Blocking out pet urine smell from subfloor

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Old 06-02-19, 12:43 AM
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Blocking out pet urine smell from subfloor

Hi all, I'm new to this forum so pardon my ignorance. I am very new at DIY repairs. A while ago one of the rooms in our home started smelling odd. This room is rarely used. However the previous owner did have a pet. The room always smelled a bit odd after we moved in but we didn't care much about it because it wasn't used a whole lot. The smell did seem to get progressively worse. I am not sure if pet urine smells can suddenly get worse. Anyway, I suspect either pet urine or a dead animal in the wall. So I took the carpet off and sure enough there were a few stains on the carpet. However I think the smell has gotten into the subfloor because even after removing the carpet and the padding the smell still is around. I hoped it would've reduced at the very least.

I intend to use "Nature's Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator" and then simply use an Odor Killing primer to block the smell out before installing a new carpet. Does this seem like a good idea?

After taking off the carpet I see the subfloor has a lot of dried up paint. Should be cleaning that off before applying the primer? I've attached an image for reference.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 02:16 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

I don't know about the odor eliminator product but Zinnser's BIN does an excellent job of blocking/sealing stains and odors. It does need to be applied liberally. While it wouldn't hurt to remove any paint on the floor that comes up easily - that paint won't affect the application of BIN.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 10:25 AM
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Thanks I was planning to use this product: https://www.rustoleum.com/product-ca...killing-primer How does it compare to the one you suggested?
 
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Old 06-02-19, 01:42 PM
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I first use pet urine enzyme treatments and they work well. Then I coat the subfloor with almost any oil based stuff I have laying around. Oil based polyurethane, oil based paint, oil based stain blocking primer... They all do a good job of sealing the floor and preventing smells in the future. As a side benefit they also do a good job of protecting against future pet smells from getting into the flooring.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 03:34 PM
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If your subfloor shows any signs of swelling as a result of the urine, then replacement would be the recommendation. If not, encapsulating it with an oil based paint, primer, urethane is the way to go.
 
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Old 06-03-19, 02:56 AM
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I wouldn't trust any water based coating to permanently seal odors or stains.

As noted above, most any oil base coating will seal the odors but IF there is any doubt - use BIN as it has superior odor sealing properties.
 
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Old 06-03-19, 10:54 AM
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Zinsser makes good primers but I also am very hesitant to use anything water based when sealing stains or odors.
 
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Old 06-09-19, 10:41 PM
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Thanks all for your replies. Iíll go with Zinsser BIN. I have never applied a primer before let alone an oil based one. Do you have any words of advice or caution?
 
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Old 06-09-19, 11:21 PM
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It goes on very similar to regular paint, just don't use a brush or roller that is not disposable. Oil base rollers and brushes are tough to clean as you need a solvent (mineral spirits, paint thinner) to clean. I've always sacrificed my tools to the job and just thrown them out rather than bother to try to clean. So, advice is, don't use high end brushes or rollers to get the task done.
 
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Old 06-10-19, 03:07 AM
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BIN is alcohol based, not oil based. It has a stronger odor but dries a lot quicker. I normally use an old roller cover and toss it when I'm done. The important thing to remember is to apply a liberal fluid coat of primer. You want it coated well as the odor/stain could come thru any missed or extra thin spots of primer.
 
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Old 06-10-19, 06:12 AM
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I didnít realize BIN was alcohol based. I will give it a try and see how it goes. Thanks.
 
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Old 06-10-19, 06:15 AM
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You'll want plenty of fresh air ventilation. Now days I use a respirator when using anything other than small amounts of solvent based coatings indoors but I do suffer from occupational over exposure to solvents.
 
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Old 07-01-19, 01:35 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I used Zinsser BIN Shellac based primer. Although the tin doesn't specifically say it is used for sealing odors, I think it did the job. I am going to let it cure for a couple days before declaring victory.
 
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Old 08-21-19, 11:12 PM
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Unfortunately, the smell has not gone away. Does this mean I need to replace the subfloor? It is frustrating that I can't figure out where the smell is coming from. Before considering replacing the subfloor, should I repaint the room to eliminate the possibility the smell emanating from the walls?
 
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Old 08-22-19, 12:20 AM
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If you completely covered the floor with the BIN, I very much doubt that's the source of the odor. I would get a black light and see if that reveals anything - urine will fluoresce under black light and some animals have been known to spray pretty far up the walls.

That said, what's under this floor? If urine soaked far enough in, the other side could be emitting odor as well.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 01:50 PM
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I already tried a black light. Unfortunately the stains are not recent so I donít know how effective it would be in locating the source of the smell. I got a small light off of amazon so it may also not be very effective. If you have recommendations on a good black light please let me know.

The working theory I have at the moment is that the urine may have soaked through to the other side and the smell maybe coming in from between the cracks in the subfloor.

The other possibilities are 1) the smell is in the walls or 2) is trapped between the trim and the wall. 1) can be easily remedied by applying BIN and painting over. 2) needs removal/replacement of the trim and paint.

Any other ideas? Please help. This is driving me nuts.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 02:01 PM
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I suppose you could pull up a section of floor and see what you find out. BIN is normally real good at blocking odors and stains. Maybe pull a piece of base and check there also.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 08:05 PM
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I can definitely pull a piece of the base off. But I don't know how to put it back together. Is this something that an inexperienced person like me should be getting themselves into? I would be happy to employ a handyman but I think this issue requires investigation to accurately fix. If I knew what needed to be fixed perhaps a handyman would be the way to go?
 
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Old 08-23-19, 08:37 PM
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If the black light didn't show anything on the walls or trim, I suspect the odor is coming from the bottom of the flooring.
 
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Old 08-24-19, 02:35 AM
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IMO it's no big deal to remove a piece of base and reinstall it. If painted, you'd want to take a utility knife and cut any caulk or paint bond between the base and the wall. Putting a scrap piece of wood between what you use to pry with and the wall should prevent any damage to the wall. Going slow normally prevents any damage to the baseboard.
 
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Old 08-24-19, 12:22 PM
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If the smell is indeed coming from the bottom of the floor, what are my options?

marksr, I will try to remove the baseboard and check. I found this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIYpq0-zv_0 It doesn't tell me how to put it back on. Any advice on putting the baseboard back on?
 
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Old 08-24-19, 02:46 PM
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I have had to deal with similar situations a few times. Did not have to remove the flooring to fix it thou.

Don't forget to check other areas of the same room.

Also when you get the baseboards pried off - and somebody here will help you get them back on - pull those tack strips up and seal that area also.

If you plan to paint that room anyway, put some of that primer up the wall a few feet and see if that helps.
 
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Old 08-25-19, 02:29 AM
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Any advice on putting the baseboard back on?
That is fairly simple, you'd want to clean up the base [remove excess caulk. etc] and just nail it in place. Finish off with caulking the joints and puttying the nail holes.
 
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