Cat Urine Damage


Old 04-15-04, 12:56 AM
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Angry Cat Urine Damage

Ok, here is my story...

I am attempting to reclaim/remodel a small 11x11 bedroom in my girlfriend’s condo. The problem is, the bedroom has acted as an unsanctioned auxiliary litter box for her cat. The room was used for storage, so his (the cat's) program of 'free range' urination went too long without notice. Naturally, when the problem was discovered, we employed every method of odor removal, stain removal, and enzymatic urine eaters we could find on the market. To no avail, the odor remained, and he happily continued contribute to the problem. So, I quarantined the room and recalibrated the cat (not 100% success, but a definite improvement). However, the problem of the urine damage (odor mostly) remains.

This room is on the second story of a two story condo build in the mid 1980's. The unit below us belongs to another person, not us. The exposed part of the floor appears to be poured. It was poured after the sheetrock was installed as evidenced by the ˝” deep groove around the perimeter that remained after I removed the urine soaked drywall. The floor has a cement/concrete-like appearance, but is much softer; it crumbles easily on the tip of a screwdriver. It is also very porous.

This is what I have done so far:
(1) I removed the carpet, the padding and the tack strips
(2) I removed the baseboards, the bottom 12” of drywall around the entire perimeter, and the door trim in one of the most affected areas
(3) I soaked and scrubbed the floor with pine sol, and later bleach (that almost killed me ... both times)
(4) I coated the floor with a kind of epoxy overcoat; the kind used to seal garage floors. I later had to remove this coating because it did not work (odor seeped through) and its removal was a prerequisite for the next step.
(5) I primed and painted the entire perimeter (affected areas) with Behr “1-part epoxy” acrylic concrete and garage floor paint. (3 coats). I also put a layer on the exposed part of the frames (ref #2 above)

After this, and after a full year of airing out, the odor, although diminished, still remains. As a matter of fact, you can see where the urine is seeping through (dry, crystals) and the paint is already cracking and peeling.

I am nearly out of ideas.

I have, recently, noticed that the paint I used in step #5 above is “water based” (ref. post Subfloor cleaning and sealing from JBird2188). So, perhaps“oil based” paint would do the trick. I am not sure of anything at this point. Who would have believed how indelible cat urine odor could be.

Hence, I am open to and hopeful for any suggestions. If the “oil-based” paint solution does not do the trick them I am out of ideas of my own. I suppose I could chunk-up the poured floor itself and have it re-poured (cost??). Then, as Murphy will surely have his way, the wood sub-floor below it will also need to be replaced. I guess I’d rather not go that route if I don’t have to.

I am completely open to and hopeful for any good advice.
Please help!!
Old 04-16-04, 08:45 AM
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I hear ya!

I had a tenant with 4 cats who did not believe in litter in the litter box. The smell was really nasty. Plus I had a cat with cancer and she just couldn't get to the box in time.

I've never tried this before, but I've read on the Purina web site that cat urine glows in the dark with a black light. If it works, maybe it'll help pin point the exact problem areas. Although it sounds really far out to me.

What I like to use with cat odor problems is this:

First you spray white vinegar liberally all over the place. It neutralizes amonia, and doesn't smell nice to cats at all. So in theory they don't go again.

After it's all sprayed, powder it up with baking soda. You should get a bunch of bubbles. Lots of fun. Plus, since baking soda is a salt, it's soaks up the liquid and the smell with it. Let it sit for a while then clean it up with a wet vac.

Do this twice. Then, wash the floor with laundry detergent. I usually use the dry stuff, I don't know if the liquid works. That should clear it up. It's always worked for me.

Tell me how it goes.
Old 04-17-04, 01:05 PM
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Thank you very much for your reply.

Actually, I can confirm the claim about the blacklight. The cat urine spots have a kind of mid-amber glow, not very bright, but surely noticeable. And, it's not only cat urine that glows, almost all stains do. I bought a black light a few months ago just on curiousity - quite an eye opener.

I havent tried the vinegar trick yet; I tried baking soda w/o vinegar, but not both. I will try it today. However, i have a question: When you say the baking soda "soaks up the liquid" do you mean the urine or the vinegar?

Anyway, I will give it a shot and let you know how it goes.

Again, thank you very much for your help!!

Best regards,

Old 04-18-04, 08:41 AM
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baking soda

Baking soda is a salt, therefore it absorbs moisture of all kinds.

Ancient Egyptians used differents kinds of salt for mummification. That's how the bodies got dried up, not because of the weather. They would put the corpse is a "salt bath".

So if you leave baking soda all obver the floor, all the moisture in the floor with get trapped in the baking soda. You clean that up, and that takes the amonia/cat piss with it. Then you spray the vinegar, it neutralizes the amonia. Then more baking soda, to sop up the mess. Use a wet vac.

After that, clean it up with laundry detergent. Use lots, laundry detergent is made specifically for destroying odors. The cool part is it won't bubble up too much and won't leave a sticky mess like normal soap would.

I hope I cleared it up all right.

Good luck!
Old 06-24-04, 03:31 PM
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It's been a while so I'm not sure if you've taken care of your problem yet, but I wanted to say that when we moved into our house there were some rooms with a lot of cat urine damage. I removed carpet, padding and strips and washed the floor, let dry and then put a couple coats of oil-based "Kilz" on it. Maybe the damage wasn't as bad as you're describing, but ours was bad enough that the subfloor had lots of BLACK spots all around the perimeter (it was really GROSS and I'm really afraid of ever getting a cat ever since this traumatic experience of dealing with cat urine) - but anyway, that took care of the problem! I didn't remove baseboards but did wash them and painted the walls.

I think if this doesn't work and based on what you've tried, you may need to totally remove the subfloor and replace it.
Old 07-03-04, 07:15 PM
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you should never clean a spot where a cat has urinated with ammonia or mimics their urine and just draws them back.. the vinegar is a great way to start..there is a very strong bacterial eaters/enzyme cleaner on the market for biologicals. i am not sure if it is okay to post brand names so if you want the name email me and i will give it to you.. it is expensive but it works very well. i had a cat who was very old and got very incontininet in a section of a spare room. it got on the floor and furniture and this cleaner worked on both. the black light does work to identify where the urine is and you can get small portable black lights for cheap at pet stores.

i am curious what this paint is called kilz? is it a sealant or what?
Old 07-06-04, 11:32 PM
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Kilz is an oil based primer and sealer which works wonders on water stains and such and to a slightly lesser degree on pet accidents. It's widely available here in the mid-west at lumber yds, home centers, and even wally world.
Old 03-25-08, 04:04 AM
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Try using a shelac based primer. It's what they use to seal framing etc. after a fire to eliminate smoke smell.

I've used it to seal framing in my house that had been soaked in rodent "fluids".

It works well. Good luck.
Old 03-25-08, 04:54 AM
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Hi KM 598, and welcome to the DIY Forums!

It's great that you posted a "help" on your first visit. Let's hope, though, the original author of that question has solved his problem by now.
Old 03-25-08, 07:24 PM
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Man I hope that floor doesn't still stink!

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