How Much Damage Can Pet Stains Cause to Your Home?

by Gail Brumfield

Carpet cleaning companies are constantly telling consumers how much damage pet urine can cause to their flooring, but how much damage can it actually cause? You might be surprised to find out that pet urine can cause a plethora of problems for your home both in terms of actual physical damage, as well as environmental factors for you and your family.

Housebreaking new pets is always a fair amount of work, and during that period there are bound to be accidents that happen along the way. It’s incredibly important to take care of pet stains as soon as you are aware of them or there may be some nasty unintended consequences for your carpets as well as your health.

What kind of damage can pet urine cause? Here are some of the main issues that can develop from untreated pet urine in your home:

  1. A Higher Risk for Dangerous Mold – When pets urinate on your floor, it’s imperative to clean it up immediately, not only because it’s gross, but because the longer it stays there the higher the chance of a repeat offense in the same spot. When spots like this are left untreated, pets will resoil the same spot instinctually in an attempt to remark their territory. The repeated moisture caused by this will eventually seep into your padding and subfloor, trapping moisture and creating a perfect environment for multiple different kinds of bacteria to grow. Some of these bacteria, like penicillium, can cause respiratory issues for adults and children alike, and some bacteria can even cause asthma or other breathing conditions to develop.
  2. A Strong Ammonia Smell – All urine has ammonia in it, but the ammonia in cat urine is particularly concentrated. If a urine spot is left unchecked those chemicals will crystalize and trap the odor in your carpet, making it much more difficult to get rid of. In addition to smelling disgusting, this odor can exacerbate symptoms for people suffering from COPD, or worsen allergy symptoms for people that come in contact with it.
  3. Growth of Microorganisms – There is a wide range of microorganisms that can grow and thrive on the moisture left behind from pet accidents, and for most adults with a healthy immune system they don’t pose any sort of serious threat. They can, however, cause minor health issues like sinusitis, watery eyes, and increased allergic reactions. For young children or the elderly, these microorganisms can pose a more serious risk, due to their more easily compromised immune systems.
  4. Sub Floor Rot – In serious cases, where a urine spot has been left untreated and repeatedly resoiled, the moisture will seep through both your carpeting and your padding down to the subfloor, where it can cause serious structural damage. If left too long, the moisture can start to break down the subfloor, causing it to rot and become soft, which could eventually turn into a hole in your floor, which can cause a whole host of other problems.

In short, pet stains can quickly become a very serious problem for your health and your home. There are many different home remedies that you can use to help break up and remove pet stains, like a baking soda and vinegar solution. Often times that will be enough to take care of your stain, though in serious cases where the stain has been left to sit for a while, or if it’s in a hard to reach place that you may not have noticed, you might need some professional help. Carpet cleaning companies like Chem-Dry of Omaha, have specialized equipment that helps them to break up and destroy pet stains all the way through the layers of your floor. They also have the expertise to pull back your carpeting and make sure that your padding and subfloor haven’t started to mold or show other signs of deterioration.

If you’re housebreaking a new puppy, or just have a cat that prefers your floor to the litter box, make sure to stay on top of getting those stains up as soon as possible. It will make a huge difference when it comes to the indoor air quality of your home, and your general environment as well.