Pet Urine Stains & Odors Removal
Pet Urine Stages
Cleaning a carpet with significant amounts of pet stains can be a tough challenge in carpet cleaning. Pet urine, when it is fresh, is fairly easy to remove. With enough time, however, urine passes from a primary stage of decomposing to a secondary stage and is more difficult to clean. Fresh urine in the primary stage is in an acid state with few bacteria. The warm, moist acid state allows bacteria to multiply, and bacteria change the urine to an insoluble salt. The secondary stage of decomposing, after the water evaporates, leaves highly alkaline urine salts, which normal carpet cleaning products will not easily dissolve. Pet urine causes both appearance and odor problems. The alkaline urine salts contain ammonia, which can cause a loss of color in textile fibers. Urine salts are also hygroscopic, meaning they attract moisture, and humidity, which helps release odors to the atmosphere.
Inspecting the Problem
How deep did the urine penetrate?
Urine stains visible on the surface of a carpet are like the tip of an iceberg. Most of the urine will soak through the carpet into the padding and onto the subfloor.
How far did the urine spread?
A spot on top of the carpet about 2 square feet in size could mean 6 to 8 square feet of urine on the back of the carpet, 10 to 12 square feet on the carpet pad, and 14 to 16 square feet on the subfloor.
How many animals caused the urine spots?
Of course, the number of animals in the home will affect how much urine may need to be cleaned. Another factor is how often the animal may have urinated? Animals are creatures of habit and will mark their territory and return to the same location to urinate again.
What kind of animal caused the urine spots?
Male animals tend to urinate around the perimeter of areas, while female animals tend to urinate in open areas.
Locating the Problem
Finding the source of a urine odor is a first step in controlling the problem. There are a few methods used to locate areas that have been affected by pet urine.
Use your nose.
The human nose is not the most scientific detection method, but it is usually how we begin to locate odors.
Use a black light to detect urine stains.
Darken the room as much as possible, turn the lights off, and close drapes or blinds. Urine stains will appear as yellow spots under a black (ultraviolet) light.
A moisture sensor or a non-penetrating moisture meter might work to detect stains.
Urine salts absorb moisture out of the air and stay damp. A moisture sensor or a non-penetrating moisture meter should detect this moisture.
High intensity light might reveal damage.
Discolorations from color loss or buildup of soils may be noticeable. You can also check the carpet backing to see if there are any stains. This will require you to disengage carpet from the tack strip.
There is No Guarantee
The amount of effort required to remove pet stains and odors may result in the treatment costing more than the affected material is worth. Urine that has been in a carpet for a long time will cause permanent stains and there is no guarantee that the stain or odor can be completely removed. Pet urine odors will most likely return if animals are still in house!
Treatment for Pet Urine Stains and Odors
To treat pet urine stains, you should follow three basic steps:
- Neutralize the urine residues.
- Sanitize the affected area.
- Deodorize the malodors.
The alkaline urine salts can damage the dye sites of nylon fibers and damage wool fibers. As a pretreatment, clean affected areas with an acidic pH to neutralize the salts. SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle has professional cleaning products that will treat fabrics exhibiting color change due to high alkalinity. These products will neutralize the fabric and often return colors to normal.
Sanitize the Area
Urine stains are perfect host sites for bacteria. The associated odors are primarily caused by the action of the bacteria. Sanitizing the area might involve eliminating any materials serving as a food source for bacteria. Removing waste materials that are a source of odor is a basic step in any deodorization task. Urine-saturated carpet padding is often removed and replaced.
Sanitizing might also involve the application of an odor neutralizer that sanitizes the area of a carpet where applied. SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle has professional cleaning products that are effective on a wide range of malodors, including urine, and is effective for porous surfaces much as carpets.
After the cleaning procedures to neutralize and sanitize, counteract any remaining malodors. The deodorization task is sometimes challenging because affected materials are multilayered. Enzyme agents are a common deodorization product used by SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle’s cleaning professionals to eliminate odors from organic residues, including pet urine stains. The enzymes “digest” the residues and convert them to water-soluble compounds.
If you have already used a lot of detergents and spot removers, the carpet may need to be rinsed thoroughly with clean water before applying the enzymes. After the enzymes have had time to digest the soils, thoroughly rinsing the carpet with a hot water extract.
Heavy Pet Urine Odors on Carpet
If the pet urine odor in your carpet is bad, you may need to pull and discard the carpet along with the pad. The subfloor will need to be thoroughly cleaned and then clean water rinsed. After thoroughly drying the subfloor, a sealant should be applied. The sealant will lock in the odors so they will not wick back out. Once the pet urine odors are no longer detected, install the new carpet and padding.
Methods of Deodorizing the Residual Odor in the Air
An ozone machine can be run to treat any residual odor in the air. Evacuate the people, plants and pets from the area before ozoning. After ozoning, ventilate your home with fans to bringing fresh air in.
HVAC Duct Cleaning
Odor problems may reoccur within a few days after cleaning. Since the basic principle of deodorization is to remove as much of the source of the odor as possible, you might have to repeat the cleaning procedure to remove more residue. Remember, most of the urine deposits are in the carpet backing and pad.
Need Cleaning Services?
Call SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle Today – (302) 392-6000
Why Choose SERVPRO of Bear / New Castle?
SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle has the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odors, and determining the conditions where it contacts surfaces, the odors can often be removed over time without a trace. Our technicians have access to several odor removal products capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly.