Spring is here, and if spring cleaning isn’t at the top of your to-do list, it should be! The windows, the cupboards, the garage, what else needs a deep cleaning? The attic.
When was the last time you were up in the attic? Although it’s rarely visited, the attic can play a vital role in the home maintenance and should be cleaned regularly. It’s not just cobwebs up there collecting- dust, mold, and allergens accumulate and then can spread to the rest of the house through the ventilation system.
Without a deep attic cleaning, rodents such as roof rats, mice, and possibly raccoons (yikes!) will be attracted to this area and want to make a home there among the storage and the mess. What’s worse than a rodent nesting in your attic? The havoc they can wreak on your insulation and attic structure. Complete contamination will happen immediately when rodent droppings or urine come in contact with attic insulation and wood. If undiscovered or untreated, it can lead to airborne contaminants that are very hazardous to your health.
Finally, without an annual or quarterly attic cleaning, you can unwittingly increase your home’s heating and cooling bills. Compromised attic insulation will not regulate the air temperature in your home the way it is meant to, and your comfort (and energy bill) will suffer.
Rather than letting things spiral out of control, be proactive! Sure, the cost to clean an attic depends on how big your space is. But it sure is cheaper than trying to deal with a rodent infestation or damaged attic insulation. Take a look at the details and find out why scheduling a quality attic cleaning service may be a great investment.
How much does attic cleaning cost
Cleaning an attic well, is really an art. It’s not as simple as cleaning other spaces in your home. It requires a skilled assessment of the space to determine Attic cleaning cost varies depending on the state of your space. The average homeowner pays attic clean up costs about $3,100, which includes decontamination services. This estimate is on the high end, but in reality, most homes do end up needing above and beyond a light cleaning and require some type of decontamination.
When attic materials are contaminated (due mold, bacteria, rodent feces, etc) they have to be expertly removed. It costs approximately $1.50 per square foot to have both insulation and rodent feces removed. Where there is dust, grime, and contamination all in a closed space, there will be serious odor! But luckily, professionals attic cleaning services can take care of that too. The process of deodorizing and disinfecting brings an attic cleaning cost of about $200.
Why attics are often neglected and why you need to clean your attic?
Why are attics neglected? Honestly, it’s normally an out-sight-out-of-mind type of thing. We get wrapped up in our day-to-day household messes and cleaning tasks but fail to regularly do the important task of attic cleaning. Although attic insulation is unseen, it has a very important role in your home’s make-up.
Properly installed attic insulation retains the heat that rises and travels up through your home, helping to regulate and maintain a cozy and comfortable temperature throughout the seasons all year long. Shabby, shoddy DIY, or just plain poor craftsmanship can sabotage the vital role that insulation plays in your household.
Without the right type of professionally installed attic insulation, heat will escape right through your attic and ceiling. Basically, you’d be throwing away money! In the average American home a little less than half (44%) of the energy used goes toward either heating or cooling, estimates the US Department of Energy. By replacing old insulation you can conserve energy and money. Potentially, your household could reduce heating bills by 10% to 50%!
Types of Attic insulation
BLANKET INSULATION: Made of Fiberglass, Mineral wool, Plastic fibers, or Natural fibers, this inexpensive type of insulation is most commonly used on unfinished walls and works best in spaces that are relatively free from obstructions.
CONCRETE BLOCK INSULATION: Usually used in new construction, concrete block is a foam board style insulation. Installing concrete block insulation requires special skills, and should not be attempted as a DIY project.
RIGID FOAM INSULATION: Acceptable for unfinished walls and floors, rigid foam is made of Polystyrene, Polyisocyanurate and Polyurethane materials. One advantage of rigid foam is that you get high insulating value for relatively little thickness.
LOOSE-FILL AND BLOWN-IN INSULATION: Probably the most common home insulation, loose-fill style insulation is really handy for hard to reach places, such as an enclosed existing wall or unfinished attic floors. It is literally blown or sprayed in using special equipment- you’ll need a contractor for this job!
REFLECTIVE SYSTEM: If your attic looks like it is covered in tin foil, then you have what is known as the reflective system. This insulation’s bubble-form can be ideal if your framing is off-kilter or if obstacles are in the way.
How much does it cost to insulate your attic?
Estimating the cost of properly insulating your attic begins with identifying the square footage you intend to cover. To calculate the footage of the space you want to spray, multiply the area you want to insulate by the depth in inches. The formulas looks like this: sq. ft. x depth in inches = board feet. Here are estimates for different types of insulation:
Closed-cell spray foam is generally $1.00 – $2.00 per board foot
Blown-in insulation will be about $1,500 to $2,000 for an average 1500 square foot home
Fiberglass insulation per square foot is between $0.64 – $1.19. For a professional job, factor in approximately $150 to $300 for labor, and the total will be around $300 to $500.
Blanket, block and reflective insulation- depending on the type and brand used, and whether you select rolls or boxed, the average square foot- will cost about 15 to 30 cents. For, professional installation, tack on an additional $500 to $750 for time and labor.
In general, a good estimate is that when insulating walls, plan for at least $1 per foot. Similarly, when insulting a roof and attic, you can plan to spend about $1,300 to $2,000 total for the entire professional job.
Although attic cleaning and attic restoration may not be at the top of your list, you should really consider it if you live in a home built in or before the 1970’s, or if your home is newer but you have never had the insulation assessed.
How long will it be good for?
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, spray foam insulation, wrap tape, and housewrap insulation can last for more than 80 years! What’s more is cellulose, loose-fill, foamboard, loose fill and rock wool insulation have the potential to last up to 100 years!
That may sound too good to be true. The thing is, those numbers assume that the insulation stays in mint condition. In reality, the lifespan of your insulation can be cut short due to several risk factors. Even though modern insulation is resistant to weather and humidity, you’ll need to routinely check for water damage. Roof leaks can cause insulation degradation over time, and form mold that can ruin insulation.
Also, any holes and compromised patches can make an entire roll of insulation ineffective.Hung insulation has been known to fall down from ceilings after about 15 years. Then mold growth can creep in, and dusty or unkempt insulation are less effective than untouched sections, and they can quickly become degraded.
An attic cleaning service is a great way to keep up with home maintenance this spring and keep your home’s heating and cooling systems running smoothly. The return on the investment of an attic cleaning cost is huge! Take time to contact the experts at Green Rat Control for your free estimate today.