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Treating Plywood Sub-Flooring with OdorXit® Concentrate

Treating plywood sub-flooring with OdorXit® Concentrate is generally much easier and more successful with less work that treating particle board because of the way plywood is manufactured. Plywood has much less end grain showing and as a result is much less likely to absorb large amounts of liquid of any kind. It is still vulnerable at the seems between sheets but the surface (except for knot holes) is pretty much impervious to liquids.

Repairing Superficial and Not so Superficial Liquid Contamination

Because plywood is much less sensitive to liquids, it can be washed, rinsed and dried with out damage. I can also be exposed to liquid contaminants for much longer the plywood with out incurring serious damage. However, if the surface is black and sticky from urine exposure, it still needs to be cut out and replaced. The black and sticky areas are so contaminated with the hygroscopic urea salt and the mercaptan gas being produced on a constant basis, that the OdorXit solution can not get to the source of the odor.

Replacing Liquid Damaged Plywood

If the contaminated area is black and sticky, the damaged area needs to be cut out and replaced with new material.

Removing damaged plywood 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 plywood 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 plywood, the underlying wood should be treated with OdorXit solution before installing the replacement wood.

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 plywood. 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 plywood. 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 e 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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