Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The urinary wars! Black-light wielders beware!

I have the meet the needs of some customers monthly as they have a pet or a child that has taken up a urinary war in a certain room or area of the house. Urine allows for an environment where bacteria can grow as well as cause permanent discoloration especially if it is not addressed. In wool carpets it will make the colors bleed together or fade if not addressed promptly or cause permanent felting of the fibers. It will also attract dirt and other soils to make the urine spot look dark. Then there is the smell of it all. There is nothing more offensive than that of a wall of urine smell pushing you back as you enter a room. While a person may live it it daily and may have grown accustomed to it anyone that is no expecting it will be hit the urinary wall every time they go in that part of the house. I will address odor in just a minute. There are many issues and hence many things to address in association with urine. If you are looking at fighting this war yourself it is time to buy your weapon of choice UV lights! The black-light it is like the night vision goggle of the carpet professional. I own several as different frequencies can show up better. We can't fight what we can see! Our invisible foe is smelled some times seen but there is the sniper that will come back and shoot us if we don't look carefully. pH-Urine changes the pH of the carpet in that area. This causes a spot that you can't get rid of that will reoccur every time some one walks across the carpet or the humidity rises and the salts in the urine will attract dirt. On wool carpets this can and will cause the dyes to bleed together, fade or disappear. Also on wool rugs this change in pH will remove the oils and cause felting of the fibers making a matted carpet or felt type appearance. Discoloration-Urine can discolor any carpet with I have seen neglected spots or stains caused by pets on medication or urine mixed with blood cause numerous issues on carpet. These permanent discolorations are hard to correct if not impossible. It is best to clean it up promptly using plain water to flush a fresh stain. you will need an extractor to do this as mentioned below to often people get too much water and not enough suction and will spread their urinary war to other parts of the carpet. Dye issues-You the customer can discolor the carpet or remove dyes in your frantic search to get rid of a spot I have seen customers resort to bleach or oxy-clean or non-color safe pet products in the store that are oxidizers and dye removers to remove the spot. only to be left with bleached out carpet. stay away from oxidizers leave that to the pros. If you have color loss call me we can spot dye carpets perfectly by matching the dye exactly. Wrong spotters-I have seen where customers will make the spot worse by adding the wrong chemical making it attract dirt faster. Be cause urine is an acid base spot at first and then as it drys turns to a alkaline stain the chemistry for getting neutralizing the area is opposite of normal carpet cleaning chemicals. Alkalines clean well and also attract back dirt. so your urine spot if left un-addressed will naturally attract dirt and soil because of the pH of ammonia a by product of the bacteria Flood it or make it bigger-I have seen where customers have flooded a urinary woe in desperation and spread urine it deeper and wider. Pouring gallons of water saturating the carpet pad and sub floor in urine. Don't panic get a machine that will extract the water back if you feel the need to flood the area pull up the carpet remove the pad and put plastic sheeting down under the carpet to create a bowl shape then you can flood the area with a color safe pet product with out spreading the odor every where else. Odors- Odors need I say more. How are you fighting your odors feel free to comment as I proceed a certain way but there are many ways to go to conduct warfare. Malodors are the number 2 reason for people calling carpet cleaners; and professionals respond with experience and proven ways to treat this offence. Below are the ways to address odors Cleaning- you would be surprised how this can cure many issues. Just a good cleaning with good old soap and really hot water. It is the base of all other methods Covering- many products just have a scent of used alone with out cleaning you have just created a new urinary flavor.. but if used in conjunction with the other methods it can work great. Encapsulation- This process coats around the affected area to "seal around the affected area again this works great with cleaning or we some times have to do this when the urine problem had saturated into wood and cement. Molecular Modifiers-These chemicals will change the chemistry of the molecule to create a new ester or smell. They are expensive but worth the money. Oxidizing- this can be in the form of ozone generators or oxidizing bleaches but beware of the impending color loss. Removal- When all else fails remove the porous pad or remove the carpet. Some times this is the best first step. As you can see the urinary wars are fought and won and lost by experience and the weapons we wield and how we wield them. What is your weapon of choice? How will or do you fight your urinary war? Last resort as pictured replace the carpet.

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