Even the best-trained pets occasionally encounter accidents, like pet urine and even worse. Often, the urine is not discovered until long after the accident. It is best to address these stains as soon as possible. Here are the most concerning effects of pet urine on your area rug home’s carpets and rugs.

Smell
If not treated properly, the odor from pet accidents can travel through your entire home and impact your family’s health, happiness, and comfort. As the urine dries, the liquid evaporates, but urine crystals become even more concentrated and pungent when reactivated with moisture, such as humidity or dampness. You have probably observed urine odor return stronger on some days than other. That’s the pet urine crystals reactivating.

Because animals are enticed to continue urinating in the same area over and over, the smell emitted from an accident area will often lead to repeat incidents in the same area until it is properly eliminated. Once the problem begins, if left untreated, it just becomes bigger and bigger. In the worst cases, the flooring and even the underlayment will need to be removed and replaced.

Dye Bleeding & Fiber Damage
Pet urine can affect the dyes used in carpeting and rugs by creating a break in the dye bond to the wool or other material. It can also make colorfast carpeting and rugs bleed, a darker color will often run into a lighter area. Pet urine can also cause the dyes to react and go through a chemical change resulting in a change in color, usually a red, orange, or yellowing color.

Key to the success of removing or restoring these discolorations by a professional rug cleaner is dependent upon the content of the pet urine, the type of dyes, the fiber type of the carpet or rug, and the time elapsed after the accident. Some of these reactions may be immediately noticeable, while others may take weeks or months for a reaction. Long term or repeat pet urine exposure can lead to mildew and dry rot of the carpet or rug.

To avoid damage and repeat accidents, tackle the accident as quickly as possible. Blot the area with white towels until no more moisture can be soaked up. Then apply a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar to the area with another clean white towel. Continue to apply then blot until you are no longer blotting up urine. Your carpet or rug may still require specialized professional cleaning well beyond just a simple cleaning and treating to avert permanent damage.