So What’s the Big Deal About… Pet Urine?
Our pets don’t understand why we make such a big deal of a little urine on the carpet. To animals, urine is an important social tool that is used as a calling card, mate attractant or a territorial warning. Urine lets other members of the species know important information regarding their gender, age and health.
Animal urine is a rather benign substance. When it leaves a healthy animal it is sterile. In small amounts and low concentration, the odor and appearance may be undetectable. Still, any urine deposit on carpet should be treated appropriately.
If you are lucky enough to catch the animal in the act, you can pour salt liberally onto the urine while it is still wet. Use enough salt to completely cover the spot. The salt will absorb and neutralize the urine. Let it dry for 8-12 hours and vacuum it away.
But most of the time, the urine is already dry by the time we find it. Applying a neutral carpet cleaning agent, gentle agitation and a thorough rinse may be enough to treat light urine deposits. Finish the job by placing a folded white towel on the area. Set a weight, such as an unwanted book on the towel and leave overnight. The remaining moisture and residue will wick into the towel.
Once urine contamination has reached the point that it has penetrated the carpet and the underlying pad, removal of the odor becomes more difficult. Heavy urine deposits are much more challenging to treat and you will need the help of Clean Pro. Why? Because urine undergoes a dramatic chemical change as it ages. The water in the urine evaporates and leaves behind organic compounds that become more and more concentrated.
Bacteria begin to consume the urine and break down the proteins, sugars and other organics. During this process the bacteria secrete ammonia and a strong, pungent odor becomes apparent. The urine turns from a mild acid to a strong alkali. This strong alkaline deposit attacks the dyes in some carpets. Over time, the dyes can be weakened or removed, causing permanent color-loss.
The adhesives used in the carpet backing can be dissolved, and the carpet can literally fall apart. Permanent damage to wood subfloors will also result from deep penetration of concentrated urine deposits, requiring additional expensive repairs. The most critical action to prevent permanent damage is to act quickly when you notice a urine spot.
Clean Pro has several techniques available to clean and deodorize pet contamination. In addition, there are different cleaning and deodorizing agents in our arsenal. The decision of which methods and agents to use will depend on several factors; the amount of contamination present, the depth of penetration, the construction of the carpet, the fiber content, the installation method, the sub-floor type and the size of the affected area must all be considered.
There are times when the damage is too severe and the best option is to replace the carpet. In such situations, we can assist by decontaminating and sealing the sub-floor and adjacent materials with a specialized odor-counteracting sealer so that the new carpet does not inherit the old odor problem.
If you have a pet odor problem, the best action is to call Clean Pro for a professional assessment of the situation. We are experts at handling difficult odor problems and can help you choose the solution that is right for you.