Costs of an Attic Clean up

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How to calculate the cost of attic restoration. 

raccoon feces
Raccoon feces (droppings) in insulation can host raccoon round worm eggs but often times desiccate in the heat of an attic.

 

Here are the top 10 things that affect the cost of an attic clean up after an animal damages your attic. Clean up of animal feces can be costly – how much depends on what is involved.

  1. Estimating Fees: A professional producing an estimate will often charge for his/her time, just like an insurance adjuster might get paid to actually visit the claim site and work on your claim. Things take time to document and produce. An estimate is certainly more than just “looking at a job.” At one point it could become a legally binding agreement!
  2. P.P.E.: This stands for personal protection equipment and is almost always required by law to protect workers at risk for disease, and breathing in things like fiberglass insulation particles.
  3. Exit Path: This is the construction of a safe space to take contaminated insulation and feces out of the attic and possibly through the living space where we do not want any cross contamination. This usually consists of temporary plastic sheeting walls and heavy protective floor coverings.
  4. Equipment Charges: This could be an Ozone machine, an Air Scrubber, or a heavy duty Insulation Vacuum. These things work to make the air itself cleaner, safer, and actually smell better.
  5. Bulk Removal: This line item includes the removal of the bulk insulation, meaning the large pieces whether it is blown in insulation or batten rolls.
  6. Fine Cleaning: This is the hard part. This line item is where your run of the mill insulation removal companies fail as all they do is bulk removal and then install new right over the mess that is left behind. Fine cleaning means just that, you get in there and go over every inch of the attic to remove as much contamination as possible. Nobody can offer 100% remediation of a pathogen – but we can reduce the likelihood of exposure.
  7. Chemical Cleaning: This could include hand wiping surfaces for bacteria and disease. It could also include fogging an area with a fogger. This aerosol method disperses the active ingredients into the air into a fine mist to get better coverage of an area with the chemical. This can be very effective in odor control.
  8. Dump Fees: This could be an actual dumpster onsite to collect the debris as well as fees to get rid of the waste and affected materials.
  9. Repairs: These might be necessary to prevent further damage and could include a vent cover to keep another animal from entering the attic space again!
  10. Warranty: You’ll want this, and some people pay extra for an extended warranty on the repairs and an annual follow up that may occur to renew it later on. 

Professionals often use software just like an insurance agent might in determining the cost of the total project/claim. I have used many software product but became frustrated by it all because it took more than one or two to produce something that was acceptable to me.

To produce bids for attic restoration projects involving wildlife control I used to use at least 3 different applications. I decided I would create my own application to simplify the process down to a single place where I could pull in the items I need, add images, and export it as a PDF. Yep, that’s right beside performing wildlife control I also build software applications. I created a seperate company called NWCOPRO apart from my wildlife removal business which is of course, Parker Wildlife Control.

I call this the NWCOPRO Estimator and if you operate a wildlife removal business and your interested, you can sign up for FREE at https://www.nwcopro.com/estimator.a5w

You read that right, it’s free. No credit card needed, no hidden charges, etc. You sign up of course to personalize and secure your information but other than that, all you have to do is sign in, get to work, and create an estimate. I figure if you start using it, perhaps you will then decide to pay for my whole business application called NWCOPRO. The estimator application is a fully functioning completely free to use program, there are no ads either. Consumers and professionals can use it all they want at no cost!

If you think you have an attic clean-out or attic restoration quote that is too high or very expensive, always be sure to compare apples to apples. Go through the estimate and consider the cost of each portion. Sometimes people include the fine cleaning in with the bulk removal which could explain why the cost to remove the insulation seems so much higher than what others are charging for what appears to be the same thing! 

To get an attic back to “clean” you need to remove the bulk and go over the whole thing with a HEPA filtered vacuum. This takes considerable time but is worth it when you need to get it as clean as possible.

An attic with a very small amount of damage may not need the entire thing cleaned out and replaced. If you really think about it the attic insulation itself is an extreme health hazard should you breathe it in. In fact, parts per million floating in the air you will more than likely find more fiberglass floating around than raccoon roundworm eggs, so please don’t let anyone fear sell you into cleaning out the entire attic over a minute issue.

Now with that said, to date I have never seen an insurance company pay for a partial clean-out. They just don’t do it. They always err on the side of caution and it’s all or nothing. If your filing a claim, they will probably recommend full replacement, unless there are seperate attic spaces that were not involved in the first place.

Speaking of insurance companies, people ask me all the time if I think their insurance company will pay for any damages that the animal has caused. All I can tell you is that you will have to talk to your agent and review your policy as it directly relates to your coverage. Insurance typically covers any damages that happened but often exclude waste and pollution. Bat Guano can be viewed as pollution and therefore excluded by your policy. Many insurance companies are starting to specifically exclude anything related to wildlife and animal damages not unlike “vermin” which generally speaking means insects/pests. Words really matter, as well as the exact definition of those words. One thing for sure is that if you were to fight it in court and there is anything shady in the definition the ruling will come down in favor of the insured. On the other hand, I have seen a case here in New Orleans where the Bat Guano was ruled as waste under the pollution clause in the policy and the poor guy lost in court leaving him to foot the bill to repair and restore his rental property on his own! You are not always guaranteed to win!

Regardless, if you have been given what appears to be a really high estimate to restore your attic due to animals feel free to give me a call or send me an email. The cost of an attic restoration is almost always pretty expensive but you can save some money by getting at least 2 quotes for the same job.

Like I said, once you have your quote be sure that you understand what affects the cost and what those costs mean.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

2 Comments

  1. Tom Brothers

    Reply

    Interested in discussing squirrel issue. We sealed up the gable vents but they ate their way back in.

    • Reply

      You’ll have to get rid of the squirrels causing the damage. It is most likely that there are young in there! Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, I was unaware of the comment.

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