Carpet damage as a result of pet urine, is a concern that inspectors such as the Weinheimer Group often see. Perhaps you have a pet that occasionally has an accident on the carpet. When you purchased your new carpet, you intentionally selected one where that accident would be easy to clean up and not leave a stain on the carpet. Per the warranty, you had life time protection. You very well may or may not. You may find that there are exclusions within the warranty. Not all warranties are the same.
Pet Damage Warranties
Following are three Pet Urine warranty examples to give you an idea how warranties may differ. These examples are from three different companies. Most every carpet manufacturer offers some type of Pet Warranty. Each store, fiber and carpet manufacturer may have several warranties. IT IS BEST TO READ THE WARRANTIES BEFORE MAKING A PURCHASE. TO KEEP FROM LOOSING A WARRANTY, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS THROUGHOUT THE LIFE OF THE CARPET.
Home Depot offers a pet warranty available on selected carpets. The warranty states, “Any stain caused by domestic pet, with no limit on covered occurrences.” “if a covered stain cannot be removed following their directions which includes professional cleaning, they will replace the affected area.” There are limitations and exclusions on this warranty as there are on all other pet warranties.
Shaw offers Pet Urine Stain Warranties on some products. An example of one states, “the carpet will resist staining caused by pet urine stains. Stain resistance means the ability of your carpet pile to resist (i.e., minimize or withstand) permanent stains for as long as you own your carpet.”
As with Shaw, Mohawk also offers Pet Urine Warranties. An example is “Mohawk warrants that the surface pile of this carpet will resist stains from all domestic pets, including vomit, urine or feces, for the life of the carpet from the original date of installation.”
Nearly all warranties have exclusions such as:
- This warranty excludes any urine stain other than pet. Pet feces and vomit are excluded. Odor resulting from the covered pet urine stain is excluded.
- Wicking may occur requiring the pet urine area to be cleaned more than once. Wicking is defined as a reappearance of previously cleaned stains due to liquid remaining in carpet backing or padding.
- Carpets installed in rental properties.
- Pet urine can erode and destroy carpet backing, resulting in carpet delamination which is not covered under this warranty.
- This warranty applies to stains only and does not cover odors.
Warranties Can Be Confusing
As you see in the above examples, not all warranties are the same and they can be confusing. As independent certified carpet inspectors, The Weinheimer Group is here to assist. Consumer, retailer, manufacturer, it makes little difference. A certified carpet inspector will inspect the carpet, perform testing an provide a report based on the facts and not opinion.
Several Ways Pet Urine Can Damage Carpet
Pet Urine Carpet Damaged Dye
Pet urine can damage dyes used in carpet. Damage will not necessarily occur with every accident. Often though pet urine will leave a permanent stain. Success in removal of pet urine in carpet is dependent upon the content of the urine, the carpet dyes and finishes, how long the urine has been on the carpet. Unfortunately, there may be times when an accident goes unnoticed for weeks or months. Later a mysterious discoloration starts showing up on the wall-to-wall carpet.
Oily residue in the urine may be attracting soil or it may be eroding the carpet dye. The spots will often be getting darker and darker, even after cleaning.
In beige carpet, blue dyes are attacked by pet urine, leaving behind the red and yellow dyes with a resulting stain appearing red, yellow, or orange.
Color Change Treatment
If you observe a change in color of the carpet you may want to try the following treatment, it is not always successful though it often is successful at restoring pet urine carpet color change and reducing odor. Following are methods you may want to try:
- Lightly sponge the area with a solution of two tablespoons of a clear, non-sudsy ammonia in one cup of water. Blot the area with white cloth or paper towels.
- Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, and two big tablespoons of baking soda and mix well. Using a spray bottle, spray onto the spot, wait t 5 to 10 minutes and blot (don’t rub) the area with a white cloth or paper towels.
- Hydrogen Peroxide. This is another good old home remedy for urine. This can be helpful I stain removal. The brown bottle at the drugstore is usually 3% and this is what you will want to use. Put it into a spray bottle, dampen the spot and allow to dwell on the spot for 10-15 minutes before blotting up.
Delamination of Carpet Backing from Pet Urine
Moisture can weaken the primary and secondary backing layers. Weakened backs will often separate. Carpet seams are often the first place delamination is observed. The seam opens and you think you have a carpet manufacturing or installation problem. Urine damaged backing is not a manufacturing condition. It is possible to have urine damage and a manufacturing related backing condition.
Odor from Pet Urine Carpet Damage
With cats, even more so than dogs, odor can become a serious concern. Unless cat urine can be completely removed, you will have a lingering odor. This can be a very unpleasant odor.
You may not notice the odor until you are away from the house for a couple of days. You go on a weekend vacation, return and the odor hits you hard. This is the smell you became oblivious to but everyone else that visited you smelled it from the time they entered your house.
Prevention is you best step for pet urine carpet damage. Correction is your ongoing step and perhaps your last attempt to correct the carpet before replacing both the pet and the carpet.
For more on pet urine carpet download information guide from the Carpet and Rug Institute.