Pet stains are a fact of life for dog and cat owners. But what most people don't realize is how important it is to properly clean and remove pet urine and odor from carpets and rugs. It's not just unpleasant to smell or see; it can also have adverse effects on your health and your family's. Here, a Chem-Dry expert answers some frequently asked questions about how to best protect your family from the harmfulness urine and odor stains pets can leave behind.
Why is cat urine dangerous to our health? How can it harm us?
Urine is a fantastic food source for bacteria and microorganism growth. It can carry with it various risks of infections, sickness and disease. Coming in contact with waste — either from pets, humans, or others — is considered one of the most unsanitary situations that can occur. History tells us that contact with waste can even cause epidemics. The scary part is that the extent of the problem is almost always much broader than pet
owners realize. If you have witnessed one accident, it’s more than likely that there numerous if not dozens of affected areas you are unaware of that are causing health risks to you, your family and anyone you invite into your home
What is the proper way to clean a pet urine stain? Will soap and water do?
Soap and water can help, and often does, if you get to it quickly after it occurs. However, the urine will travel below the carpet fiber tips and into the backing and subfloor materials, where it continues to fester and creates a breeding ground for all kinds of problems. Left untreated, urine can emit an odor for up to five years. Even though soap and water can help, it’s like trying to hold back a wave with your hand. Most off-the-shelf products simply
mask the odor and do little to treat the urine under the face fibers of the carpet. Because of this, a great option is to use a product called PURT (Pet Urine Removal Treatment), which is a Chem-Dry service offered and performed by trained professionals, that travels to the affected areas and explodes the urine crystals, causing them to oxidize and break apart in a matter of hours. Other common urine products are made from enzymes, some of which may also work but require more time and patience with application. Typically, these products require frequent and repeated applications to remove the urine residue and may not ever fully solve the issue.
Are children more at risk to a pet's urine than adults?
Absolutely; kids are far more at risk than adults. This is mostly due to the fact that children typically spend a lot more time on or in contact with the carpet. Rolling around, running barefoot, playing with toys, watching television and playing video games are all common activities for children and can often result in direct contact with urine deposits or residue
Is there a difference between cat and dog urine? Is one more toxic than the other?
Cat urine is traditionally much more concentrated. It smells worse and can be harder to treat
If a pet's stain is left for more than a month, does that mean the entire carpeted floor has to be reupholstered?
Not typically. The sooner you treat a urine spot, the less chance there is for urine to bleach out the affected fabric, and the easier it is to remove the odor and stain associated with urine accidents. There can be extreme cases where replacement is required, but using the right product and application methods can save homeowners thousands of dollars in replacement costs.
Are pets' feces just as toxic as urine?
Yes, although urine and feces are two separate topics. Typically, large amounts of feces can be picked up or removed from the carpet because it stays mostly on the surface of the carpet, whereas urine quickly travels down into the padding and the subfloor, making it far more difficult to remove
If a stain still smells, does that mean it's not properly cleaned yet?
Yes. In fact, many products will mask the smell for several hours or even days, but the fragrance typically dies away before the urine smell does. You may find a product that masks the odor well, but you won’t know if it has actually removed the source of the problem until the fragrance has faded. That’s why Chem-Dry’s PURT treatment, for example, is so effective, because it counteracts and breaks apart the urine crystals and thus eliminates the root of the problem
Get more information about Chem-Dry's revolutionary PURT product here>