Hi everyone. I moved into a new house a few months ago. It has a very spacious, unfinished basement with an unsealed concrete floor. We have old furniture and plastic storage totes down there. My family and I made the horrible mistake of allowing a relative going through a very hard time to stay here for a week with her 2 huge dogs and 4 cats. The cats were all unneautered males. She lied and told us they were neutered before she arrived because she knew we would never allow them here if we knew the truth. I couldn't have the animals upstairs, so they mostly stayed in the basement.
Despite walking the dogs and letting them run around in the yard for hours each day, they still peed and defecated all over the basement. The cats would not use their litter box. Not only did they use my basement floor as a giant litter box, but they sprayed everywhere. I can't even tell what is sprayed on and what isn't at this point. The mix of terrible smells has traveled through out my entire house. It made its way up to the first floor and by the end of the week, reached the 2nd floor where the bedrooms are. I can't even eat in my kitchen because the smell is so intense and nauseating (the basement door is actually in the kitchen). I also don't know how I can ever allow friends and family to visit our home like this without total embarrassment.
So far, we have scrubbed the floor with Pine Sol and wiped down all of the storage totes with soap and water. It has only made a minor improvement. The house was brand new when we moved in and now smells like an animal hoarder has lived here for years. My cats are neutered, extremely clean and well behaved, so I have never dealt with this before.
I've done research on how to tackle the situation, but I've come across so many conflicting suggestions. I purchased a high pressure steam cleaner after reading one article, but according to others, this could actually force the odors deeper into the porous concrete floor. A man in Home Depot suggested that I get a shop vac and use that. I don't want to mistakenly do anything to make the clean up worse or more difficult in the long run.
I'm just freaking out. My entire family is highly sensitive to smells and obsessive about cleanliness. We don't know what to do to restore our home or if it will even be possible to get it back to the way it was before this nightmare occurred. We'd like to be able to deal with this on our own, but if hiring a professional cleaning service is the best way to go, we will come up with the money to do that. I'm also contemplating if I am going to have to throw out EVERYTHING in the basement.
Please...if anyone has ever gone through something like this or has any knowledge to guide me towards the best option, I would appreciate it more than you know. I'm desperate. I just want my house back and I'm prepared to do whatever it takes. Thank you so much to anyone who took the time to read this.