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Old 06-24-2010, 10:01 PM   #1
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Should I replace my plywood subfloors?

Hi theere,

I've ripped up the carpet in my living room and found some issues with the plywood subfloor (see pictures). The previous owner had a lot of pets so the place had an odor. I figured removing the carpet and padding would do the trick but the smell is still there. I washed the plywood with bleach/water mix and was about to paint over it with Kilz but after reading some posts in this forum I'm thinking I should replace it. To me it looks like it's not just pet stains but also water damage / mold near the baseboards. The floor is solid, dry to the touch but it smells where you see stains. Do you think I should replace it to be safe? I plan on installing hardwood floors.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 06-24-2010, 10:07 PM   #2
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Sorry to say, I agree----If you cleaned,bleached and Kilzed it and can still smell it--
I sure wouldn't want to risk putting an expensive floor on top--only to find the smell comes back.

Have fun with that!---Mike---


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Old 06-24-2010, 10:10 PM   #3
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i would replace the flooring, pet smell wont cover up
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:02 PM   #4
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Wait a minute....

Wait....not so fast.

Removing the subfloor is not so simple and it's lots of work too. The walls are built over the subfloor. Did anyone think of that? You can't very easily or safely remove the subfloor near the walls, and that's where most pets "mark" their territory, I believe. I'd think about this a little more if the floor is not damaged structurally.

You should consider this Zinsser product for the floors, it works well for pet smells. It's also available in spray so you can remove the base moldings and spray that area too.

TILE GUY - retired- TROY, MI - Method & Product suitability consulting.

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Old 06-24-2010, 11:10 PM   #5
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No way would I replace the subfloor. Go to a pet store and get a good expensive enzymatic pet odor treatment. Soak the floor with it. It will take a couple weeks for the enzymes to totally do there thing. Then seal the floor with kilz or other good sealer.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm still undecided on what to do so I'm going to have an expert take a look at it. I'll let you know what he recommends.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:14 PM   #7
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A restoration guy tells me that shellac will seal the floor as good as Kilz, only cheaper.
The ads in my post are there without my permission. I do not endorse any of the products.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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plywood replace

kilz will work fine. i have used it on pet stains. there are cheaper alternates but could leave different odors. biggest thing would be to make sure all the plywood is SOLID.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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You can not simply "seal-out" the odors. Kilz is shellac by the way.

You can first do as suggested and use an enzyme product to neutralize the odors. You could aslo use a product called Micro-Ban.

Replacing the subfloor isn't at all necessary and would be a bad move. The floor would never be the same again structurally.


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