If your attic has been invaded by wildlife, odds are that your insulating material has taken a significant hit as well. From droppings that can and will stain and make the insulating material smell poorly, to the same droppings disintegrating and spreading disease when the insulation is handled – it requires a lot of work, but there’s a clear-cut protocol you should always follow when cleaning and replacing insulation after wildlife infestations.
Determine the kind of wildlife inhabiting the attic and get rid of it: The first thing you should do is identify the cause and remove it. Whether you undergo the task yourself, or you hire a professional to do it, removing wildlife safely and humanely should be your primary mission. This will ensure further damage to the insulation is halted, and there will be no more droppings being produced, which you’ll have to clean after. There will be several options for removing the wildlife, and you will need to first identify what kind of animal it is, and take appropriate measures based on that. The droppings left over can give you a clear clue as to what wildlife has made its home in your attic, but so can other different factors such as odor, noises, the schedule under which the animal goes through its routine, and of course, visual confirmation.
Cleaning, decontamination and replacement of insulation: For the most part and in most cases, the affected insulating material will need to be completely removed and replaced. To do that, you’ll first need to manually – or by using a vacuum cleaner – remove the droppings from the insulating material. It’s also a good idea to do this, as your contamination may not need a full replacement, and you might save some material and consequently money in the long run, never mind the extra work you’ll be spared of.
Once you’re done actually removing droppings or dead animals from the premise, you’ll need to move on to the more challenging part: cleaning and decontaminating the area properly. From using antibacterial products, to industrial-grade solutions to clean animal feces, to properly airing the area out and making sure nothing is left behind, it’s all very important for your health. Droppings can and will leave residue which can pose significant threats to your health by becoming easily airborne. Depending on the situation, you may even have to use a good quality odor removal in order to make sure there’s no leftover smells which can attract other animals.
Last thing is, depending on the severity of the infestation and affected area, you will need to remove and completely replace the insulating material. You can remove patches, if only certain areas are affected, but for the most part, you’d probably want to redo the entire insulation in the attic, and then take preventive measures for getting future infestations. If you don’t properly take care of the insulation material in your attic, not only will it start to smell very bad, but it will also become a source of infection, and pose a high risk of fire if electrical wiring is present. That being said, full attic restoration isn’t a necessity most of time, so if you’re unsure of the damage degree in your attic, or about the extent of the measures you need to take, it’s always a good idea to seek the counsel of a pro wildlife remover.
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