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Old 10-08-2008, 05:15 PM   #1
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seal odors in conrete floor


How do I seal the concrete floors in my basement that has pet odors? The previous owner had cats that urinated on various spots in the basement and has penetrated into the concrete. I have stripped everything, including adhesive, from the concrete. Can I just use Kilz paint or do I need some type of sealer?

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Old 10-08-2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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seal odors in conrete floor


Animal urine is hard to get rid of. They use it for marking their territory and is more like an oil than urine.

That being said there are some methods to help reduce it. Only time will make it go away all together.

Backing soda (sodium bicarb HCO3) in water works well for carpet and my guess is that it will work on concrete. Let it soak in for a long time. In fact it would not hurt to just leave it until it dries out. Then re-wet it and clean it up. Repeat as necessary.

Most urine is acidic and HCO3 is alkalotic. It reduces the excess hydrogen ions present in acid and will go a long ways in breaking down the urine.

Let me know if this works for you as I have a possible job coming up that has the same issue.

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Old 10-08-2008, 06:05 PM   #3
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seal odors in conrete floor


Thanks for the reply. I have used Kleenco's Kitty Scram(an ezymatic cleaner) on this floor a couple of years ago. Helped, but didn't eliminate the odors completely(especially on rainy days). I have given up on trying to "remove" it. Hoping to seal it in and maybe get some moisture prevention in the process. Would like to sheet rock over the walls and install engineered wood flooring, eventually. I have seen Drylock, epoxy, etc. Not sure if that is what I need or just paint it with Kilz to help with the smell and not worry too much about the moisture(not much of problem, I don't think). Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:20 PM   #4
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seal odors in conrete floor


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Originally Posted by ejpopow View Post
Thanks for the reply. I have used Kleenco's Kitty Scram(an ezymatic cleaner) on this floor a couple of years ago. Helped, but didn't eliminate the odors completely(especially on rainy days). I have given up on trying to "remove" it. Hoping to seal it in and maybe get some moisture prevention in the process. Would like to sheet rock over the walls and install engineered wood flooring, eventually. I have seen Drylock, epoxy, etc. Not sure if that is what I need or just paint it with Kilz to help with the smell and not worry too much about the moisture(not much of problem, I don't think). Any thoughts would be appreciated.
The urine is an oil. As such it will cause problems with anything sticking to it and any water based paint will not work.

More than likely you won't be able to "seal" in the smell.

Think about this.

You do all this work and spend all this money and the smell doesn't go away. Now what are you going to do? Tear it all out and try something else.

First goal should be to get rid of the smell and make sure it is gone before any other construction goes on.

There is a reason we have a no animal policy in our rentals. I have spend too much money fixing animal caused problems.

We used to charge an extra damage deposit, then we went to a extra non refundable deposit. None of that was worth the damage the animals caused.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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seal odors in conrete floor


Whereas I can agree with some of what is being posted on this subject, there are a few things I would like to question...first, urine. It is indeed acidic when fresh but becomes the opposite of acidic due to its breakdown by bacteria. Thus fresh urine is treated differently than old urine.

So...the opposite of 'acidic' is 'alkalotic'? I love new words. Makes scrabble a load of fun! So, "alkaline", an adjective which describes the properties of certain chemical compounds to breakdown into hydroxyl radicals in solution is no longer is use? perhaps it just seems so..."overused". But I refrain from inventing new words as much as I can - especially when talking about chemicals, where numbers and alphabetical letter describe every matter that we know about. Accuracy matters!

And sodium bicarbonate...is that really "HCO3"? where's the 'sodium' and the 'bi'? Indeed that's the stuff you sprinkle on carpets...for deodorizing with offensive perfumes. It's NaHCO3 in fact.

Well enough playing around...in actual fact urine is a complex cocktail of fats, hormones, medicines sometimes, salts, colours, waste products of this or that type - but it ain't no oil. That's why it's so hard for professional odour technicians to completely eradicate it. Sometimes you use basic compounds, sometimes acidic, sometimes solvents, enzymes, antibacterials, sometimes reducing agents and often oxidizing agents, like hydrogen peroxide. Sometimes all of the above...Just keep on treating those smelly areas until it's gone.

Because that's what urine is made of.

As for the concrete floor, needless to say, it absorbs very well indeed. Urine is really down deep and only a thorough flushing will get the job done. Encapsulant paints will help - eventually.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ccarlisle View Post
Whereas I can agree with some of what is being posted on this subject, there are a few things I would like to question...first, urine. It is indeed acidic when fresh but becomes the opposite of acidic due to its breakdown by bacteria. Thus fresh urine is treated differently than old urine.

So...the opposite of 'acidic' is 'alkalotic'? I love new words. Makes scrabble a load of fun! So, "alkaline", an adjective which describes the properties of certain chemical compounds to breakdown into hydroxyl radicals in solution is no longer is use? perhaps it just seems so..."overused". But I refrain from inventing new words as much as I can - especially when talking about chemicals, where numbers and alphabetical letter describe every matter that we know about. Accuracy matters!

And sodium bicarbonate...is that really "HCO3"? where's the 'sodium' and the 'bi'? Indeed that's the stuff you sprinkle on carpets...for deodorizing with offensive perfumes. It's NaHCO3 in fact.

Well enough playing around...in actual fact urine is a complex cocktail of fats, hormones, medicines sometimes, salts, colours, waste products of this or that type - but it ain't no oil. That's why it's so hard for professional odour technicians to completely eradicate it. Sometimes you use basic compounds, sometimes acidic, sometimes solvents, enzymes, antibacterials, sometimes reducing agents and often oxidizing agents, like hydrogen peroxide. Sometimes all of the above...Just keep on treating those smelly areas until it's gone.

Because that's what urine is made of.

As for the concrete floor, needless to say, it absorbs very well indeed. Urine is really down deep and only a thorough flushing will get the job done. Encapsulant paints will help - eventually.
You are correct in that NaHCO3 is sodium bicarb. I was thinking of the gas exchange in the respiratory cycle.

Was in the process of running out the door when I typed alcolotic.

Gosh, I am not perfect, imagine that. I thank you for pointing this out.

Is this an alpha dog thing??
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:26 PM   #7
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seal odors in conrete floor


I vote for the continuing use of enzymes to eat the odor. Try Odormute, available online from gun dog specialties. Mix it per instructions and keep it moist for as long as is practical. It killed the cat pee odor that was imbedded in the subfloor of my current home.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:55 AM   #8
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seal odors in conrete floor


An enzyme treatment should remove a lot of the odor. The only thing that will actually seal it is shellac. You'll have to use a clear shellac if you are planning on leaving the floor bare or a pigmented shellac primer like Zinsser BIN if you plan to paint over it.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:31 AM   #9
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seal odors in conrete floor


Marvin:-

"Is this an alpha dog thing??" Are you implying I am knocking you?

Nope, not a domination thing...nowhere close even. And I'm sorry you feel slighted enough to ask this.

Fact is, that chemistry is what I was trained so many years for, so, by nature, I am a nut when it comes to people making light of chemical terms and then broadcasting them to an uncertain public. I am just fortunate enough to be in touch with the domain - every day almost - in my professional life. So, I have long past the days when I questioned everything I was told about chemistry and have already proven to myself the facts that I now 'know'.

Furthermore, instead of just keeping it all to myself, I participate in these bbs on a volunteer basis, offering the knowledge and insight that I have either gained by training, or acquired by learning. In this respect I am no different from the dozens of professionals who do the same - donate their knowledge to others.

It is never intended as a put-down to those who know less and I just hope you don't feel that way. I have never looked down my nose at anyone who doesn't have a certain 'knowledge'...but I'll tell ya, where I do have problems is with those who don't try to better themselves by going and finding out. Or, coming in a close second, I have issues with people in a position of authority who pass on information that has not been verified beforehand.

So, in this context, Marvin, I dont have a bone to pick with you, I do have issues with your statements that urine is acidic, that a product can be 'alkalotic' or that sodium bicarbonate is HCO3. They are wrong and I corrected them...that's all. In fairness, I do like reading your posts as they reflect the experience you obviously have in your own domain.

The 'alpha dog' analogy is wrong too; I am not trying to enter into a pissing match with anyone on these boards, I don't know you, and therefore I have no inate desire to be better than you. Not my nature, not my style and I don't have time to waste on that type of game. I am in my 50s, I do quite well for myself professionally, am happily married for 28 years now, and have long passed the time when I need to conquer everything to prove my self-worth, either to me or to others. I speak to my customers - new and old - on a daily basis and have been doing so since 1990. Right now I am involed in stone restoration, but I operate under water damage restoration as this encompasses all the fields I get involved in from deodorization to construction.

I also clean oriental rugs in our plant as part of my day-to-day operations; this might not sound like a big deal, but if you do this and ignore urine chemistry, you wouldn't have been doing this for so long. So, I have an edge on most people when it comes time to talk about animal urine.

Doesn't mean that I put them down...not a bit.
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Last edited by ccarlisle; 10-09-2008 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:14 PM   #10
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seal odors in conrete floor


Thanks to everyone for the input. Sounds like trying to "devour" the residue with something is the consensus. I am still curious whether or not something like "Drilock" would seal the concrete(it seals moisture out, which I am also somewhat interested in, why not the odor too?).

ccarlisle,
Thanks for the clarification of some of the details. I also deal with oriental rugs and we have a cleaning plant. Urine stains being one of the most difficult things which we face, I appreciate your background in that regard.

Best to all of you and thanks again for taking your time to help.

ejpopow

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