Cat urine in carpeting glued to concrete

petdocvmdDecember 17, 2012

Good Day,

I am looking for help with correcting an ongoing home disaster. One or more of our cats have been urinating on carpeting throughout our basement. I have spot treated several areas with a commercial enzymatic cat urine neutralizer, but the scope of the problem has far surpassed that solution. I set out to remove the carpeting in my basement office, only to find that it was glued directly to the concrete floor below. After much effort I was able to pull up the carpeting, but what is left is a tacky residue on top of a grooved concrete floor :-P

I would like to eventually lay down vinyl or linoleum in the entire basement (like 1000 square feet). My concerns are:

- How can I eliminate urine odor given glue residue remaining on concrete?
- How can I prepare floor to ensure proper installation of the vinyl?

I scrubbed the entire office floor with a commercial concrete cleaner, and that has helped 95% with the odor. I suspect some of the remaining odor (noticeable when dehumidifier shuts down when full) is coming from the baseboards.

I'm tempted to simply pour a thin layer of concrete on top of the existing floor, then seal it with Acrylic. I would also pull off the trim, seal it and the bottom 12" of walls with Kilz, then repaint everything.

Any thoughts and suggestions would be most welcome.



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I think a floor leveling compound is what you's very thin and soupy and finds its own level.

I don't have much experience, but I know you can buy this stuff dry, mix with water and immediately pour it on. Do NOT make the mistake of adding water to it, because it will begin to set up immediately and get harder and harder to spread. Better to add it to water until the right soupy consistency is obtained.

If the concrete is grooved, plus there's mastic on it, I don't see any other way to make vinyl look smooth than creating a new surface.

Talk to a floor installer or a good flooring retailer about it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 3:43PM
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"I think a floor leveling compound is what you need."

It will not lock in cat urine smells.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Unfortunately, that urine is probably in the concrete itself. Anything that you do to counteract it needs to penetrate the concrete as well. If you look at the ingredients of commercial pet odor control products you will find that alcohol is the main ingredient. The 91 percent rubbing alcohol that is available in stores seems to do a good job at negating the smell. Obviously in a basement you would have to be concerned about the fumes and pinpointing where you needed the alcohol or I imagine it could get prohibitive in cost. We did use this on carpet and had success.
You are quite correct about sealing everything if you put more concrete over the top - it is porous and it's amazing what will ooze through feet of concrete much less inches. If those baseboards are wood then you will definitely want to Kilz them or replace. Kilz isn't as much a sealer as a stain killer. It might not do the job if the boards were saturated.
Toxcrusdr is correct - you have to have a smooth, flat surface for a good result with linoleum. Fair warning - linoleum over concrete is HARD on the feet and legs.
Best of luck,

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:59PM
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"Anything that you do to counteract it needs to penetrate the concrete as well."
Or form a barrier the odor cannot penetrate.

For a dry concrete floor shellac should do the job.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 2:05PM
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There is a post down this page with over 50 entries addressing the urine problem.

After you have gone to all the time, labour and expense of rectifying the urine smell what is to prevent the exact problem starting as soon as you are finished. The root cause of the problem is not the cats, many of us have them but do not have urine issues with them, the problem is the kitty's urinating on the carpet and the carpet absorbing the urine.

If you don't plan on living cat free, I doubt it I would be asked to leave before my dear wife would consider living without dear felines, you are setting yourself up for the same problem the same day you are done.

Why no cat box? I know when her 17 year old kitty was getting up there he stopped using the litter box, that was tough.

Consider keeping them away from areas of carpeting. We have zero carpeting here. The new cats are going to get old and I hate the sound of carpet sweepers. Especially when I'm on the business end of one.

Do not install carpet after you rip it up.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Need to read more carefully, vinyl is a good choice but will fade quickly after the ammonia from the urine is on it.

The health issue is another thing not mentioned if the cats continue to urinate in your living space.

Follow this link, don't think you will like the info.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Putting vinegar out in a dish might soak up some of the smell. Though its unlikely to get all of it.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:04PM
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I used to sell carpet and we would take up the old, mop and let it air for a few days, then (oil base) kilz, 2 coats with a couple days dry time in between. Lots of fans running. :)

I can't say that's the absolute correct way, but I don't recall anyone coming back to complain. If you're going down with a glue on product, I'd probably let the last coat dry even longer so there's no chance of moisture under the new flooring.

The bigger problem isn't getting rid of the smell, it's stopping it from happening again and for that you need a kitty expert.

Best wishes!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 3:39AM
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