Accidents happen, especially if you have young pets or an older one. Cleaning up isn't usually difficult on hardwood floors if you catch the accident early, but it can lead to major damage if you don't notice it for awhile. Staining, odors, and mold are just a few problems that can occur, either from the initial puddle or from a botched cleaning attempt.
#1: Check the Damage
Urine stains typically turn hardwood
Mold damage can occur if the floor remains damp, either from the urine or an improper cleaning attempt. Mold is typically greenish-black. It may form as a residue on the surface of the floor, or it can work its way into the floorboards.
#2: Buff It Out
Your first cleaning attempt should be simply sanding the floor. White stains that are in the poly finish typically sand right out, since the urine didn't soak into the board. These are by far the simplest stains to remove. Black stains, which caused the wood to discolor, may
Mold stains usually don't penetrate much further than the wood's surface if you catch it early. The main concern is with spreading the mold spores to nearby, unaffected wood boards. If you have mold, wipe the area with a 10 percent bleach solution first to kill the spores, then try to
#3: Try a Bleach
Wood bleaches can lighten, and in some cases completely remove, dark urine or mold stains on the floors. A wood bleach also takes the place of a 10 percent bleach solution if you are trying to kill mold spores.
These bleaches are caustic, so make sure you follow the specific safety, mixing, and application instructions for the particular product, since these may vary between manufacturers. Wood bleaches will lighten the entire board, so staining and sealing the entire floor is usually necessary so all the floorboards match afterward.
#4: Make Sure It's Dry
You got the stain out and now you are ready to refinish the floors. Not so fast! First, make sure the wood dries completely. You don't want to trap moisture under the
#5: Restain or Replace
There are still options if you couldn't remove the stain completely. You can stain the floor a darker color, which will camouflage the stain. Another option is to cut out the damaged floorboards and replace them with new ones. Although more expensive, this may be the only option if extensive staining or mold growth has occurred.