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Old 07-03-2011, 11:09 PM   #1
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The 'Cat Pee' House


So my fiancee and I are in the market to buy our first house and so far the house we like the most is the one we dubbed 'The Cat Pee House'.
It was built in 1902 and is over 3200 sq ft. Has new electrical/plumbing, CH/A and a roof was put on 8 yrs ago.

The place seems to need the drywall replaced where they put in new wiring and did not patch it back up and a few ceiling spots need drywalled as well-BUT the HUGE problem is it reaks of cat pee. This house has been in the same family since it was built but the relative that has been living in it since 2009 has let 5 cats have the run of the joint and many places (esp the doors and baseboards) have most of the finish gone bc the cats have been marking. Not sure if this matters or not but all the wood is cypress.

Does anyone have any suggestion on getting the cat pee smell out? I read the wood can be sanded, cleaned and refinished but am willing to go other routes.

I have added a pic of the front of the house and in the 2nd pic you can see some of the damage on the door from the cats.
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The 'Cat Pee' House-catpeehouse.jpg   The 'Cat Pee' House-catpeehouse2.jpg  

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Old 07-03-2011, 11:16 PM   #2
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The 'Cat Pee' House


wash everything that smells with white vinegar. worked on an apt years ago that smelled like that. the guy went to the pet store and spent 30 bucks a gallon for stuff to get rid of the smell and it didn't work. week later had someone wash it down with vinegar and the smell was gone. i did seal the floors with polyurethane after that. he wanted to make sure the smell didn't come back. thats what i would try first is the vinegar. they used to sell it in gallons also.

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Old 07-03-2011, 11:21 PM   #3
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The 'Cat Pee' House


Sealing the wood after sanding should work but only if you get both sides and if the wood is marked I am sure there has been some absorded behind in the plaster, this may be a harder issue to deal with.

Good Luck on that one
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:28 AM   #4
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The 'Cat Pee' House


Sanding? Buy new baseboards and doors. Very unhealthy and a waist of time sanding trying to recoupe something that is spoiled. That is your best optoin. I would try the vinegar method on the floors reseal, and then totally repaint the room. Keep it easy on yourself. For a first home, you want to have it feel like home without feeling like it wont ever be finished. Congrats btw.

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Old 07-04-2011, 12:48 AM   #5
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The 'Cat Pee' House


Well the problem with that is there are wood columns, pocket doors, shelving and fireplaces...not all things that are easily replaced-or semi-affordable. Plus we were wanting to keep it as original as possible. But if some of it were do-able, is cypress an affordable wood choice because we would want to at least keep it the same type of wood.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:22 AM   #6
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You might look for a battery operated black light. I've heard that they will "highlight" the problem areas.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
You might look for a battery operated black light. I've heard that they will "highlight" the problem areas.

Thats a fact.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:40 AM   #8
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The enzymes sold in pet stores are more or less worthless but some online do a great a job of breaking down the damage and eliminating the odor. They will not do much for damaged wood from continuous saturation though.

All are natural and will not hurt anything. All that are any good are sensitive to UV light so you want to apply them to rooms you can darken or plan on multiple applications.

If you can get over using a product called "Anti Icky Poo" this is one of the best enzymatic treatments I have ever used and it works great. Just follow the directions. If the place has carpets you will need a carpet injector to get the enzymes under the pad.

http://www.antiickypoo.com/

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Old 07-04-2011, 02:30 PM   #9
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If the place has carpets you will need a carpet injector to get the enzymes under the pad.

http://www.antiickypoo.com/
If the place has carpets, put them in a dumpster.
The floors will need to stay the dark color. You can sand them to get some of the smell gone, but you will never sand out the dark pet stains.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:51 PM   #10
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Lucky for you that dark wood flooring is very popular. Definitely throw out any carpets and wash everything with a diluted vinegar/water mix. The black light really does help show you where the stains are. Whatever you do don't clean with an ammonia based product as that's what's in cat urine. This also means you don't use bleach.

As soon as possible sand the flooring then stain/reseal them.

Good luck! You have a LOT of cleaning ahead of you.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:01 AM   #11
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"Anti Icky Poo"
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:02 AM   #12
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sounds like my first house! we walked in smelled cat pee and thought "awesome!! we just saved $20K" because we low balled due to poor condition. Then we just cleaned the house. the only part that still smelled after that was the crawl space under the kitchen.. because that's where the cat's did their business. .. that was not fun cleaning. but in the end, it was cleaned in not much time.

as for your doors, i would sand them and paint. it is way less work trying to find a door to fit .. being an old housee it is probably non standard size and the hinges won't match up so you'll have to notch out new position.. lots of work. better to just sand and paint.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:34 AM   #13
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Whatever you do, just know that it's going to take many HUNDREDS of hours of labor on your part. You'll also have to replace all the carpets and at least some of the damaged woodwork. From the photo, it appears the woodwork is painted, so plan on repainting ALL the woodwork and probably most of the interior unless you want mismatched colors. I'm guessing you'll also end up replacing some of the overly-saturated hardwood floor.

Bottom line - This could still be a great house, but only if you can get it for the right price. If the place smells as bad as you say, it's likely you'll be the only bidder and the seller's only hope. Do some quick calculations on what it would take to have a professional come in to do all the work (materials and labor), and subtract that from the asking price. That should be the MAXIMUM price you'd be willing to pay. But start at least 10% lower, and don't increase your bid without careful consideration. There are plenty of other really nice houses out there that don't stink, and most of them are selling cheap right now. If these people want to sell the house, they'll deal. If not, look elsewhere.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:58 AM   #14
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That's hysterical, when we were looking at houses in NJ about 15 years ago we also found one we called the Cat Pee House. We didn't end up buying it, but I've always had good luck with this stuff

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Old 07-06-2011, 07:29 PM   #15
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That's hysterical, when we were looking at houses in NJ about 15 years ago we also found one we called the Cat Pee House. We didn't end up buying it, but I've always had good luck with this stuff

Where do you buy it???

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