Helping to inform homeowners on Crawl Space Encapsulation

Cat Pee Smell Crawl Space

By on Apr 5, 2018 in Crawl Space Encapsulation | 0 comments

If you have an encapsulated crawl space and you have a cat pee smell in the crawl space, you may be thinking that smell is coming from the vapor barrier. Now, why would this be? Well, apparently someone is making their rounds saying the famous cat pee smell is caused by vapor barriers. That couldn’t be further from the truth and just shows they’l let anyone publish content online these days.

We feel it’s our job to properly inform homeowners about this cat pee smell and the original source for such smells. The last thing I want you to do is throw thousands of your hard earned dollars down the drain. With that said, let’s talk about your crawl space cat pee odor.

If you want to get the full account of what’s happening, go here: Cat Pee Smell In Your Crawl Space 

The Real Cause Of The Cat Pee Smell

Now, there’s a so called “crawl space ninja” going around taking advantage of homeowners like yourself. He’s launched what appears to be a marketing campaign to scare you from buying competitor crawl space vapor barriers and wants you to buy his. (You deserve to know the truth)

So, is it true that your cat pee smell is coming from your crawl space vapor barrier? The answer is no.

The real cause of the cat pee smell in your crawl space is caused by your soil under your vapor barrier. If you want to get rid of the cat urine odor, you’re going to need to balance your soil before you lay your crawl space vapor barrier down.

Breaking Down The Science Of Your Cat Urine Smell

Cat pee smells like ammonia, mostly because cat pee often has ammonia in it. Nearly everyone can identify what a claim of “cat pee smell” would smell like and ammonia is the common denominator. Ammonia is made up of Nitrogen and Hydrogen, NH3. When a plant breaks down in the soil, the bacteria decomposes the plant back into minerals other plants can use. If you look at the life cycle of Nitrogen you will see how ammonia NH3 (ammonium NH4) plays a role.

Is It True The Cat Urine Odor Will Get On The Vapor Barrier

That would be true. If your crawl space has a cat urine smell, DO NOT go ahead and encapsulate your crawl space. If you ignore this warning, that awful urine smell will get on your crawl space vapor barrier. Now, the vapor barrier itself is not the cause of the smell, it’s the soil underneath. Just as we described above, when these plants break down into your soil, all sorts of actions occur. From bacteria and fungi, the decomposition of plant materials is what gives off this terrible smell.

How To Get Rid Of The Smell

There’s 2 ways you can get rid of the crawl space cat pee smell, one of them being a way we’ve been using to get rid of cat urine odors for years. You can get a soil mitigation system installed in your crawl space and it will get rid of the ammonia smell. This is the way we’ve been doing it for some time and it works. Make sure you get it installed prior to getting your encapsulation done.

The other way to get rid of the cat pee smell is by balancing the soil. You will want to test the soil and PH balance it. The PH Scale is 0-14 with 7 being neutral. Ammonia is a 11 on the PH Scale. You’ll need to get your soil as close to 7 PH as possible to remove the smell.

Final Thoughts

Homeowners need to be aware of 2 things.

  1. If you have a cat pee smell (ammonia) smell in your crawl space, don’t encapsulate it until you get rid of the odor.
  2. Don’t believe anyone that tells you one thing and then tries to get you to buy his “vapor barrier.” Just saying…


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