Help?! Cat pee Smell!!

17 Replies

We flipped a house into a beautiful rental... rented it in 1 day with 50 inquiries... only problem is I still smell cat pee and tenant moves in next week. ... we pulled up all carpet, painted floors, and re-floored with quality floors on-top. We repainted entire house. No carpet... we did room bombs and those volcanic rocks..... cleaned all vents. Any suggestions?? We never had this issue before and we only want to rent quality.

Did you use any cleaning substances or primer over the areas where the smells are originating? Kilz primer is pretty decent and Odoban has some pretty good reviews from Home Depot and Amazon.

@Lauren Gomez We have had to remove and replace dry wall of bottom 4 ft before. Sometimes cats spray walls. Tip: Save time by cutting out exactly 4 ft from floor and using chair rail at seam to hide where old and new drywall come together.

I have the same problem but ran an ozone generator several times for several days while everything was opened up. I haven't even repainted yet but the smell is gone. Unfortunately I think it was a mistake to close up your floor without addressing the smell first. Good luck.

We mopped the slab and walls with white vinegar, gallons of it, several times, to neutralize the odor, then washed everything down with TSP, then used original Kilz over the worst areas. For crawls, we replaced the subfloor, walls with vinegar, then TSP, then original Kilz before paint and new flooring.

Did any of the 50 potential tenants who saw the place complain about the smell? Or more importantly, the tenant you chose? Maybe the smell isn’t there and you’re just remembering what it smelled like before you rehabbed the place every time you walk in. If the smell really is still there, there may not be a whole lot you can do if it’s soaked into the subfloor, without pulling up the new floor and replacing the subfloor.
@Chris Szepessy Hi! Not all 50 potential did we let walk through it, we chose the top 12 most qualified. Only a few mentioned it, but it still seems strong to my husband and I. Interesting enough, the smell is stronger now then when we bought the house. We painted and cleaned the sub floors and laid new floors... it may be in the drywall like some mentioned. It’s also very hot here and the house is closed up... so we are going to get fresh air in, run air purifiers, use different cleaning solutions... If it doesn’t improve in 5 days we may rip up the new floors and replace the sub floor, even though it’s a complete waste
Originally posted by @Lauren Gomez :
@Chris Szepessy Hi! Not all 50 potential did we let walk through it, we chose the top 12 most qualified. Only a few mentioned it, but it still seems strong to my husband and I. Interesting enough, the smell is stronger now then when we bought the house. We painted and cleaned the sub floors and laid new floors... it may be in the drywall like some mentioned. It’s also very hot here and the house is closed up... so we are going to get fresh air in, run air purifiers, use different cleaning solutions... If it doesn’t improve in 5 days we may rip up the new floors and replace the sub floor, even though it’s a complete waste

It would suck having to rip up the new floors, but it’s better to do it now rather than after the tenant moves in.  Just chalk it up to a (hopefully) not too expensive lesson and learn from it for the next go around. Good luck!

@Lauren Gomez I did what someone else mentioned, white vinegar on the walls. This was for cigarette smoke smell and the walls were plaster lathe or I would have just replaced. Covered with latex kilz (not even the oil based original which is better) and the smell was gone. Not sure if that will help cat pee, but worth a shot. It smelled like vinegar for a week or so but was fine after that went away.

@Lauren Gomez enzyme urine eliminator. Sold at pet stores and Home Depot. It’s not cheap but more effective than most of the cleaning products referenced here for your IssIr. You can also seal the subfloor after treatment
@Lauren Gomez What did you end up doing? We looked at 4 properties today in Colorado and literally all 4 had strong pee smell. Really liked a duplex but concerned about the smell especially because it’s “newly renovated “ which means we will have to account for the removal of floors if need be. I’m concerned about the cost, great property and don’t necessarily want to walk away from it but the price will have to reflect the new flooring.

My own home was a condo with concrete subfloors.  When I bought it, the cat urine was overwhelming.  We thought removing the carpet would solve the problem.  So we pulled up all the carpet and padding and hauled it out...and it smelled the same as when we started.  I was in tears- it was my first home, I bought it and I was afraid I couldn't live there (I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell).  Then I discovered Kilz Primer (often used for fire damage).  I painted ALL of the concrete floors and about 18 inches up the walls (cats spray) and opened all the windows.  The paint smelled very strong for a few days and once it dried, the pet odor was gone.  I've now lived there for 15 years and have never once smelled a hint of cat pee since.  I am a Kilz fan for life now.  True story!

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