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Old 11-13-2010, 08:05 AM
 
70 posts, read 121,528 times
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Default Can we replace parts of the subfloor ourselves?

We just purchased a new home and found that there was extensive cat urine damage to the hardwood floors and the subflooring. We think that the best solution to the odor problem is to repair or replace some of the subfloor (especially where the corners are). Once corner in the dining room was so bad the wood is rotten. We tried putting BIN and Kilz but the odor, while faint, is still there. We don't have a lot of money and are trying to do as much of the work ourselves. Is there a way to cut out the corners only or should we just replace the whole sheet of 4x8 plywood? I am trying to find the easiest way to do this. Is this even possible for us to do on our own?

Thanks in advance for any help offered.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:29 AM
 
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I don't own stock in Petsmart nor do I get a kickback but I am going to have to push the blacklight idea. They cost $20. Turn off all the lights and walk around with it. Anywhere the cat has peed will glow a whiter color. You may be surprised at how much damage could be there.

I did this with my carpet and the carpet had to come up. I had foam padding and concrete under this so the only thing I could do was to wash the concrete with vinegar and water and then more padding and then laminate.

I caught my cat peeing in the corner the other day on what is left of the carpet there and if my cat is going to continue to pee in the house and not use his litter box I think his days living in this house are numbered. I will not let animals ruin my flooring again. This seems to be a real problem for many who buy new homes. They don't realize it until after they get in there. In fact, when I bought this house same deal. They shampooed the carpet and I noticed this odor. I imagine their dog had peed in the house as this house has had a distinct smell for all seven years I've lived here.

Oh, and to answer your question, I suspect you can DIY, but I'd contact a handyman or contractor before making the final call.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,192 posts, read 19,069,847 times
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The black light is a good idea, then you will know where all of the urine is. The only type of product that will remove urine is a bio-enzymatic like B Urine Free™ is for anywhere with a urine smell or stain problem - Environmental Biotech. or Cat Urine Odor and Stain Removal Products - Urine Off (http://www.urineoff.com/Cats.php - broken link) I will tell you that Urine Free has almost twice the active ingredient as Urine Off.

Yes, you can replace the sub floor yourself. Once the black light has identified the areas you will know if you can cut some out or need to replace a full sheet. Make sure there is no damage to the joists before you replace the plywood. Remember, the more nails you use the more likely you are to hear squeaks when you walk.

If you do not remove all of the areas your cat will continue to pee in the house.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:49 AM
 
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I don't think the OP has a cat. I read it as the cat before he got the house.

You are right though. Anywhere any animal has peed before they will be attracted back to that spot unless the odor is completely removed. Oh, and with a special product and those do not come cheap.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
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The Urine Free retails for right around $15 for a quart bottle. If you are spending more you are over paying. Urine Off runs around $20.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racelady88 View Post
The Urine Free retails for right around $15 for a quart bottle. If you are spending more you are over paying. Urine Off runs around $20.
I know, but if it's anything like the orange enzyme I've bought, one needs to saturate the area. A gallon of that is around $25 and I can go through a gallon pretty fast.

I think it's better to just rip up the sub flooring and wash down with vinegar and water and then maybe even replace with laminate which is harder to ruin if a person has pets.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:56 AM
 
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First of all, thanks for the replies.

I tried Anti-Icky Poo Enzyme treatments and they didn't work as well as I would have hoped. We then tried something called odorxit and it didn't help. We even tried Kilz on it and as soon as any humidity hit the air, I could smell it. I think we are going to have to pull up some of the subfloor. I have a sensitive nose and when I smell that urine, it makes me so mad. As for laminate flooring, we wanted to stick with hardwood since we are afraid of lowering the value of the home. I don't know if engineered hardwood would lower it also. If not, I would go with it. This is so fustrating. We have company coming into town soon. Ugh.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:03 AM
 
Location: WA
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I replaced many feet of baseboard when I moved into my current house to eliminate the problem. The flooring was OK but part of the baseboard was MDF that soaked up the urine.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:29 PM
 
5,548 posts, read 4,599,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutraveler View Post
First of all, thanks for the replies.

I tried Anti-Icky Poo Enzyme treatments and they didn't work as well as I would have hoped. We then tried something called odorxit and it didn't help. We even tried Kilz on it and as soon as any humidity hit the air, I could smell it. I think we are going to have to pull up some of the subfloor. I have a sensitive nose and when I smell that urine, it makes me so mad. As for laminate flooring, we wanted to stick with hardwood since we are afraid of lowering the value of the home. I don't know if engineered hardwood would lower it also. If not, I would go with it. This is so fustrating. We have company coming into town soon. Ugh.
Well, it depends on where you live. I live in a state where there are two kinds of termites - the ones you have and the ones you'll get. You get my drift here. Sometimes, there are no other choices than laminate. Plus, my laminate looks wonderful and you'd never know it's not real wood.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:45 PM
 
21,940 posts, read 15,767,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutraveler View Post
Is there a way to cut out the corners only or should we just replace the whole sheet of 4x8 plywood? I am trying to find the easiest way to do this. Is this even possible for us to do on our own?
Assuming you have a lot of damaged areas If it were me I'd rip the whole sheets out and salvage what I could. For example you might have a full sheet that needs to come out and anonther area with half a sheet. Cut the good part from the full sheet to replace half sheet.
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