Since the day we closed on the bungalow we’ve been working on the cat litter and urine smell that has permeated the basement there.
We armed ourselves with several odor-fighting products in the hopes that we could fairly easily solve this problem. The first product we tried was Odorzout. I can’t say if the product really works or not, but for us it didn’t do the job. Odorzout comes in granular form and is supposed to absorb and trap odors via a negative molecular charge. You sprinkle it on, leave it overnight and then vacuum it up. Again, I’m not saying it isn’t a good product; it just wasn’t the right one for us.
We also tried the Stink-Finder Ultraviolet light which will supposedly help you locate the source of urine, feces, etc. so that “you can eliminate them for good.” Again, I’m not saying it doesn’t work; it just didn’t work for us.
The product that we’ve used most is Nature’s Miracle. It is a liquid that you pour onto the offending areas and allow to evaporate. I would say that this product has done the most good so far, but it too has not completely eliminated the problem. Part of that could also be because the basement floor has quite a bit of slope toward the drain, so we have not been able to pool it in the worst areas. We’re going to just try soaking paper towels with it on a couple of remaining spots next.
Nature’s Miracle wouldn’t be able to correct this problem on its own, unfortunately. We discovered that the cat was also using the area under the basement stairs as a litter box. We decided that we had no other choice but to start tearing out some walls, as the smell seemed to be soaked into the drywall. Sure enough, you can see the urine stains here as well as the urine-soaked litter that was lodged under the studs. Of course the smell had also permeated the wood studs (I am really sick of that smell!). Because this is not a supporting wall, we cut the framing out and will either replace them by sistering new studs to the remaining ones, or we may just open the basement stairs onto the finished portion of the basement.
We really didn’t want it to go this far, but we next had to cut off the bottom 2 basement stairs. Because the stair bottom rested on the concrete floor the cat pee had also soaked into the end grain of that wood. Pete made 2 new stringers, bolted them to the remaining stairs and replaced the supports. It’s not the ideal solution, but it will do for now.
All of these things have helped greatly in reducing the smell and I think we are very close to licking this problem (ew!), but we certainly didn’t intend to embark on a minor remodel of the basement at this point. Because we have two male cats of our own, we absolutely have to do everything we can to eliminate the smell before we move in so that they don’t start marking their own spots — and I think it goes without saying that we just don’t want to live with that smell ourselves. We will probably keep them out of the basement for a while anyway to get them used to their new surroundings. That will mean the litter boxes will go into the main bathroom, which I’m not thrilled about, but it’s the only surface that isn’t wood on the entire first floor.
Speaking of moving in, we don’t have an exact date yet, but it will definitely be before the end of the month. The floor guy managed to fit us in to refinish the hardwood floors and they should be arriving around noon today. Once that is done, things will start happening quickly!