So you think you can call a carpet cleaner and the odor and urine stains will be gone…?
Nope… in fact cleaning your carpets will make the problem worse…have you tried this before?
Understanding what your up against is the key to knowing how to over come this difficult problem.
Let us start with the basic description of the problem.
When your pet; dog, cat, bunny ferret or unruly room mate urinates in your home, especially on carpet or flooring, the urine load dries (fries) into a form of salt (salvine)… if you simply try to steam-clean or hot water extract, you will simply load the descant like urine salts with moisture that will evaporate and off gas organic vapours filling your indoor environment with the unpleasant odor of pee (urine)…. In fact, doing so will magnify the problem.
The reason is because salts (urine salts) from urine contamination are hydrophilic (water attractive) certain indoor environment conditions will allow the moisture held by theses urine salts to be released back into the air and therefore you will smell pee. After a period of time you may become climatized or nose blind to it, but your guests’ will smell it the moment they walk in for that dinner party your hosting.
Urine salts absorb moisture from the air when its humid and release the same moisture back into the air on dryer days. That is why some days it smells and some days it does not.
If you call a carpet cleaner, they will be glad to take your hard-earned money but will not be able to solve the problem, because the steam-cleaning/hot water extraction process will load the urine salts with moisture often resulting in intensifying the problem for weeks to come. Also, capillary action/wicking will excessively pronounce the yellow staining in carpets and flooring adding cosmetically unsightly spots in the affected areas.
So – here is the proper way to eliminate urine contamination:
- Urine contamination needs to be identified – the best way to do so is to inspect the area with a black light as urine will glow when subject to ultraviolet light. Mark the spots with painters masking tape.
- Disengage the carpet to expose the under-pad. Cut out the under-pad and throw it away. Seal the substrate. For wooden plywood sheeting using a smoke seal/alkyd primer sealer or encapsulant. If it is a concrete substrate, seal with a concrete sealer.
- Treat the carpet backing with a urine neutralizer or an enzyme digester which will consume and/or neutralize the urine salts.
- Steam-clean the face pile of the carpet while using a urine decontamination surfactant formulated specifically for the task at hand.
- While the cleaning process is being executed, incorporate negative air scrubbers with lay flat disposable ducting to extract the airborne pollutants to the exterior of the dwelling and/or incorporate dehumidifiers with charcoal filters to filter and remove moisture laden air that will be produced during the hot water extraction/steam-cleaning process.
- Install new under-pad as required. Re-stretch/re-install the carpet.
- Steam-clean the carpet to remove contaminates from the face pile.
- Finally, remaining spots/discolorations can, in most cases be treated with products that incorporate stabilized bleach technology like “Esteem Chemicals” brand “Vanish.”
Except, Wait …. Sometimes the above-described procedure can exceed the value of the carpet/flooring. But you will still have to seal the substrate before replacing the flooring.
A proper black light inspection is necessary to evaluate the scope of the damage so that you can direct your restoration in a fiscally responsible manor.
When in doubt…remember, our advice is always free!
Mark J. Gotro…CEO
AHERA Certified Building Inspector Certification #CABI-12-015
IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Supervisor – Certification #18597
HCR Master Restoration Specialist
HYDRACLEAN Disaster Restoration Services Ltd.
24hrs every day of the year – 1-877-91FLOOD – 1-877-913-5663