If you have older animals who are breaking down, a little dog who’s just never seemed to grasp the concept of “going” in the outdoors, or if you have had a puppy, then you understand the risks your home faces. Unfortunately, animals can and will have accidents on floors from time to time, but it is essential that you clean the urine from your carpets immediately in order to avoid some potentially serious effects on your health. The professional staff at Offshore Carpet Cleaning has seen it all and understands. Below are some of the potential damage that animal urine in carpets can cause, and why professional carpet cleaning is so important.
#1 – The Ammonia Odor
The most noticeable effect of animal urine in carpets is the strong smell of ammonia. Although all urine contains some amount of ammonia, it is especially concentrated in cat urine. What’s more, once a pet urinates on the carpet, if it is not cleaned thoroughly – and immediately – the water in the urine evaporates, leaving behind even more concentrated ammonia. This can have a tremendous negative effect on people who have COPD, asthma, or emphysema, and it may even cause allergies.
#2 – The Growth of Bacteria and Other Microorganisms
Most of the bacteria that grows in old pet stains is not particularly dangerous to anyone who has a healthy immune system, but it can become quite bothersome. In otherwise healthy people, the bacteria and microorganisms found in old urine stains may cause sinusitis, watery eyes, allergies, and inflammation of the airways. However, in people who have compromised immune systems, such as very young children, the elderly, or people with immune systems weakened by illness or medication, these bacteria can cause significant health issues.
#3 – The Potential for Dangerous Mold
Although one or two accidents that are cleaned up quickly and efficiently are often not a reason for concern, repeated pet stains or urine that is not immediately and thoroughly cleaned can soak through your carpet into the padding below. The components of the urine attract moisture, and over time, several varieties of mold can begin to grow underneath your carpet. Some of these mold varieties, like penicillium, can cause respiratory symptoms, and a few, such as aspergillus, can cause long-term lung conditions with prolonged exposure.
#4 – The Expense of Replacing a Rotting Subfloor
Finally, it is important to consider the financial expense that animal urine can create. Your carpet padding likely sits directly on your subfloor, which is generally made of wood. Over time, the urine soaks through your carpet and the padding below, and into the subfloor. With repeated pet accidents, the wood becomes more and more saturated and may even begin to rot. As such, it may be necessary to completely remove your carpeting and replace sections of your subfloor in order to combat structural damage to your floors.
Although pets are an important part of millions of lives, cleaning up after them is a responsibility that should never be neglected. Over time, animal urine can cause allergy-like symptoms, strong odors, mold growth, and even structural damage to your home. Aside from immediately cleaning up after your pet, it is important to contact a professional carpet cleaner. The professional grade equipment is the best and most effective way to ensure your home is cleaned properly. We recommend at least twice per year to not only clean your carpets, but also evaluate your risks.