Using DooDoo Voodoo With "Trashed" Wood Floors Or Subflooring

The info on this page goes along with the info on our page about the Hoover Floormate (pictured here).  Also related is the info contained on our Case Studies page, particularly the info from our work at the infamous "cat pee condo."

We received an e-mail from a fellow who had purchased a home which had been a rental, and which had wood floors that had been trashed by previous tenants' dogs and cats, plus wild animals that had gotten into the house when it was vacant.  The floors' coating (polyurethane, likely) had been degraded, thus allowing the organic material to get into the wood.

The fellow intended to put carpet over the floor once he attended to the organic contamination, but he wanted our advice on the best way to attack his problem.

Given that we've gotten this same general question before, we figured it was time to put our response on the website for others to benefit from.

Here's what we advised.  If any of this is unclear or doesn't address your particular issue, feel free to e-mail us.


Hi, and thanks for the questions.  I'll answer them here, but please e-mail back if you're still unclear on anything.

Yes, use DooDoo Voodoo as you describe below on the floors.  As I mentioned before, it would be a benefit to do an extraction with a hard-surface cleaner (machine) such as the Hoover Floormate (detailed on our site here).  If you don't have such a machine, a carpet cleaning professional could do such an extraction, especially if he uses a Rotovac (shown here on the left).  This extraction is a benefit because it (a) removes a lot of organic contamination; and (b) draws embedded organic contamination out of the wood, having been loosened by DooDoo Voodoo (which helps contamination be released from the substrate via its chemical action).
This isn't to say that you can't have success with simple mopping; it's to point out that extraction is better than simple mopping, as mopping doesn't remove everything extraction does.
Yes, in the "cat pee condo" I applied Zinsser BIN over the subfloor (OSB) after treating it with DooDoo Voodoo.  I did cover part of it with plastic, but would not generally recommend this, as it can trap normal ambient moisture beneath the plastic.
As with my comments about extraction above, so goes it with regard to your question about treating the floor with DooDoo Voodoo alone or then sealing it with a coat of BIN or KILZ.  (BTW, KILZ used to say right on its label that it was not recommended for odors, but now it says it IS recommended for odor containment.  They make different "flavors" of KILZ, so this may not apply to all flavors; read the label carefully if you purchase KILZ instead of BIN.)
Many people have had success (as have I in my own home) with simply applying DooDoo Voodoo to the subfloor, but not then sealing with BIN or KILZ.  BUT...if your floor is as bad as you say...and you know you're not going to leave the floor exposed (meaning, you're planning to put down carpet), it might be more expedient (and better, long-term, as I'll explain in a moment) to treat, the seal.
I say that it might be better long-term because (a) try as we might to do our best work, at times we can miss areas or put down DooDoo Voodoo or sealer thinner in one area than in others, thus causing a weak link in the chain; and (b) by sealing the subfloor, you make subsequent soiling less likely to trash the subfloor again.
Going back to the extraction issue and tying it into the BIN issue:  Treating with DooDoo Voodoo, then coating the floor (assuming that it's in good enough condition) with polyurethane can also work (meaning, successfully eradicate as much odor as expediently as possible AND then seal in whatever remnant odor might remain AND protect the floor from subsequent soiling).
It is always prudent to use DooDoo Voodoo first, and not just put BIN or KILZ over the contaminated floor.  Coatings degrade over time, thus allowing odor to come back through.  Also, leaving organic contamination in the flooring is never a good idea for a variety of reasons I'm sure you can imagine.  DooDoo Voodoo's action uses the contamination as fuel for the fire, as it were, so there is virtually nothing left (assuming proper application and dilution).
At the condo in the case study, I actually grew impatient in one part of the living room and we coated with BIN before the subfloor was fully dry.  The BIN went down great and I saw no negative ramifications.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend this, but it worked for me.
I am not trying to confuse you with all these options.  I'm just trying to show you that you can perform your treatment in a variety of ways, depending on how in-depth you want to go.  I know that time can be of the essence to landlords, so you may not want to treat, wait for complete drying, assess the situation, perhaps re-treat, wait for complete drying, re-assess the situation, etc.  You may want to apply, extract (or, at least, mop), seal and be done with it.  This is likely an adequate plan if you're in a hurry and are going to be putting carpet down over the floor.
Extraction (or, at least, mopping) *may* be a wise move if you're planning to polyurethane after DooDoo Voodoo application.  As I mentioned, there is some high-quality detergent in our formula; this *may* be a bit soapy for polyurethaning over.  Customers have done so without extraction and have not reported bad results, but I always like to cover myself.  This is likely not an issue with a weaker mixture (2-4 ounces of Concentrate per gallon of water).
As to your question about coverage, I loosely follow the same guidelines as are published for Thompson's Water Seal (pasted below for you; note what I've highlighted in red).  They quote 150 sq. ft. per gallon on plywood and 225 sq. ft. per gallon on smooth-finish wood.  Note that in they don't specify whether this assumes application by rolling, brushing or spraying.  I would think that with application via a pump sprayer, you'd maximize coverage.  NOTE:  When applying these estimates to DooDoo Voodoo, be aware that these apply to mixed DooDoo Voodoo, not Concentrate.  Here's some sample math:
If you bought a quart of Concentrate and mixed it with warm water at the rate of 1oz per quart (4 ounces per gallon), that would yield coverage of 1200 sq. ft. if we go with the Thompson's quote of 150 sq. ft. for application over plywood.
Now, given your wood is admittedly degraded and has been soiled heavily, I think it's safe to assume that you'll need either a stronger mixture or repeat treatments or both.  Thus, a half-gallon kit might seem to be the place to start (it would double your coverage from the above example).  BUT, that example was figured at 4 ounces per gallon, which may be only half as strong as you need...and which would halve your coverage (back down to 1200 square feet).  This leads me to recommend a gallon kit, which is $163.90 including FedEx.
As I believe I mentioned, don't forget to use a blacklight (ours or yours) to check up the walls.  I believe you'll find further soiling there.
Don't forget, too, to make sure to hit the baseboards well, including shooting DooDoo Voodoo under them where they meet the floor (if this area is accessible).  Caulking these areas once they've dried will improve odor containment; even spraying DooDoo Voodoo there will likely not get the product in contact with all the organic materials that's seeped in.
Caulk or putty any nail holes (or tackless strip holes) in the floor after treating with DooDoo Voodoo but before sealing with BIN, KILZ or polyurethane.
I hope I've answered your questions and that you'll go ahead with your order of a gallon kit.  I believe you'll find the investment in DooDoo Voodoo to be a worthy one, as so many have (as noted on our Testimonials page).  If you have further questions, e-mail back.
Eric Smith


Approximate Coverage
*Actual coverage will vary considerably due to porosity of surface materials.
Brick - 275
Concrete - 330
Smooth Concrete Block - 50
*Clay Tile & Quarry Tile - 400
Stucco - 300
*Slate - Masonite - 400
Wood: Rough Sawn - 125
Wood: Smooth Finish - 225
Plywood - 150

Wood Shingles - 100