Urine smell after carpet replacement

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The previous owner's dog was wetting all over family room carpet. We purchased new carpet and when the installers removed the old carpet the subfloor was stained everywhere from the dog urine. The installer said it was dry and did not need to replace the subfloor. Now 8 months later we still smell the urine smell. I would think the stains would be dry and smell gone by now. Any ideas?
  12 answers
  • D & K D & K on Mar 01, 2015
    If the subfloor is wood, regardless of whether or not the stains appeared to be dry, as the humidity increases the wood will absorb moisture and every time it decreases it will release the moisture and the urine smell. There's not much you can do at this point other than remove the carpet and treat or seal the subfloor with an oil base sealer. If you ever have the carpet "steamed" cleaned you'll really notice the odor. Deodorizers may offer a temporary fix but it's not uncommon for pet odors to linger for years once they've saturated the subflooring.

  • Carol Tomlin Carol Tomlin on Mar 01, 2015
    Go back to the installer and work out some kind of deal for the bad advice. Dennis' idea is a good idea if you are determined to go with carpet. If it were me I'd take the carpet up & replace the subfloor and put in wood flooring. Home Depot has some great credit card deals for no interest if paid in 18 months. I did my basement over that way because of mold issues.

  • MaryAlice Beevore MaryAlice Beevore on Mar 01, 2015
    Agreed, you have to seal the subfloor (or replace it). At least it wasn't cat urine.

    • Martha Martha on Jun 29, 2020

      Training your dog is the only long-term solution, OP.


      I love my dog so much but it constantly did the things that irked me most. It would chew on things that it shouldn’t or jump up and down out of the blue. Whenever I put on the leash, it would pull on it. Whenever it was out of the house, it would continue digging on the ground - I wish I could tell what it was looking for down there. All the things it did left me feeling depressed as if I failed it monumentally.


      But since I discovered Brain Training for Dogs and applied the system offered, it now behaves the way a beautiful dog I always expect of.

  • Nancy Jenkins Nancy Jenkins on Mar 01, 2015
    Had that happen at house before. I took up carpeting and aired. Previous owners dog was old and peed too. So I experimented with Borax and left on for number of days, then swept up the Borax and vac'd the rest. Seemed alright. Sub floor was really nice so just put a throw rug down instead of wall to wall.

  • Nancy Jenkins Nancy Jenkins on Mar 01, 2015
    I don't have any better photo.Living room part was a mess under carpeting.

  • Connie Mar Connie Mar on Mar 01, 2015
    The previous owners of our house had a cat that peed in a closet and behind furniture in their living room. We were told to use Kilz paint on the subfloor, more than one coat (dry completely between coats). Replaced the carpet with hardwood in the closet and living room, carpet in the family room. No more smell using the Kilz. Agree with some that even the subfloor might need to be replaced. Depends on the volume of urine, and how many times it happened. We had carpet in the basement that one of our elderly cats peed on almost the entire perimeter (he had thyroid issues). There was no pad fortunately, so we just took out the carpet and cleaned the concrete.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 03, 2015
    I have also been told Kilz was the way to go.

  • Dannielle McNeill Dannielle McNeill on Mar 04, 2015
    There is hope, I had the same thing happen, I had to use a shellac based primer made by Zinsser, That is a primer (shellac base) not a regular furniture shellac. This type of primer is specifically good for blocking odors, it is more expensive than regular primer but it works. Second best is an Oil base primer but get shellac base if you can. Worked like a charm, I was so relieved to find out I didn't have to replace the sub flooring.

  • Colleen Colleen on Aug 30, 2015
    An update to our issue. Removed the carpeting and pad, used the store brand of Kilz (this was less expense) and we applied 2 coats, allowing appropriate drying time between coats. After that a few areas still showed some stains, so we touched those up as well. Then waited a little over one week, had a new pad installed, then the carpeting we initially installed was re-installed. No smell for 4 months now.

  • Becky Becky on Aug 30, 2015
    Yay you!!!!!

  • Mjpeddi Mjpeddi on Sep 28, 2019

    I already have new hardwood floors but I was concerned about the dog's room where the little rescue pee's and poops (no manners). Anyway, after the installers pull up the carpet shouldn't' they treat the concrete with a neutralizer? They are telling me that I have to pull the carpet up and treat if that is what I want to do. I'm concerned about the pourous concrete smell coming through the new hardwood floors and attracting the continual peeing.

  • Electra Electra on Feb 27, 2022

    We moved into a house after hoarders moved out. The owners remodeled and put new carpet in but didn't replace the subfloor. They had a bunch of cats and kittens and dogs that peed and pooped EVERYWHERE, even in the fireplace, bathtub and shelves in the closet. We moved into a beautiful remodeled home in cold November. We started noticing a terrible odor this past week or so, like old mouse pee or something. Our Temps in Kansas have been reaching high 60's and then dropping. Of course we bought a steam cleaner and it worked for a bit but the smell is back. I guess I should call the landlord? Any suggestions?