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TOPIC: Cat infested home

Cat infested home 12 years 4 months ago #31850

I am scheduled to inspect a home next week and I have been told to where a gas mask because the home is unbearable.  The home used to be infested with cats and animals.  The question I have is does anyone know if there are any concernes for the buyer of never getting the smell or disease out even after a remodel?  The other question is how dangerous is it for me to go in and inspect the home?

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Re: Cat infested home 12 years 4 months ago #31882


I conducted an inspection this past Saturday that had 5 cats. The liter boxes were located in the basement at the mechanical area. After about 10 minutes I needed some air as the odor does get to you.  I was warned by the agent before hand.

It depends what the floors are in the home, this house was laminate and concrete.

I would advise duct cleaning and if the home has carpet, professional cleaning. If the sub floor is penetrated with urine then it may take a restoration company to clean. 

I would wear a protective mask.

The day before I was officiated with CO from a poorly vented boiler, then I whacked my head on a low entry in a basement. I think I have recovered but I keep shortening my life by not wearing masks and a hard hat and both are sitting in the back of my truck.

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Re: Cat infested home 12 years 4 months ago #31884

Hi James,

Welcome to the message boards! As David said if the house was heavily infested it could have quite a strong smell. You can pick up a really good mask at a painters store or even Home Depot that prevents fine particles from getting to you.

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO

Re: Cat infested home 12 years 4 months ago #31889

  • Bert de Haan
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Cat urine in the wood work has the reputation of being permanent. 

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Bert de Haan
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Re: Cat infested home 12 years 4 months ago #31892

Hey James,

Cat urine in a house can be a pretty dreadful thing to deal with. I've cleaned a couple houses that had previously been homes for "cat ladies", it never goes well.

Couple tips:

- If there's more than three cats, wear a face mask, preferably with a respirator.
- In crawlspaces and basements, make sure to wear a mask, and preferably have some way of ventilating the area extremely well,  ideally with a very good blower. Be very careful in working in these areas, as it's very easy to get overwhelmed from the urine fumes and to actually be overcome, especially if it's an "active" cat living area. Ammonia intoxication kills and can overcome someone quickly, just like any other heavy gas.
- Carpets and pads will almost always need to be replaced. If you can smell it strongly when you walk in or from outside the front door, it will always stick to any soft surface. Customers will be happier with the honesty and a suggestion for a good replacement, than they will with the faint smell of urine.
- If it's bad enough, even wood floors will have to be physically resurfaced. It's amazing how deep it will soak in, even if you sand off the top layer.

Good luck on the inspection!!

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Re: Cat infested home 12 years 4 months ago #31895

A home I inspected had the same problem; former owner allowed the cat and dog to urinate on the dining room carpet.  The inspection was in the winter, so I didn't notice anything until the sun got around to that window in the afternoon.  Then it was like a bomb had gone off in the dining room...the stench was pretty bad. 
Clients still bought the home and made that floor one of the first fixes, removing carpet and pad then using Kilz on the underlayment before putting in hardwood floor.  They did mention it took 2 coats of Kilz to get rid of the smell though.  Removal of the underlayment might have been a good idea too.

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