall and pry it up with 2 Wonder Bars being careful not to bind it against the parts of the plate that are not being removed

If the sub-flooring has not been destroyed or damaged, treat the sub-flooring with OdorXit Concentrate solution, if not, cut out the bad parts with the Sawsall and treat what is under the sub-flooring.

When all the odor is gone, replace any sub-flooring that was removed, make up a new plate with short pieces of studs nailed to it so the line up with the ones hanging out of the wall. Do not try to match the bottom of the studs hanging out of the wall with the new bottom pieces exactly in length, just make them a little short. Slide the assembly into place and screw or nail it to the floor. Using 12" long pieces of 2x4 stock (1 for each cut stud) using 3" construction screws, screw NOT NAIL the pieces on the side of each stud bridging the cut. Replace the drywall with new, tapered side up, score the old drywall about 2 inches above the cut with the utility knife and peal the top layer of paper off. This will make an indent for the joint tape to hide in just like the tapered edge of the new drywall has. Tape, mud and sand the joint. Prime the new piece of drywall and the joint repair and repaint the entire wall.

Yes, it a lot of work, but there are no alternatives that really work better.

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