20 Jan

Should You Replace Attic Insulation after Rodent Infestation

Many homeowners are frustrated to discover that successfully evicting rodents from the attic in Toronto is just the first step of a long journey. There is the task of repairing damage caused by the rodents, rodent and wildlife proofing the attic, cleaning up after rodent nest and feces and of course whether to remove the attic insulation.

Other than providing general information in this regard, err on the side of caution and hire an inspector or attic insulation removal and cleaning services to do an assessment and provide a professional recommendation.

When Replacing Insulation is Not Necessary

You may come across a few rodent feces in the attic and no other evidence that there are rodents living in your attic. Though plausible, it is rare that rodents simply leave on their own accord. Do a thorough inspection of the attic and crawlspaces to make sure that there are no animals present in the attic space.

In this case, you may get away with simply replacing the parts of the insulation where their feces are present. You definitely need to sterilize and disinfect the attic thoroughly to get rid of bacteria and pheromones which are notoriously difficult to eliminate. You may also need to deodorize to get rid of the distinct rodent smell that may have soaked into the rest of the insulation.

Make sure you wear a proper face-mask while in the attic preferably an N-100 rated respirator. Paper masks won’t offer you much protection from inhaling airborne pathogens if any are present. The diseases contained in rodent feces are well documented and include Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and Leptospirosis among others.

Again, this is a job best left to a professional. Over the counter, disinfectants may not be sufficient to completely get rid of the bacteria and pheromones present in the attic. You most likely need extensive treatment such as fogging which only a professional can perform properly.

When to Replace Attic Insulation

In most cases, however, it is necessary to replace all the attic insulation. This is a tedious process and not to mention potentially dangerous. There is the risk of inhaling pathogens, fibreglass and other airborne particles that can compromise your respiratory system among other possible health issues.

The best strategy when replacing attic insulation is to keep the debris and material confined to the attic to protect the rest of the home from contamination. This precaution is only possible with professional equipment such as a vacuum to suck out the old insulation directly out of the attic to the outside without running through the house.

It may be necessary to create a negative air zone if the insulation turns out to be toxic in the first place which is common with asbestos, zeolite and vermiculite insulation. As a rule, do not handle insulation unless you are absolutely sure that it is not toxic, rodent feces notwithstanding.

Hire an Attic Cleaning Service to Replace Insulation After Rodent Removal

Hire a professional attic cleaning service in Canada to perform an inspection and recommend the best course of action. The problem with the DIY approach isn’t limited to accurately judging whether to replace the insulation.

This is a good time to fix any air leaks in the attic (which can compromise energy efficiency by up to 50-percent) and get your R-Value up to the recommended level. The Ontario building code recommends R-50 to R-60. Keep in mind that how the insulation is installed affects the Effective R-Value. Effective R-Value refers to how the insulation performs once installed and isn’t always the same as advertised on the packaging if improperly installed.

Finally, you need to make sure that the rodent eviction is permanent and that you have rodent proofed the entire house. It is not unheard of for rodents to squeeze through a hole as small as the tip of a ball-point pen incredible as that may sound. Only a professional can guarantee that the proofing has been done satisfactorily and the rodent problem dealt with conclusively. Hire a professional attic cleaning service in Toronto after rodent eviction for the best result and insist on a warranty for the service.

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