Removing Pet Stains, Black Tar, Refinish
Removing Black Gunk
Today we started a Job In Livonia, Michigan, or just a few short miles outside the city limits of Detroit in Wayne county. This is totally unrelated to hardwood flooring, but there seems to be a large amount of NHL players that grew up in Livonia.
Big Al Can't Say No!
I knew when I went in to do the estimate that I didn't want this job. Have you ever known a person that couldn't say no? Well folks, Big Al is one of those people. Sometimes when I go to look at jobs I just get a feeling that this one is going to end up costing me money. On Tuesday we started this two day job of a small bedroom, and living room that needed refinishing. It also had a very small hallway that needed layers of different flooring materials removed and red oak installed so it could flow or connect with the two rooms.
A good number of these jobs we estimate still have the original 1970's green shag carpeting and we never know what lies beneath. On this particular job, the first thing we find are huge urine stains in the living room. This tells me a previous owner could have had a pet water buffalo, or maybe it's cat or dog urine. Any who, now our job has become two and a half days because of the repairs needed on the older wood floor.
The cat, dog, or baby elephant urine stains in the floor just cannot be removed without replacing the boards. I have actually pulled many pee stained boards out of floors and flipped the board over showing the stains on the back side as well, which goes to show how extensive the stains have penetrated.
Forget TV Shows Claiming Bleach Works
Customers from time to time will tell me, "but I see it all the time on TV with guys bleaching the stains…" Folks listen to me, not the general contractor. Trust me, bleaching is not going to help; not going to happen. If I could find a solution that would remove urine stains from flooring, I would not be here writing this job story. Instead, I would be basking in the sun on a remote island drinking tall drinks with umbrellas in them.
Black Gunk On Floors
The carpet is already out of the bedroom and low and behold it's covered in a black adhesive, also known to home owners as black goop, black gunk, or sticky black junk. Now our original two day job is a full three days. This black adhesive can be a major pain to get off the floor. It will gum up all of our equipment on our first sanding pass, then will have to be cleaned off before the rest of the sanding can take place which takes lots of time.
If the adhesive was spread at a time when there were gaps in the floor boards, the gaps will be full of mastic and will not come out. If this is the case, it could cause problems after the refinish job is complete. What usually happens once the humid summer months roll around, all hardwood floors begin to expand as there's more moisture in the air. Hence, that black mastic will get pushed out of the cracks that can create a huge mess. In our case, this showed no existing problem.
Everyone Is Happy!
To sum it all up, the job turned a profit. The customer was happier than a tornado in a trailer park. We got off schedule a bit, but hey stuff happens. Moral of the story, sometimes it pays not being able to say no! I also hope I've shown an example of how each and every job is different and yours could run longer than expected.
Pet Stains Before - picture shows areas where boards are cut out to be replaced.
Pet Stains After - picture shows repaired area with no visible signs of stains.