Pet Urine On Hardwood Floors
Pets are a lovely addition to the family. Joyful, filled with energy, dashing across from one room to another, hopping from the sofas to the countertops- they make the home lively. However, homeowners with pets have one issue that they keep finding themselves dealing with: urine stains. These spots are unsightly, and they produce pungent odours that make the rest of the space uncomfortable. It can be on anything, from the carpets and upholstery, to the floor itself. When it particularly comes to hardwood floors, the issue is compounded due to the nature of the flooring. The urine stains can damage the wood structure plus the treatments that have been applied onto it- especially if not attended to quickly. From reacting with the finish and corroding it, to those cases where there are large quantities of urine on the floor- like when your furry friend decides to use a section of it as its go-to spot whenever it’s passing urine.
- Wet urine stains
The earlier that you get to the spot, the better. That way, you can prevent it from soaking deeper into the material and wreaking havoc on your installation. Urine removers that have been developed for use on hardwood floors are required, to ensure that the underlying material will be safe. Harsh chemicals that are usually employed when working on other sections of the household can end up worsening the situation. Issues of baking soda or hydrogen peroxide discolouring the wood floor are common, while vinegar solutions dull the finish. Cleaners developed for the task, such as the commercial products that used enzyme action to break down the stain while being safe to use on wood- and around kids and pets, are ideal. These also come with odour neutralising properties to deal with that pungent stench that had been caused by the urine stain.
After the urine spot has been dealt with, it is recommended that you proceed to disinfect the floor. Removing the bacteria colonies that remain behind is prudent. You can also continue to mop up the rest of the flooring.
- Dry urine stains
When the urine stain soaks into the wood structure and dries, there’ll be more that needs to be done. By this time, the area will have been discoloured, and the stain spot becomes more difficult to remove- and not to mention the pungent ammonia stench that will have engulfed the house. Bio-enzymatic formulations that tackle the stain without causing any damage to the wood are recommended here as well, to remove that top layer of the urine that has dried onto the floor. Simply spray the solution onto the spot, allow the dwelling time that has been indicated in the product label, then proceed with the rest of the cleaning.
Floor sanding then comes in, to remove the affected layer of finish. How deep the sanding will be carried out depends on the adversity of the stain. Fine grit sandpaper may be used, if the stain hasn’t got deeper into the wood. While there are those who proceed to bleach the spot with formulations like hydrogen peroxide, this has the negative effect of discolouring the wood itself. As such, it is recommended that you stick to commercial cleaners that have been developed for the task, which will also be safe to use around children and the pets themselves.
If the situation had called for a floor sanding, then naturally the refinishing process will follow. Before you proceed to apply the wood stain and polish, ensure that the spot and adjacent sections have been thoroughly cleaned, and dried.
Factors that lead to pets relieving themselves on your floor
Do you have puppies that are making these messes in your home, leaving a maze of wet stains and pungent stenches in their wake? Even a house-trained dog may regress and routinely relieve itself on a section of your floor, wrecking the finish and taking away your peace of mind. So why does it do this? The causes can be broadly broken down into two:
- Behavioural problems
If a trained dog suddenly begins passing urine in random sections of the house, it can be as a response to a new change. This can range anywhere from a new pet being introduced into the home, a new child, or even strangers- such as renovation crew and repairment who have come over, which causes confusion and distress for the dog, which then begins having urine accidents. Separation anxiety is also a common cause of urine accidents- and this will be diagnosed by a vet. Noise phobias- such as the roaring thunder during heavy downpours, construction works that are being carried out- these can be nerve-wrecking for the pet, causing it to dread going outside or use the potty when it wants to relieve itself. After the affected area has been cleaned, focus on using positive reinforcement to re-instil proper training in your furry friend. Be patient with the retraining. Since it took time for the bad habit to form, it will also take some time to replace it with acceptable behaviour.
- Health issues
These are broad, and require the attention of a veterinarian to point out the cause. For instance, female dogs with low oestrogen levels will have issues with their bladder control- especially for the older ones and those that are spayed. More serious medical issues like kidney disease or tumours may also lead to this. It can even be a side effect of medication that is being used.
Punishing Fluffy for the urine accidents is not really a viable solution. In fact, it is counterproductive. Rather than understand that urinating in the house is bad, the dog will simply learn how people can be unpredictable and unsafe, thus making it more afraid to actually use the potty in front of you- or even outside when there are people around. This will make indoor urine accidents more frequent. So avoid punishments like rubbing your dog’s nose into the urine spot whenever it makes a mess. Instead, address the root cause of the behavioural or health problem.