I’m sure you’ve been asked this question many times from your customers. And if you answered “Yes,” you’re going to either love or hate this post. Either way, this article contains a solid argument as to why cleaners should not guarantee complete pet urine odor removal.
You know the story, a new home buyer buys a used home and schedules you to clean the carpet. The home inspector did not do a Urine Mapping Test nor did a professional cleaner. You arrive and instantly notice urine odors in the air along with yellow spots.
You mention the odor and stains to the new-used home buyer and request to do an UV test. She agrees and after seeing so many urine spots with the UV light, she pops the question: Do you guarantee complete pet urine odor removal? Your answer should always be “No,” followed by a solid explanation as to why you do not guarantee complete pet urine odor removal. You may also wish to let your customer know she should steer clear from any carpet cleaner that says they can.
The Seller Sets a Trap
The last thing people are thinking about when they buy a used house is if there is pet urine in the carpet. The seller cranked up the air conditioning to help reduce the Uric Salt Cycle. He also Frabreezed the carpet to the hilt. Is this your fault? Surely not, but you are there now and you offer pet odor removal as a service. How much ownership do you have in this conundrum?
Five Reasons You Should Not Guarantee Pet Odor Removal
There are five reasons carpet cleaners should never guarantee complete pet urine odor removal with number 1 being the most important.
- The only way to completely guarantee complete dog and cat urine odor removal is to replace the carpet, pad and either seal or replace the wood or concrete sub-floor beneath.
- You do not know if the seller reused the old pad if and when the carpet was last replaced. It could still contain thirsty urine salts.
- You don’t know if the seller did not seal and/or replace the sub-floor the last time the carpet and pad were installed. The sub-floor could also contain thirsty urine salts.
- If the carpet is oil-based, i.e., polyester, olefin or polypropylene, and the seller had the carpet cleaned without treating the pad, your UV light won’t show the urine spots. This means the pad beneath is likely loaded with thirsty urine salt just waiting for a drink of water to start off-gassing again.
- If a pet has urinated in one particular area several times where the urine has contaminated deep into the wood or concrete, you likely cannot reach deep enough to significantly affect the bacteria growth deep within the sub-floor.
Meeting of the Minds
If the customer chooses not to replace the carpet, pad and sub-floor because of pet urine odor, you have now taken on the role of damage control, and that’s the best position to be in. Again, if the customer declines fixing the problem the right way, that reduces your liability and her expectations of 100% odor removal. Ensuring the customer you will do as thorough of a job as possible is one thing, but taking complete ownership of any pet urine removal request is another.
It is crucial to have a meeting of the minds with each customer prior to starting the service. Identifying your limits as a service provider prior to starting the work is not only ethical, but it speaks volumes of your sense of responsibility, and your customers crave that quality in contractors.
Chemistry or Biology?
Now that you have a new role in helping your customer elminate pet urine odors from their carpet, choosing which odor removal method works best. While many professional carpet cleaners incorrectly assume hydrogen peroxide (oxygen) is the best pet urine odor eliminator, we encourage you to learn why peroxide is a short term fix. Next to replacing the carpet, Spore-form Ur-OUT delivers the most permanent pet urine odor eliminating results. The following post gives great insight into how and why biology, not chemistry is best when treating pet urine in carpet: Pet Urine Odor Removal: Chemistry or Biology?