Understanding Urine Damage

Pet urine can cause permanent damage to your floors and fabrics. If left unaddressed, it can change the dye structure, which can be impossible to reverse. Even if the soluble deposits are removed, the damage to the dye structure may already be done.

Timing is Key
When urine is first deposited onto a floor or fabric, it has a pH of about 5 or 6, which is on the acid side of the pH scale. It is easier to remove in this fresh state. Once it dries, the pH turns to about a 10 or 12, known as an alkaline, and becomes harder to remove.

Do-It-Yourself Pet Stain Removal
Sometimes you can remove urine spots on your own. The best tool to have is a small wet vac or spot removal machine. These can be purchased for under $50.00, and we recommend a small one because it’s more convenient and you’ll be more likely to use it.

Urine can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Enzymes are the best cleaning agents for urine because they are the only ones that actually eat up the bacteria. For best results, extract the fresh urine with your wet vac. You can also rinse it with hot water, making sure to extract thoroughly afterward. Then, spot clean the urine with your enzyme spotter. We recommend Nature’s Miracle, which can be purchased at local pet stores. As with any spotter, always follow the directions on the label and test the spotter first in an inconspicuous area.

Products to Avoid
Try to stay away from products with high pH levels. Examples of these are Resolve and oxygen bleaches. Some products with “oxy” in the name are actually bleaching agents, and can permanently alter the dye structure of the yarn. These products are getting very popular because of high levels of marketing, but we have seen instances where this has permanently altered the dye of the facial yarn.
Unique Nature of Urine
If urine is not removed immediately, it “crystalizes”. These urine crystals often go down into the backing, pad and sub-floor. On a hot, humid day, these urine crystals can be liquified and can cause an odor.

Professionals can treat urine one of two ways. The first option is to remove the carpet, replace the effected pad, clean the subfloor, seal the subfloor, neutralize the urine on the backing, and neutralize the urine on the facial yarns. Finally, a professional carpet deodorizer can be applied where desired. This is the most thorough treatment, but also the most time consuming and expensive.

The second option is to neutralize the urine on the facial yarns, and to extract the backing and pad using a specialty tool and a powerful truck-mounted machine. This may not remove urine from the subfloor and part of the pad, but is much more cost-effective. Just like the first option, a professional carpet deodorizer can be applied where desired.

Consumer Alert – Some Carpet Deodorizors Can Cause Discoloration To Your Carpet!

When treating urine damage, a common step is to use a carpet deodorizer. But be very careful in choosing the correct deodorizer. On two occasions, we have seen our customer’s carpet dyes permanently altered because of over-the-counter carpet deodorizers that they used. Sometimes these products can alter the dye sites when water is used. Because all carpet cleaning methods use some moisture, we recommend not using deodorizers that might alter the dye sites if water is used. Be sure to read the deodorizer’s disclaimer and to test the product in an inconspicuous area first.



Visit our website – www.RugsAndCarpets.com


About hemphillbrett
Floorcovering specialist

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