just purchased home & previous owner kept 2 large dogs in garage they urinated extensively over a long period of time on the concrete floor what do you think I need to totally remove the odor ?The size is 21ft x 21ft. I’m wanting to treat area ASAP Thanks jeff
Concrete is porous. Depending on the type of concrete and the finish they put on it, it will vary as to how porous it is. So urine soaks into the concrete. Your urine neutralize will need to soak into it also to get to the urine and neutralize it. This means putting the neutralizer on wet and letting it soak in. Covering ti with plastic so the neutralizer will not evaporate will help with this. If you use an enzyme product it will need to be kept damp for up to 2-3 days so the enzymes have time to work on and digest the urine residue. If you use a product like “SUN” from www.removeurine.com it will neutralize the odor on contact so it does not need the additional time to work but it will need time to soak in. Pay particular attention to the walls also. If the urine has run under them or has been sprayed up on them including the baseboard you will want to treat those areas also. Because concrete and wood also for that matter are very porous sometimes it is not possible to remove all the odor. In these cases we recommend sealing the concrete with a good varnish, shellac or an acrylic sealer. This is to seal in any remaining odor if necessary.
So the steps are 1. Clean the floor (if it needs it or has not been cleaned). Then 2. treat the floor and then 3. seal the floor if necessary. I suggest you use “SUN” for the treatment because it is effective and is easier and faster to use than enzyme products.
What causes urine Odor? There are over 75 compounds that have been found in animal waste that cause odor. Understanding these compounds helps us know what we can do to eliminate it. Urine is decomposed by anaerobic bacteria. Some of the groups of compounds that smell, and are a result of this breakdown are sulfides, phenols, ketones, volatile organic acids and more. Carbohydrates in animal waste include sugars, starch, and cellulose. Starch and cellulose are broken into glucose (sugar) units as the first step of decomposition. Under anaerobic conditions, sugars are broken into alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and organic acids. These intermediate compounds are odorous. They are a part of what causes urine odor. These compounds can be further metabolized and transformed into methane, carbon dioxide, and water (nonodorous end-products)
The odor of ammonia gas is one part of the distinctive odor that helps us to identify and locate urine. The other component of urine’s odor is off-gassing from bacteria that grow abundantly in warm, dark places with a never-ending food supply. The pet feeds the bacteria daily with its urine! There are several types of chemicals that are very affective in eliminating the urine odor. Each of these chemicals has to come in contact with the urine to be affective at neutralizing the odor. Some work immediately on contact and others need time to work. Enzyme products need time to digest the urine. These chemicals also need to be applied in sufficient quantities to be affective.
Is it urine or not?
Do you have a spot on the carpet or floor that you are wondering if it is urine or something else? I am going to describe a simple test you can use to find out.
- Moisten the suspected spot lightly with hot water. Misting from a spray bottle works just fine.
- Take a folded paper towel and place it on the moistened area.
- Take a book (I use a phone book) and place it on the paper towel to help it absorb some of the moisture. You can put a piece of plastic between the book and the paper towel to protect the book from getting any moisture on it. Let it sit (absorb) for long enough to transfer some odor. 30 seconds to one minute should do it.
- Wearing gloves take the moistened paper towel and put it in a plastic cup or similar container.
- Smell the odor in the cup. This usually quickly identifies whether it is urine or not.
photo credit: wotthe7734
We have discussed using the eyes and nose to locate the source of your urine odor in part one. In part two we will discuss using ultraviolet light and the use of a moisture sensor.
ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT (black light) to locate urine odor. Urine residue will glow under a black light. Ultraviolet lights in several intensities are available to help you locate urine deposits. Low powered black lights must be held very close to the carpet in a dark room. Medium intensity lights will work from a few feet away. High powered lights can quickly be used to check a carpet and other fabrics from several feet away. All black lights work best in a dark room but this is not as critical when using a more powerful light. When necessary, black plastic sheeting can be used to cover windows and light sources. Another option is to drape a sheet or dark blanket over yourself while you are making the inspection. Black lights are readily available at many price points.
You will recognize urine by the shape of the spot and by its characteristic yellow (from dogs) glow. However, a bluish glow may indicate urine stains where cleaning has been previously attempted with a product that contained an optical brightener.
MOISTURE DETECTOR to locate urine odor. Use a moisture probe to examine all the carpet in question. As urine dries a chemical reaction creates an alkaline salt. Alkaline salts are hygroscopic, that is they absorb moisture from the air. In all but the driest conditions the salt residue will hold enough moisture to activate a moisture probe. Moisture detectors are harder to find and can get expensive.
Use all the tools you can– eyes, nose, moisture detector and UV light -to locate all urine deposits. Be sure to mark the location of all odor areas. Use white chalk, pennies or some other markers. A diagram on graph paper will help you locate the problem areas if the treatment is being done at a later time.
See also part one “urine odor, locate the source”
Part one Locate the source
When you are dealing with urine odor often you do not have a stain or anything visible indication to show you where the urine odor is originating from, or where the problem is. I am going to discuss the different methods of finding these areas. We have several tools available to locate them.
It is very important to locate each area because if you don’t find all the problem areas, you will not be able to completely eliminate the urine smell. Each spot needs to be treated. It needs to be treated with the correct chemicals and in the correct way if you want to get 100% odor removal. The steps you take change depending on how severe your urine odor problem is.
The tools available are our eyes, our nose, ultraviolet (UV) lights, and moisture detector.
Eye’s If you actually see the area where the dog is urinating, or when there is a yellow stain left on the surface of the carpet, this is when we use our eyes to locate the area. If you can look at the back of a loose carpet or rug and inspect it, many times there will be stains left that are obvious when nothing is visible otherwise. This is true with other fabrics also. The stains will look like water stains and sometimes there will be a white salt residue. If the carpet is not loose but is installed you can still pull it up off the tack strip and look at the backing. This then will need to be stretched or kicked back in again onto the tack strip. You can also use the alternative injection method of treating the urine odor.
NOSE Obviously the nose is a great tool for locating the contaminated areas. We may enter a home or a room and immediately smell the presence of odors associated with urine. Sometimes it is strong and sometimes it is a faint urine odor. Determining the precise location of the smell is more difficult. In part this is because air currents diffuse the odor. Closing any open windows, turning off ceiling fans, heating or air conditioner and other sources of air movement will make it easier to locate the source. Remember that most women are more sensitive to odors than men. If you are a male with less than a great nose for odors you may benefit from a female assisting you.
Continue with part two “Urine Odor, locate the source”