Let’s face it. Attic cleaning is intimidating! It’s usually dirty and dusty and typically requires you to wear a mask and protective clothing just to clean it. Not to mention, it’s the one part of the house that isn’t in plain view and, therefore, tends to go unnoticed.
But there a plenty of reasons why attic cleaning should be a top priority. Given the opportunity, rats and other rodents would love to move in and make themselves at home. There could also be hidden dangers like asbestos or mold lurking in the walls. To ensure that your attic stays clean and your health in good shape, here are the top 10 basic tips for attic cleaning and decontamination.
1. How Often Should You Clean the Attic?
The answer is frequently! It is a part of your house after all, but at least twice a year is a more realistic approach for many homeowners.
2. When Should Attic Sanitation Occur?
There are at least three essential times for attic sanitation.
- The beginning of spring is a popular time for cleaning. The colder weather typically attracts rodents to warm places, so it’s best to make sure no unwelcome visitors are taking up residence in the attic without your knowledge. You can also use this time to check on the quality of your insulation and look for moisture that may cause mold or rot. If it’s difficult for you to move around, it might be a good idea to do some organizing too.
- The beginning of winter, as previously mentioned, is always a good time to clean and check on the attic to make sure that your walls are sealed and readily insulated for the cold months ahead. It’s likely that the winter elements will make attic cleaning difficult, or even impossible later on, so it’s best to take care of it while you can.
- This goes without saying, but anytime you hear noises such as scratching and scurrying in the attic, it should be inspected, cleaned, and sealed right away! Call pest control if you need to, but you’ll want to jump on the problem immediately to avoid an infestation.
3. DIY Attic Cleaning Steps
Maybe you’d like to do your own attic cleaning, but don’t have a clue as to where you should start, here are some basic steps to follow as a guideline.
- Safety first. Be sure to gear up before attempting to clean. This includes wearing protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, gloves, and hats, to protect yourself from allergens and other irritants. A mask is also a necessary factor to keep your lungs from inhaling harmful matter.
- Preparation. Remove boxes and any items obscuring the ground to make the inspection, sealing, and cleaning easier.
- Start cleaning! Vacuum all the dust, dirt, dander and insects from the space.
- Dispose of dead animals. If you happen upon a deceased rat or mouse, have them removed, and then make sure that your walls and roof are secure against any future visitors.
- Check insulation. If you’ve had a rodent infestation in the past, you’ll likely need to have it removed and replaced.
- Watch for mold. Inspect your attic for moisture. If you have a leaky pipe or faulting venting, it’s possible that you may have mold. As mold can be toxic, it should be removed as soon as possible.
- Prevention. Lastly, seal up all cracks and holes in your attic walls, making sure there’s no possibility for rodents to enter. This also means checking the roof for damage, and preventing moisture.
4. Hire the Pros for Attic Insulation Services
Attic cleaning and inspection isn’t as risky as replacing your own insulation. This is a job best suited for the professionals.
- If you’ve had an infestation in the past, you risk contamination to yourself, your home, and others by handling the product on your own.
- Mold spores can spread quickly and easily. If your insulation contains mold, dragging it out of your house could end up causing more problems than good.
5. Get Rid of Attic Mold
Mold can be tricky to clean and potentially hazardous depending on its kind. It should never be neglected! Most homeowners hire the pros to take care of it, but handling it yourself is a possibility as long as you follow these basic steps.
- Wear protective clothing. Cover as much as yourself as you can for protection against allergens, and don’t forget the mask!
- Inspect and Prep. Look for water damage, remove all obstacles and wet objects. Be sure to check on the condition of the insulation too.
- Treat it. Dry the mold first, using plastic sheeting, fans, or dehumidifiers, then treat it with either water and vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
- Remove and Seal. Lastly, remove the mold spores with your method of choice: wire brushing, media blasting, etc.…then seal the area to prevent future growth.
6. Odor Removal
If there’s a foul stench in your home that just won’t go away, no matter how hard you try, you’ll need to seek help. Green Rat Control understands the danger in letting odors permeate within your home, and has the experience to get rid of it for good. Here’s why odor removal is important.
- Odors can be dangerous to your health. Contaminants can become airborne and put you and your family at risk. Cigarette smoke is a common odor that usually settles in troublesome places like your air vents and requires careful attention to eliminate it.
- You could have a dead animal. Sometimes rats will weasel their way into your walls and die, leaving a terrible odor in their wake. This can lead to attracting other pests, and even damaging your walls.
7. Attic Decontamination
Sometimes the attic requires a deep cleaning that you’re unlikely to achieve on your own. Just like with odors, it’s sometimes best to seek help from professionals who know how to handle the deep cleaning process after an infestation has occurred. This is what you can expect from quality attic decontamination.
- Scrubbing with brushes, sponge, water and other solvent cleaning solutions to wash away dust and loose dirt hence decontamination.
- Evaporation or vaporization that separates solid dirt from the vapor which can then be condensed and recollected as clean liquid whereas the residual is disposed of, hence decontamination.
- Dissolving chemicals into liquids that react with the dirt in the process of chemical leaching.
- Washing lightly with water using pressurized or gravity flow in the process of water rinse this enable decontamination of loose dirt.
- Use of steam jets using the injector, ejector, steam injector, eductor-jet pump or thermo compressor for decontamination.
8. Prepare for Attic Decontamination Services
Green Rat Control works so that you and your family don’t have to, but when it comes to prepping for attic decontamination, there are a few simple steps that you can complete to help the process run as smoothly as possible.
- Remove pets and children from the home. Involve them in a fun activity outside the home.
- Schedule an outing. If you’re sensitive to dust and cleaning products, you may want to step out.
- Ventilate the home. Open the windows during service hours to keep air flowing through the house.
- Clear away clutter. This is to help make it easier for the pros to do their job with little distraction.
9. Attic Asbestos Should Be Removed
Green Rat Control handles everything from infestations to mold, but asbestos attic insulation is no exception. Great caution is needed to deal with the product because of its health risks. Learning how to identify and test for asbestos is something you may be able to do, but don’t hesitate to seek out professional help!
10. How Much Does Attic Cleaning and Insulation Cost?
Attic cleaning and decontamination costs around $200. Depending on the services and type of insulation you’re seeking, the prices may vary. However, it’s worth the cost to let Green Rat Control install it for you to avoid mistakes or injury. Prices are calculated by square footage and are estimated here.
Related: How to Rodent-Proof Your Attic