The stench of dog urine can be harsh and lingering but even worse, can cause damage to the flooring underneath. Even when the marked area seems to be clean, that odor has a way of returning, especially when it has seeped through carpeting and into flooring. If carpeting has not been cleaned immediately after urination and there is concern of bleed-through, it is prudent to expose the floor and clean it directly to prevent lingering odor, mold and mildew.
Reasons for Inappropriate Urination
Companion animals may urinate in your home for a variety of reasons. Excitement, fear and anxiety can cause this inadvertent behavior or there may be medical reasons including urinary tract infections. To prevent recurring inappropriate urination and repeated cleaning and frustration, any health issues should be addressed by a veterinarian.
Carpet May be Hiding Odor
Removing carpet will reveal set-in urine stains in hardwood floors. As wood is a porous material, scrubbing at the stain with sanders or using enzymatic cleaners, bleach, lemon juice or vinegar -- as is suggested for cleaning carpets -- generally will not remove the smell from wood. Instead, these floors will need to be thoroughly dried, primed, repainted and recarpeted.
Cleaning and Priming
Once carpet is removed, flooring showing severe urine damage should be washed using a nonsoapy detergent or TSP substitute. Once dry a water-based primer should be applied. This primer functions as a sealant and stain blocker and many varieties provide mold and mildew resistance.
Consider Water Resistant Carpet Materials
Once primer has been applied via manufacturer specifications, latex or oil-based paint should be applied and allowed to dry thoroughly. At this point, if carpet is to be replaced, consider using water resistant carpet padding between the floor and carpet layer.
Working with both small animals and exotics, Pamela Meadors has devoted more than 15 years to the veterinary field. She possesses a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and is the proud mom of a blind hedgehog.