Noticing an conspicuous smell of pet urine lately? As warm weather approaches, pet odors that seemed to have disappeared in the winter have resurfaced with a vengeance! What is going on? This is a common occurrence and one that makes logical sense once you understand what urine is and how it works. Pet urine is comprised of waste material such as water, salt, fats and oils. Over time, the water evaporates leaving behind the heavier components.
When this happens repeatedly, the salt content builds up in the carpet backing and even into the subfloor. As the humidity rises, the salt absorbs the moisture from the air and bacteria begins to grow. This gives off a gas which we generally find unappealing. In drier months, particularly when we run our heating systems, the salt becomes dry and is not condusive to bacterial growth. This explains why the odors seem to come and go! Until you remove the salt and oils that build up in the backing and pad, you can never totally remove the odor. Carpet cleaning will remove the deposits left on the surface but does not reach down into the backing and pad, much less the subfloor underneath. This is why carpet cleaning is ineffective in removing many pet odors and can actually cause the odor to increase as it adds moisture to the environment!
And don’t fall for the add-on sales of “deodorizers” which only act as a masking agent or perfume to cover the odor temporarily. When these oil or water based perfumes evaporate so does the masking effect, leaving the pet odor once again! So what can you do? Simple, remove the source of the odor. Whether dog urine, cat urine or skunk spray, as long as the salts and oils remain, the odor will remain with it. There are a couple of ways to go about this. You may remove the padding, clean the subfloor, replace the affected padding and clean the front and back of the carpet. This is the traditional way to remove odor but can be costly, impracticle and time consuming. Another way is the way we remove odor at Exceptional Carpet Cleaning. We pour hot, oxygenated enzymes and odor encapsulants into the affected areas, allow time for the salts and oils to be neutralized and then remove the liquid using flood extraction equipment. We acheive amazing results with this method! In future blogs I will address how we find hidden urine to ensure all odors are effectively neutralized. Until then, feel free to look at our pet odor section of our website to learn more about this state of the art process peformed by IICRC certified Odor Control Technicians!