Sunroom - smells like cat urine but no cat!

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  #41  
Old 05-31-10, 04:01 AM
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Hi Mark, and thanks.

To keep my initial post brief, I left out that I had alerted the landlord, but only after I began treating the problem. He was completely surprised by what I was reporting and claims he and his wife didn't own a pet. But - as I said - this odor covered quite a large area (and it also appears in a much smaller area in another room). I do wonder whether he's being truthful, however, because he lied to me about something else. (He missed my first call and later said it was because he was outside having a cigarette. It was during a later conversation that he said they didn't own a pet and... that he and his wife were non-smokers. Hello. )

The landlord did say, however, that I could treat the problem and deduct the cost from my rent that month. But he wasn't expecting 10 bottles of 'Urine Eliminator' at $10 a pop. He will no longer cover any costs associated with the problem, even if I decide to replace the carpet. He steadfastly denies there was any issue involving urine (pet or otherwise), but I'm in my 50s, and I have never known anything that smells like urine and isn't urine (especially in one specific area of a carpet). If I'm wrong about that, though... if there is something else than can smell like urine (for example, mold), I'd much rather think that was the problem.

The last thing I want is trouble, but if it does come down to replacing the carpet and the installers find what they believe to be urine underneath, then me and the landlord will be going round and round.
 
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  #42  
Old 06-01-10, 05:54 AM
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Yes, the very first thing I was going to mention before reading any replies was mildew. Sometimes it can smell very much like cat urine. I would suspect that first, personally.
 
  #43  
Old 06-01-10, 10:07 AM
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Hi Jeff...

Well, I should clarify that this urine smell does not smell specifically like cat urine. I've owned cats in the past (but not here) and I know what that smells like. This is not quite the same. Excuse me, folks, but it smells more like human urine. And, as I said earlier, it appears in some specific areas but not others. Also, when I used 'Urine Eliminator,' it transferred a yellow-gold color from under the blue carpet to the white towels I laid on top. Do you think it could still be mildew? And, if so, would a good cleaning by a machine help or make it worse?

Thanks for your help.
 
  #44  
Old 06-01-10, 08:30 PM
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I didn't think it smelled exactly like cat urine - mildew doesn't smell exactly like cat urine. But if it smells more like human urine, that smell does not seem similar to mildew to me.

According to the instructions for Urine Eliminator, it would appear to be an enzyme product (keep a damp towel over the areas, etc.) If it is, then I don't see why a yellow color would seep through, but maybe just due to the amount of water in it, it might. I saw one package that came with a UV light detector as part of the kit - did yours? That should give you some clues.
 
  #45  
Old 06-02-10, 10:28 AM
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I have a blacklight, and it doesn't yield any clues. But I'm wondering - if the carpets were cleaned before I moved in, would that have removed whatever the blacklight would have otherwise revealed? Again, I hope the problem is mildew and not urine, but I can't explain the yellow coloring that 'Urine Eliminator' pulled from the carpet despite there not being any visible stain on the surface.

Very puzzling indeed.
 
  #46  
Old 06-04-10, 07:26 PM
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Room smells like cat urine but no cat

I have a similar problem as the sunroom, we recently renovated our basement this year, floor is commerical flooring right on top of the cement, we use commerical tile glue. The room never smelled until this spring. We have a small dog but he never went into that bedroom. It smells like cat urine, we smelled, and searched EVERYTHING, we can't find the cause. It's driving us nuts.......what do we do?
 
  #47  
Old 06-05-10, 04:46 AM
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Welcome to the forums bncdiabo!

How old is the house? do you know if there was a vapor barrier installed under the slab when it was built? Was there a moisture test done on the slab prior to covering it?
 
  #48  
Old 11-13-10, 09:15 AM
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Eliminate cat pee

This is an old thread but I'll add my info anyway if it might be of help. The original poster said they bought all new items used. So I'm not sure if they were new or used, but, the drywall if it was used or even new and was stored upright and a cat peed on the intersection of the drywall and the floor the pee would be wicked up into the drywall. We bought a house with this problem (the prior owners had 7 cats in the house for 10 years and let them pee in the house).

The first day in the house we removed all carpeting and pad in every room. Then we kept cleaning and cleaning to no avail. We realized the pee was saturated into the plywood subfloor and wicked up into the drywall in every room. Some rooms worse than others. We had to cut out 4" of drywall from the floor up in every room of the house. We use a solution of peroxide with dawn soap and baking soda at first, (see below) that did help, but was not enough. You might try it first before going to bleach. The peroxide recipe works good on dogs that get sprayed with skunks too.

Cat Urine Smell Removal Ingredients
2 tsp. baking soda
2 small drops liquid dish washing soap (Dawn, Palmolive, etc.)
16 oz. (2 cups) hydrogen peroxide

This solution worked, but not well enough. We ended up using bleach - full strength on the wood. We would pour it along the wall/floor edge in every room wearing masks and eye covering and then run out of the house for at least four hours with windows left open. The bleach finally did the trick. We had to do it about 5-6 times if I remember correctly letting it dry up over night and redo again the next day.

We cut out the 4" up of drywall - we cut and cut until you could not see yellow anymore. We saturated the corners of the floor and the joists with the bleach and then we would leave it till the next day. We kept doing this many times until when I did the hands and knees smell test my head did not jerk back and then we did it two more times. We let it all dry for several days and then painted Kilz over the exposed joist and out about 3" from the intersection of floor with wall onto the plywood flooring. We painted up the exposed wood on the wall and then hired a professional drywaller to replace the removed drywall.

We do not have any cat smell anymore. We've been in the house for 10 years since we had to do this horrendous job (our choice - we bought the house with this problem). Also, we had juniper bushes out in front of the house lining the edge of the driveway and they got pulled out the first week because they naturally spell like cat pee. HTH somebody.
 
  #49  
Old 09-19-11, 02:39 PM
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Cat Pee Smell - New construction- No cat

We also have an intermittent cat pee smell in part of a new addition to our home. Our home was built in the 1930's and has been added onto several times, The odd thing is we have no cats and the smell is only in part of the new addition. I have done the sniff test. It comes from the floor but is not the hardwood as the same wood was used in the entire addition and only part smells. Also, one new room was biilt on a slab does and it does not smell.

Because the smell is isolated (again no cat or possibility of a cat) I think it may be the sub-floor. The smell is only in the areas where the builderused new subflooring. Is there a problem with sub flooring which was produced in or around 2009?
 
  #50  
Old 09-19-11, 03:30 PM
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That is very interesting. Especially since all new materials were used, and it was a brand new room that was built. Perhaps a stray cat did get loose inside- maybe while it was being built?
 
  #51  
Old 09-19-11, 03:42 PM
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Welcome to the forums pearl2!

You say the addition is on a slab, was the subfloor installed over the slab ??
 
  #52  
Old 09-21-11, 05:09 AM
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We extended the master bath, added an exercise room and put antique heart pine in the adjacent master bedroom and the dressing area. The exercise room is on slab. Everything else is on sealed, conditioned crawl space. The exercise room (on the slab) does not have the smell, nor does the master bedroom. It seems to start where the old subfloor ended and the new begun. We are baffled but not ready for a drastic remedy yet.
 
  #53  
Old 09-21-11, 05:14 AM
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Have you went into the crawlspace to check firsthand that there isn't anything down there you can attribute the smell too?
 
  #54  
Old 09-28-11, 05:49 PM
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Hi, if you had cat urine on your carpet and you cleaned the carpet you may have forced the urine through into any padding beneath the carpet face, in UK we have foam back which is like a sponge attached to the carpet or underlay separate padding laid under the carpet. Usually white vinegar is very good at removing cat urine smell but there are lots of proprietary sprays or solutions containing enzymes which eat the bacteria caused by cat urine. I would recommend treating the backing first even removing contaminated underlay, use the enzymes first on the backing let it dry refit carpet then clean using hot water extraction, a good tip spray the carpet face with enzymes and also a degreaser leave it for 20 minutes then using the HWE machine fill with warm water and add white vinegar this will help neutralise any alkalinity caused by the enzymes and degreaser leaving carpet fibres feeling fresher. If there is residual smell in a room use an ozone machine to completely eliminate any air bound smells.
 
  #55  
Old 10-03-11, 06:33 PM
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Wild goose chase

My wife and I bought our first house last July. The owner had a few cats and the carpets were filthy. We removed the carpets and had the oak floors underneath refininshed. We also removed the wood paneling on the first floor and installed new drywall with new paint. The living room is the first room of the house and it stinks like cat pee at random times. The smell was actually stronger when it's cooler outside. I checked the crawlspace, the attic, and the outside surrounding area. Finally, I saw the posts about possible electrical issues. We had ceiling fans intalled in the bedrooms and living room a month after moving in. I realized that it smelled more when cool because the fan was off, windows closed, and lights on. Turned the lights off for an hour and the smell was gone!! Checked the Internet for fan reviews and found that many people had the same issue with the same fan. It took months to finally figure it out and I wouldn't have without this forum. Thanks a million!!!!!!
 
  #56  
Old 10-08-11, 10:31 AM
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CAT URINE SMELL AFTER RAIN... I thought that I must have a leak in the roof because it only happened after rain. We finally figured it out. Local tomcat routinely marks our front door. We dont smell that on a dry day. It rains, the door gets wet, the
urine gets solubilized and volatized. Wow! Cat piss! Once it gets into the AC vents it goes everywhere and you can no longer localize the smell with your nose. Do this: thoroughly WET the suspect door/area. WAIT 20 MINUTES, AS THIS HAPPENS SLOWLY. Cat piss? Yep. You have found the source of the odor. The rest you know.
 
  #57  
Old 05-10-12, 06:10 PM
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Same thing has happened to me....just soundproofed our bedroom and repainted.....blue wall is fine, beige wall stinks like cat pee....spent $200 at the vet 2 weeks ago doing blood panel work for urinary tract infection...nothing. Manager at a store today said "yup...it is mold on your wall from the paint." which is *** and bought at ****(great store). My contractor never heard of it, but he is coming over tomorrow morning. IT IS MOLD. I am going to wash the walls with light bleach and put on Kilz paint for mold
 

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  #58  
Old 05-11-12, 04:26 AM
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Welcome to the forums Felicia!

I'm not aware of any primer that is for mold. The mold/mildew must be removed first. Some primers are better than others for hiding stains. Extra mildwcide can be added to primer/paint to help it combat mildew. Unless the latex paint stunk when the can was opened and the paint applied - the mold would not be from the paint! What is on the other side of that wall?
 
  #59  
Old 10-17-12, 08:24 AM
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More Solutions

Very good thread...keep it updated!! I isolated my problem (cats long since passed away), to a floor air-vent register. Only one, while on my hands and knees, smelled. The cat literally urinated IN THE REGISTER...stains visible. I then followed the steps from this home solution sight:
Cat Urine: Clean & Remove Cat Urine in Carpet* FREE Recipe
I haven't even finished step 2 and the "sopped up" paper towels smell horrendous. I will keep you posted after I finish step 3!! Very promising.
The following is copied from that website:
[SIZE=2]emoval of cat urine smells from your carpets is easy and inexpensive using this homemade cat urine removal recipe. It will clean and deodorize cat urine odors from your carpet or rugs without purchasing cat urine cleaning products. Below is our free cat urine removal home remedy recipe. All you pay for are the the ingredients, most of which you will already have in your house. The best news is that the ingredients are non toxic. You can deodorize and clean cat and pet urine odors and stains from your carpets and rugs using common household products.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]When a cat pees on rugs, carpets or furnishings it can leave a very unpleasant distinctive cat smell that is hard to get rid of. This urine odor stimulates the cat to urinate in that area again thus perpetuating the problem. Once you remove the odor permanently the cat will no longer keep going back to the same spot to re-offend.
[/SIZE]
Step 1.[SIZE=2] If the cat has recently urinated on the carpet, first absorb as much of the cat urine as possible using paper towels or an old towel. Place clean paper towels over the cat urine area and tread on them so as to absorb as much of the urine as possible. Repeat with dry towels until no more moisture can be absorbed.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Areas of cat urine that have dried and previously gone undetected can be found with the aid of a black light. The cat urine stains will fluoresce under the ultra violet light in a darkened room. Hand held black lights are quite inexpensive, usually costing between $15 - $25. To save the expense of a black light you can always use your nose to detect the source of the odor. Put your nose down close to the carpet and sniff away.
[/SIZE]
[TABLE="width: 100%"]
[TR]
[TD]Step 2.[SIZE=2] Next, wet the area with a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water. Make sure you use enough of the solution to penetrate the fibers deep down.[/SIZE][SIZE=2]After the vinegar treatment dry off the carpet as much as possible. You can assist drying by blotting with paper towels as described above. If you own a wet/dry vacuum extractor use that to remove excess moisture.[/SIZE]
Step 3.[SIZE=2] [/SIZE][SIZE=2]Apply a handful of baking soda over the affected area. Mix a quarter of a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and drizzle this solution over the baking soda. Alternatively you can use a spray bottle for the hydrogen peroxide solution.
(Do not use caustic detergent that you put in a dishwasher)[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Work it well into the carpet with a scrubbing brush, tooth brush or your fingers. Allow to dry.[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Once completely dry vacuum up the dried baking soda. Use a hard bristled brush to loosen up the baking soda if necessary. You can assist drying with a heater or a fan.[/SIZE]
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
[SIZE=2]That's all there is to it. It's as simple as that. 1-2-3 cat pee smell gone. It really does work.[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Caution[/SIZE][SIZE=2]: Do not use hydrogen peroxide that is stronger than [/SIZE][SIZE=2]3% [/SIZE][SIZE=2]or stronger than [/SIZE][SIZE=2]10 Volume. [/SIZE][SIZE=2]Bleaching may occur on some carpets with stronger solutions. [/SIZE][SIZE=2]A spot test in an inconspicuous area is advised.[/SIZE]
 
  #60  
Old 10-20-12, 01:20 PM
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We have the SAME problem each year when it is damp outside. We do have cats and assumed it was disgusting cat behavior, though we could never locate the exact source of the problem. It would start in the basement and soon it would permeate the whole house through the vents. GROSS! Eventually when the weather cleared up, the smell would go away. Since cat urine scent doesn't really fluctuate with the weather, we put two and two together and tried a dehumidifier. Much to our surprise and happiness, it worked. We were pulling two to three gallons of water out of the air each DAY! If we forget to empty it each day in the spring and fall, the dehumidifier shuts off automatically, and it isn't long before the smell is back. Recently we added onto our house and basement. We found that one dehumidifier was not enough to keep the smell at bay and purchased another one, which took care of the problem. I'm not sure what the source is but we are reasonably sure it is not cat urine (Our sweet, good cat would have to be awfully busy to make that kind of havoc in short order). We don't have carpet, and most of the basement is concrete floor. Maybe it's behind the sheet-rock. I'm not too excited about the prospect of breathing in mold, but with the problem smell fixed, we have no immediate plans to hack into the new (5 year old) sheet-rock.
 
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