Lying in wait over your head in your home very well may be a dangerous mix of viruses, bacteria, mold, mildew, fungi, and other harmful substances. These potentially hazardous pathogens can be festering in your attic – but also end up being discharged throughout your home through the ventilation and HVAC systems. If you discover that you’ve some sort of significant contamination in your attic, like rodent droppings, you need to launch a serious campaign to address the issue. You need to undertake attic decontamination. There are some basic facts and factors associated with attic decontamination you need to understand. Chief among these points is the necessity of engaging a pro to assist you with attic decontamination.
Initial Walkthrough and Cost Estimate
Before a professional commences work on attic decontamination, the area to be addressed is subject to a walkthrough to garner an accurate understanding of the issues existing in the space. In addition, a professional attic decontamination company provides a reliable cost estimate to you. A reputable provider utilized upfront pricing that is comprehensive. There are hidden costs that are sprung on you when work is concluded.
Safety Issues and Attic Decontamination
Safety is a major issue when it comes to attic decontamination. For example, if one of the reasons for attic decontamination is to remediate the aftermath of a rodent infestation, the removal of mice or rat droppings will be a focus of the effort. Rodent droppings can harbor truly dangerous germs, viruses and bacteria that can cause serious and even fatal health conditions in people who come into contact with these feces.
Safety associated with attic decontamination includes wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. This includes:
- HEPA mask or respirator
- Protective eyewear
- Smock or uniform
When a need for attic decontamination has been identified, the space must be cordoned off. Until the biohazardous situation has been remediated, no one without proper personal protective equipment should be permitted entry into the space until attic decontamination has occurred.
Depending on the type of contamination in an attic, HVAC and ventilation systems may need to be shut down until decontamination is completed. A situation involving rodent droppings provides a useful illustration as to why this needs to occur.
Rodent droppings have the propensity to carry hazardous and even potentially life-threatening germs or pathogens. The hantavirus is one such pathogen. The hantavirus is capable of surviving in rodent droppings for an extended period of time after feces dry out. When rodent droppings dry, the crumble very easily. When rodent droppings crumble, feces dust containing the hantavirus can be released into the air. The contaminated feces dust can be spread throughout a home via the HVAC or ventilation systems. This process can expose people throughout the residence to the prospect of contracting the virus by breathing in contaminated droppings dust.
Removal of Biohazardous Materials
The next phase of the attic decontamination process is the physical removal of biohazardous material that may be found in the space. Contamination by rodent droppings can also provide a helpful overview of how physical removal of biohazards from an attic is accomplished.
Biohazardous materials need to be eliminated from an attic as part of the decontamination process in order to restore the space to a safe condition. Moreover, these items must be safely removed so as not to harm those involved in the attic decontamination process.
When the biohazardous material that needs to be dispatched consists of rodent droppings, the removal process initially necessitates the saturation of feces with an appropriate sanitizing solution. There are commercial products available from retailers like Home Depot. In the alternative, an affective sanitizing solution can be made by combining 1-part chlorine bleach with 9-parts water.
Rodents droppings are saturated with the sanitizing solution, which is left in place for 20 minutes. After that time, the feces and associated waste (rodent nests, for example) are removed and placed into a durable (perhaps even double layered) plastic bag.
When this is completed, a second application of the sanitizing agent on the contaminated areas is recommended. In this instance, the solution can be applied to the contaminated areas and left to dry.
Because biohazards in an attic can cover an expansive area, more may need to be done to decontaminate the space than what has been presented thus far. Two other steps may be necessary.
First, insulation in the attic that has been contaminated may not be able to be cleaned and saved. Indeed, that is a highly likely possibility. Thus, contaminated insulation will likely need to be removes as part of the decontamination process. A typical attic decontamination service will remove insulation for you. However, a biohazard remediator that specializes in attic decontamination usually will not replace insulation. You will need to undertake insulation replacement yourself or hire another profession to do this job for you.
Second, because of the nature of attic decontamination, a professional attic cleanup service may use different types of technology and equipment to sanitize the space. This may include the use of a fogger to deliver a sanitization agent to the attic space more broadly.