“Urine smell” paint forces B&Q to pay compensation


B&Q will grant hundreds of customers compensation following uproar over paint emitting “dead soggy mouse” odour.

The retailer received numerous complaints over paint which released an ammonia-type odour, with confused customers only discovering the culprit after bleaching carpets and calling plumbers.

Many likened the odour to cat‘s urine, reportedly worsening in the hot weather and becoming severe enough to cause headaches.

According to Valspar, who supply paint to B&Q, the smell is caused by a bacteria allowed to grow in the paint after the removal of a preservative, which has now reportedly been reinstated.

B&Q are yet to confirm how compensation will be paid, and how much customers are entitled.

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B&Q has advised customers to cover the offending paint with alkaline sealer and reapply paint on top.

“It’s a well-known issue in the paint industry,” managing director of ECHA Microbiology in Cardiff Graham Hill said.

“The bacteria grow in the can and release hydrogen sulphide gas which is the bad egg smell, and ammonia which is the urine smell.”

Valspar have said that the preservative has now been replaced in eight of its 140 paint products.

“The ammonia-type odour occurs very rarely and when used on walls that are particularly porous, and where the wall is exposed to excessive heat or direct sunlight,” the company said in a statement.

“The odour naturally wears off over time.

“We are working with B&Q to support our customers. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and ask that anyone similarly affected contact B&Q‘s Customer Services.”

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