Step-by-Step Guide to Decon Rodents from Attic

rodent decontamination

Rodent decontamination is a messy process! Those little “varmints” can create a lot of damage in a short amount of time. At Fresh Start, we have dealt with our fair share of rodent problems! We have found significant rodent contamination and carnage especially in wall cavities of basements. In addition, our attic insulation installers frequently run into rodent contamination in attics. In the video below our owner, Ben Fetzer will discuss the 8 practical steps that need to be taken during a rodent decontamination cleanup.

Steps to Rodent Decontamination in Your Attic

Steps for Rodent Decontamination:

  1. Trap any rodents currently living in the attic
  2. Close off their access point into the attic
  3. Remove all blown-in & bat insulation
  4. Expect all electrical wiring for damage or fire hazards
  5. Clean all contaminated wood surfaces with HEPA filtration & sanitization
  6. Remove any urine saturated drywall and replace
  7. Seal exposed wood surfaces with an antimicrobial coating to create a non-porous surface
  8. Install new blown-in insulation with the EPA’s Energy Efficiency R-50 Rating

The most important thing to consider when dealing with a rodent infestation is the contamination aspect and the importance of cleaning up properly. The CDC recommends the following personal safety precautions when cleaning up after a “heavy rodent infestation“:

  • coveralls (disposable, if possible);
  • rubber boots or disposable shoe covers;
  • disposable vinyl gloves;
  • protective goggles;
  • and an appropriate respiratory protection device, such as a half-mask air-purifying (or negative-pressure) respirator with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with HEPA filters. Follow local and state requirement regarding pulmonary function and fit testing before beginning any work requiring the use of a respirator.
  • Personal protective gear should be decontaminated upon removal at the end of the day. All potentially affected waste material (including respirator filters) from clean-up operations that cannot be burned or deep-buried on site should be double-bagged in appropriate plastic bags. The bagged material should then be labeled as infectious (if it is to be transported) and disposed of in accordance with local requirements for infectious waste.

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Video Transcription of Attic Rodent Decontamination

Hey everybody! Ben Fetzer with Fresh Start Restoration. Going to do a quick video here today, I want to discuss something that we’re doing at our project today that you might not have thought about. It’s insulation removal from your attic. This is a loose installation that we are removing today. If you can hear that noise in the background, that’s the machine outside of my truck.

We’ve got a little system rigged up where we’ve got some six-inch hose going up into the attic. It’s coming out of a window. We’ve got an extension ladder below the hose to keep the hose off the roof so it doesn’t damage the roof. And then we’ve got to connect it to a big vacuum, which is blowing it into a great big bag. A 90 cubic feet bag. So, it’s the reason that we’re doing it is because of rodent soiling.

Story of Rodent Decon

So they’ve had some issues with rodents in the attic and it’s gross up there. We’ve gone up there and found areas where there was a lot of waste, animal waste. So because of that, my recommendation and the homeowner already wanted to do this is to just remove the insulation. So the homeowner actually thinks, noticed a smell, to start with, and then I started doing some other renovation.

That maybe you, maybe you noticed a smell. Your attic is an area where animals can definitely get in and start to live there, soil, and contaminate insulation or drywall or chew on wires, things like that. So if you hearing anything in your attic as far as animal movement, you definitely want to get up there and find out what’s going on, what kind of an animal might be in there, and you may need to take some insulation out.

Repair and Reinstall

And then, of course, add new insulation. So what we’re gonna do is we’re going to remove the insulation. Hopefully, we don’t have to remove any drywall, but if it’s soiled very badly as far as urine on the drywall we’ll probably have to cut that out and replace that or cut it out and have a drywall-er replace that. So that’s, that’s a possibility, but we’re hoping that doesn’t need to happen.

You also get to expose all of your electrical wires, find out if anything has been chewed on as far as rodent chewing on the electrical lines, make sure you don’t have any kind of fire hazards as a result of your animals chewing on stuff. Then also you just get things clean. So we’re going to disinfect any wood, drywall that’s been affected. Then I’m actually going to put a sealer on it to just try and get rid of any odors that might be caused by the wood being soiled.

Improve Attic Efficiency

So then we will add new installation and shoot for an R-50 on R-value. Build a nice tall box around the attic access so you can blow your insulation all the way around the access. Put a lot of insulation on top of the actual access panel. So you’ve got about an R-40 where your panel is sitting and an R-50 where we’ve blown-in insulation. So a nice, tight attic, nice well-performing efficient attic makes a big difference. It’s a hot day to be up in the attic today, but you got to do what you gotta do so.

Ben Fetzer with Fresh Start! If you have any issues with your attic, you need to add insulation and/or you think you got some critters that are contaminated and you need to pull some installation out, give us a call, we’ll come and assess it for free, get you a free estimate and then we’d be glad to help you solve your problems. So Ben Fetzer with Fresh Start Restoration, moldkansascity.com!