Critter Damage and Repairs


A recent client of mine contacted my office because of some health issues they were having in their home. They requested a mold evaluation be performed to see if the health issues were related in any way to any possible mold. They had contacted another competitor of mine who after some time told them they could not find any real issues anywhere and suggested that the health issues are not mold related.
I got called in to perform a 2nd opinion, and I too determined that the living area of the home had no real issues as far as health related. Once checking out the house, I requested that they show me the access to any attic area that they may have. The photos that are posted are only a few of the many I took.
The house had been suffering for many years from a squirrel infestation. The owner stated that they had trapped them on occasion over the many past years and that they had to keep on going into the attic to sweep up the garbage that they were generating as a result of them damaging the insulation.
We have seen postings many times about how to remove squirrels from attics etc. But never really talked about how to prevent them from wanting in so bad before. What happens as the critters themselves deposit urine and feces inside the house they create a pheromone that simply attracts more animals that also want into the house. No matter how well you attempt to seal them out, they will relentlessly continue to eat, chew and squeeze themselves into the tiniest of cracks just to get to where the smell is coming from.
When I opened the hatch door to gain access into the attic, I was greeted with a large pile of squirrel poop. Upon entering into the attic I saw what I can only discribe as complete and utter destruction. I was amazed that first off the last mold guy did not even bother to look into the attic. Then I was amazed that the house did not burn down as the critters had made nests on top of a few high hat lights and had chewed several wires for a late night snack.
We removed over 80 bags of urine soaked and feces contaminated insulation where it still existed. Our masks not only had chemical protection against the fumes that are created when cleaning, but we also had to have a charcoal filter system installed on the mask to keep out the smell. My guys and I went through several filters and jump suites during our five day quest to fix the issue and make the house smell better.
We HEPA vacuumed the entire attic around 5 or 6 times just to remove any prior bathroom visits that we had to clean up after. We then fogged the entire attic followed by an ozone treatment over night to kill an living animals that may have hidden somewhere that we missed/ Although I doubted it.
In any case we cleaned, disinfected, cleaned again then installed an R42 blown in fiberglass to complete the job in five days. The photos attached tell the rest of the story.
Applying new fiberglass insulation after everything was cleaned
Applying new fiberglass insulation after everything was cleaned
The start of the project. Our super vac pretty much sucked up anything that it came into contact with.
The start of the project. Our super vac pretty much sucked up anything that it came into contact with.
Just one of the many areas that they destroyed.
Just one of the many areas that they destroyed.
Two of the 12 plus dead squirrels that we removed. Plus what we think was a raccoon as it was much to large of a carcass to have been anything else.
Two of the 12 plus dead squirrels that we removed. Plus what we think was a raccoon as it was much to large of a carcass to have been anything else.
Simply layers of insulation covered with animal feces throughout all of the 1000 square foot attic we had to clean.
Simply layers of insulation covered with animal feces throughout all of the 1000 square foot attic we had to clean.
One of the several nests we had to dig out. Note the hole on the right side soffit area. One of the many entrances that these critters utilized.
One of the several nests we had to dig out. Note the hole on the right side soffit area. One of the many entrances that these critters utilized.
What is shown here is the paper that is left after the animals chewed off all the insulation just leaving the paper backing.
What is shown here is the paper that is left after the animals chewed off all the insulation just leaving the paper backing.
Once cleaned up we contstructed foam boxes to cover every high hat light to allow insulation to be placed directly onto the boxes instead of allowing them to be buried unsafely with the blown in fiberglass I used.
Once cleaned up we contstructed foam boxes to cover every high hat light to allow insulation to be placed directly onto the boxes instead of allowing them to be buried unsafely with the blown in fiberglass I used.

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2 of 13 comments
  • Carrie Krumrie
    on Jan 15, 2015

    wow...so glad there are people that are doing this type of work....some of the attic reminded me of an attic in a house I rented.....thank you so much for this information...and the pictures...

  • Lynn
    on Jan 30, 2015

    Thanks for the information and all the comments, which always are appreciated for their additional info. I hope I never have this problem. Yikes!

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