Attic Decontamination - Clean and Deodorize the Attic


06.16.2005 - This is a standard attic decontamination job. This attic was infested with rodents - both Roof Rats and Eastern Gray Squirrels. I trapped and removed all of the animals and indentified and permanently sealed shut all of the entry points. However, the attic remained vulnerable, because the rodents had left behind their scent, and the entire border of the house was vulnerable. The rats and squirrels had chewed their way into the wooden fascia board and right down into gaps in the wooden roof that lay below barrel tiles. It's important to remember that rodents communicate via the smell of their urine and pheromones. This rodent scent remained in the attic, and acted as an attractant to other rodents. Even though I removed all of the rodents inside of the attic, they left their scent behind, and new rodents were likely to smell it and attempt to chew their way into the house.

Thus, I felt it important to remove the scent by decontaminating and deodorizing the attic. I use special cleaners, including an enzyme-based cleaner that eliminates any biohazard organic waste from animals, including droppings and urine.

I use the electric powered atomizer as shown in the above photo, which creates a fine mist that flows through the whole attic and gets every nook and cranny, for 100% coverage and cleanup. To protect myself against insulation fibers and animal biohazard, I wear a disposable Tyvek suit and I wear the respirator mask, as shown above. This attic fogging destroys the rodent pheromone scent, and eliminates the odor that would have attracted new rodents to the chew their way into the attic.

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Leptosporous - Lepto, short for leptospirosis, is a bacterial infection in mammals that affects the kidneys. It harbors in stagnant water and can be transmitted through contact with animal waste, including waste in your attic. Leptospirosis is very common in many parts of the country. Dogs are frequently vaccinated for this disease. It generally does not exhibit signs in canines until the illness has destroyed too much of the kidney function to be reversible. There are multiple strains of this disease, and the vaccination does not cover them all. Unfortunately, most people who contract leptospirosis get it from their pet. Raccoons are another species known to carry leptospirosis. Families in the country often worry about raccoons urinating on wood to be burned. This wood is then brought into the home where cats, dogs, and children can come in contact with it. Symptoms in people include those similar to the flu. Muscle weakness, fever, chills, and coughing are all common. More progressed versions of this disease will show with enlarged lymph nodes, bone pain, and a swollen spleen. The disease can be treated with antibiotics, but most cases require hospitalization. Because of the flu-like symptoms of leptospirosis, many people go undiagnosed for a long period of time which is why many cases progress to serious levels.

Once you have had an animal or multiple animals in your attic, you have likely had them removed as soon as possible. With that being done, you have probably considered having your attic cleaned, as animals living in there can cause serious risk for disease, mold, and mites, among many other problems. If you have already had the animal feces removed, now it is time to clean and deodorize your attic. Cleaning and deodorizing your attic will entirely eliminate all of the microbial and odor-causing issues within your attic.

Why have your attic cleaned and deodorized?

There are a few obvious benefits to doing this, in addition to a few hidden benefits. One of the most obvious benefits of having your attic cleaned and deodorized is the fact that your home will not smell because of the odors in your attic. Over time, the scent of an attic points to a growth of some kind of mold or bacteria that is causing the odor. There are so many diseases such as leptospirosis and rat-bite fever, that can be left in your attic even after the animals have been removed. When your attic smells good, you will know that there is nothing going on that can potentially harm you and your family. One of the less-often thoughts about the benefits of deodorization is a vital part of most animals' biology. Most animals, specifically nuisance animals that have the potential to get into your attic, rely on scent communication. When they smell the urine and feces of other animals of the same species, they will be attracted to the scent and move into your attic, defeating everything you have worked so hard to remove. As you can see, no attic restoration is complete without the deep-cleaning and deodorization of the attic. It is highly recommended to have a professional wildlife removal service or an attic restoration service perform this task, as it can be very harmful to someone who is inexperienced. Even if you have all the right protective gear, performing the process can be difficult for someone who does not have experience. This is something you should leave to professionals, as it is more cost-effective and you will be sure it is done right.

Inspection & Method

If you are having the same company do this as the one that did the feces removal, they likely have already examined what they will have to do. They will provide you with various options, but they will probably use an enzyme-based cleaner that many attic restoration companies do. They will get into their full protective suits and get up into the attic. Once up there, they will use the enzyme-based cleaner and fog the attic with it. This enzyme-based cleaner breaks down organic matter, getting rid of the risk for more disease and odors. The way in which the cleaner is applied ensures that it will reach every inch and crack of your attic, as it works as a fogger in essence. The cleaner also destroys the pheromones that animals communicate by, preventing the risk for any future animal infestations. Once this is done, your attic is good to go when it comes to odors and harmful bacteria.

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