Find out how to get the smell of pet urine out of your flooring. Get tips on either priming your old subflooring with oil-based primer to seal the wood, or replacing it entirely with OSB.
LESLIE: Linda in Illinois, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
LINDA: We bought the house next door to us and he had dogs and a cat. He apparently let them use his house as a bathroom.
TOM: Oh, no. That’s terrible.
LINDA: Oh, yeah.
LESLIE: Never a good thing.
LINDA: And the smell of urine  was really bad. And my husband took up all the subfloor and put it outside, let it air out.
TOM: You took up the plywood floor?
LINDA: Yeah. It was boards: small boards.
LINDA: Like 1-inch boards or something.
TOM: Alright. It probably was 1-by. Yeah, alright.
LINDA: Yeah. And he had to take that up to fix the floor joist.
LINDA: So we put it outside hoping to air out the urine smell  and then he put it back down. And he put ¾-inch OSB on top of that. But sometimes when you walk in there, you still smell the urine smell.
LESLIE: Especially on a humid day.
LINDA: Yes. So is there anything you can buy to put on there to get rid of that smell?
LESLIE: I mean there are several things you can do. The OSB – have you put any actual flooring on top of that yet or can you still take that up?
LINDA: No. We were wanting to put laminate on top of it.
LESLIE: OK. So before you do that, pick up the OSB.
LESLIE: And what I would recommend – at this point, because you’re dealing with 1-by – now, Tom, they essentially don’t need the 1-by correct? The OSB could go directly on top of those floor joists and get rid of that …
TOM: No. You didn’t have to put the 1-by back down again but the problem is you’ve already covered the problem with OSB. And what Leslie is leading to is that you – what you should have done is primed all of that subfloor with a good, oil-based primer, because that would seal in the wood . And so now that you’ve put the OSB on top of that, I’m afraid even if you were to prime the OSB, the odor will still somehow work its way through.
LESLIE: Right. So I’m thinking pick up the OSB, pull up the 1-by, put the OSB down and just get rid of the 1-by.
TOM: Well, these animals are long gone but their smell has lingered on. And I think that if you take up that old flooring – and I know you tried to probably save a few bucks by putting it back. But if you either prime it or just replace it with the OSB, you’ll be much better off for it.
Linda, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.