When it comes to pet odors that is where some people will draw the line. A house that “reeks” of Dog waste or cat urine is and can be horrendous to deal with and very expensive to remediate if you go to an outside contractor. But it is not totally impossible IF you are stuck in this situation with a home damaged by pet odors. Let’s see what you can do.
First of all let me relate a true experience that concerned a rental property I own and what the tenant left me after they skipped out on the last month’s rent. I had visited the property about 8 months earlier and had been told that the mother in law had moved in.
Can you imagine the smell from these feces covered steps?
I noticed a cat urine smell and asked if they had cats in the house, they responded that a wild cat had got into the house but that they had removed it. Little did I know that the mother in law was a cat hoarder.
I live about 68 miles from this home and so was in the area and drove by when the rent was overdue. I found the house empty, the tenants gone and the back window in the dining room wide open.
Inside was where the fun began. My son estimated that with the number of litter boxes and feces all over the place they were raising 8-10 cats in the basement. The smell would knock you over. You can see some of the pictures here on this page of what we found afterwards. The tenants even were bothered by the smell as they had unhooked the ductwork for the furnace in the basement and had taken Duct Tape and blocked all registers in the upstairs to keep the smell from rising from the basement.
Need a litter box?
How did we deal with this issue? Let me tell you. First of all you need to go out and purchase professional breathing protection for all those entering the area. Also use rubber gloves and disposable covers for your clothing and shoes. Don’t bring these feces home with you.
Then you must remove all the filth from the area, bagging it up in heavy plastic bags for disposal in a landfill. Need I say what diseases can be borne under these conditions!
Clear all areas down to the bare walls and floor, and then we will consider what you do next.
Seal it ALL!
The primary objective is to remediate the odors. This requires sealing the odors in. How can you do this?
The first thing of course is to isolate the area so the odors do not damage other areas of the home. This can be done by creating a doorway of heavy plastic and then creating a negative pressure zone by directing all area back into the room or to the outside. At all times wear protective clothing, respirators and covers for your shoes!
Then you need to clean. Any filth, debris, etc., must be removed before you can continue. The object of odor remediation is to seal it then remove it. If you are dealing with wood or masonry, you need to seal it with products that use natural ingredients, not latex or water based products but oil or shellac. This serves to block odors absorbed into these building materials. One contractor told me that in a house with smoke damage, that the odor will still come out if not sealed, perhaps days or months later. All wood needs to be sealed, and from his opinion, shellac is the answer.
Then what needs to be done is to remove the odor from the air. This may require an Ozone Generator.