Offensive indoor odors come from a variety of sources, however the same basic methodology is always applied to odor mitigation.  Whether the odor is caused by urine, feces, vomit, fungus, skunk, bacteria or smoke successful treatment will include these steps:

1.  Inspection  The exact location of the odor must be found and identified.   Professional inspection equipment is helpful in locating and quantifying odor sources.  Inspection tools include; UV lighting, moisture detector and pH testing.

2.  Physical Removal   Once located, the source of the odor must be removed to the greatest extent possible.  This is generally accomplished by thorough cleaning, but in extreme cases it is necessary to remove building materials such as drywall, carpet and or pad.

3.  Molecular Modification.  A catalyst is introduced to remove any lingering odor by changing its chemistry.  Depending on the source, treatments may include: Encapsulation agents, bonding agents, enzymes, antimicrobials or oxidizers.

Urine Crystals Under Magnification


URINE ODOR – Understanding the Problem

Fresh urine leaves the body in an acidic state that contains very little bacteria.  Fresh urine accidents on carpet should be addressed promptly by absorption into a weighted cotton towel.  Urine quickly becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which contributes to unpleasant odor.  Pets will typically urinate in the same locations, feeding bacteria with a fresh supply of food.  Bacteria levels may rise to a point where they become a health concern.

As urine dries, it’s pH changes from acidic to highly alkaline.  The extreme pH of urine is caustic and can sometimes cause permanent damage to carpet and other building materials.  Dried urine forms salt crystals.  Areas heavily contaminated with urine produce enough urine salt to draw moisture from the air.  Because these heavily contaminated areas draw moisture, bacteria is supplied with a damp environment needed for growth even if no fresh urine is introduced.

Cat urine is especially problematic because its higher protein content produces a rich diet for odor causing bacteria.  Another problem is that cats tend to urinate around the perimeter of rooms.  In the above photo, the wall, carpet, tack strip, pad and sub-floor have all been contaminated.  Spaying or neutering pets may help correct this behavior as well as reducing musky odors.

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