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Jordan Berry 10-16-2009 10:17 PM

Lots of Urine Damage

My fiancee and I just purchased a house Wednesday. We got it cheap but and it needs a lot of work. We've removed all of the carpet and pads because they were heavily spotted with dog urine. Now we can see the plywood flooring and it's pretty much spotted with urine stains throughout the whole house. Some areas are better than others...

My grandpa suggested letting the urine dry out and covering all the floors with polyurethane. My gut tells me this is a terrible idea. We plan on putting in new carpet in the 3 bedrooms and rood floors in the living room / hallway.

I know replacing the flooring is going to be a lot of work. I haven't heard of a good way to do this. From what I've read we need to basically to cut with a circular saw the big parts and use a router cut near the wall and then pop out the pieces... Obviously being careful what is below!

Has anyone taken on such a project? Any advice for my fiancee and I? Besides the urine stink there isn't anything wrong with the floor. This is a great test of how good of a girl I've got :laughing:

We really appreciate any help you can lend us on the matter. We're both newbies!

rusty baker 10-16-2009 11:42 PM

Most people paint the floor with Kilz to get rid of the smell. But you can do the same thing with shellac a lot cheaper. No need to take up the plywood unless it's rotten.

JazMan 10-17-2009 12:40 AM

Actually the shellac/alcohol based product is BIN not KILZ. It's availble in pigmented and clear no odor formula. :thumbsup: Kilz is a good product too, but BIN may be better for your needs.


Shamus 10-17-2009 05:21 AM

I see this often and I've yet to have a homeowner that was happy with anything less than removal/replacement of the damaged flooring.

I've see people mix a bleach/water solution up to 50/50 and spray from a pump-up hand sprayer. Wetting those spots, letting it foam up and dry and then repeating. Stay out of the house until it drys and vent well while spraying. No mater how many applications are applied, it still foamed, indicating urine is still present. Bottom line is if you go ahead and cover up the floor after treating, the smell does not go away.

Painting is even worse as your locking that into the wood and your not sealing the underside.

To a person, they still could smell the stale urine. I do not recommend either process.

Cut out the damaged floor and replace it. It's worth it knowing there will not be any smell in your home and it was done right. But that's just my 2.

user1007 10-17-2009 06:37 AM


Originally Posted by Shamus (Post 341810)
I see this often and I've yet to have a homeowner that was happy with anything less than removal/replacement of the damaged flooring.

I agree with this and it is a shame to have to lose a good floor. The other problem with leaving it is if you ever get a pet of your own they will smell it---even if you don't---and try to mark out and reclaim territory.

You could try one of the bacteria or enzyme products for pet stains available at a pet store or online. The bacteria will produce enzymes to "eat" the dried urine. Use a tank sprayer to completely saturate all the spots were the urine soaked in (doing the wood no favors in the process of course). Note that the bacteria and enzymes are naturally occurring and will not hurt humans and animals. They just die when they have nothing else to eat. Bacteria are usually light sensitive so close the blinds.

Here is a link for one brand that you should be able to find in the pet stores. There are others though so do explore options as this one has a strong fragrance. There are companies that specialize in pet stain removal as well and it might be worth talking with them if you want to try and rescue the floor?

Did a quick Google search for "pet urine" and many possibilities popped up. This one caught my attention.

ccarlisle 10-17-2009 08:27 AM

Your grampa and Rusty, amongst others, are right; according to the IICRC, "total odour removal" calls for sealing the plywood with a primer, a shellac or lacquers...anything that is non-porous. So polyurethane qualifies.

However, we all know dogs are territorial and even after decontamination, they may remark the same areas where the original contamination was, so in the interest of complete decontamination - and seeing as how you are newly engaged and may own the house for a while - why don't you just define this as an opportunity to do right in your fiance's eyes and replace it. Besides, you got it cheap... and while you're there, remove the tack strips and discard as well as the the baseboards.

If it's what she wants, do it - you may get what you want. :laughing:

rusty baker 10-17-2009 09:43 AM

Just remember, whatever you do, if you get a pet, dog or cat, they will urinate on the floor. They all do. Many times thru the years, I have had pet owners tell me their animal has never urinated on the floor. I have always found places when removing the old carpet. Always! Always!

Jordan Berry 10-19-2009 11:06 AM

Wow - we're both really impressed with the wealth of knowledge here!

Thank you everyone for your help! I tore up a section that would be easy to replace... To see how hard it would be to pull up. It turns out there is OSB below the compressed board. This means that the compressed board goes until the 2 x 4 that the wall stands on. I couldn't be lucky/happier! We've already tore up the floor in a bedroom and it wasn't very difficult. I feel much better getting it done right. Thanks again everyone!

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