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Are there tests a homeowner can do to check for germs virus etc. We had a sewer pipe failure in yard and now concerned contamination has been tracked in.

7. January 2020

Sewage is a biohazard material that can threaten your health and well-being if it finds its way in your home.  If a sewer pipe failed so close to your home, there is a good chance that the contamination could be tracked in.

For safety reasons, there is not a test that a homeowner can do themselves to tell if their property is contaminated by sewage.  Testing for sewage should be done by an environmental or restoration professional.  If you believe your home is affected, call a local health or environmental professional to test your property.  You can also reach out to a restoration professional that provides sewage cleaning to see if they can test your property or recommend a professional in your area who can.  It is important to do this immediately because the longer you live with a sewage contamination, the more likely you are to experience adverse health reactions.

If the sewage contamination did get inside your home, restoration professionals can identify the affected areas and ensure they are restored to safe conditions.  They use powerful cleaning products and effective methods to remove dangerous and clean affected objects and surfaces.

For more information, you can consult our following blogs:

Why Cleaning up Sewage is Never a DIY Project

How can Sewage be Cleaned Up?

How do you prevent water damage through the foundation?

7. January 2020

This is an important question as the foundation of your home is highly vulnerable to water damage if certain actions are not taken.  Excess water from flooding or rain can find its way into your home through the foundation if it pools near your home or if the soil is saturated.

The first thing you should do is check the condition of the foundation of your home.  Look for cracks in the foundation wall and other types of damage.  You can fill in small cracks using caulk.  If there is significant damage to your foundation that cannot be fixed with simple caulking, it is best to call a professional.

After checking the condition of the foundation, you should take the following steps to keep water away from your foundation:

  • Grade the soil around the foundation: The ground immediately surrounding your home should be graded to slope away from the home. This will cause all water near the home to drain away from the foundation and prevent pooling.  The slope should be at least 6 inches and it is best to use dense soil for the grading.
  • Install a drainage system: If grading is not enough, you can install drainage systems to help keep water away from the foundation. Installing a drainage system involves a lot of digging and the installation of several different parts which may require calling a professional.
  • Ensure functional gutters and downspouts: It is important to keep your gutters and downspouts clear and in good repair to ensure proper drainage. If the gutters are full of debris, then the water will not drain from your roof properly and could end up running down the side of your house.  This can cause water damage to the siding and windows and result in water pooling around the foundation.  The gutters must be clear of debris and the downspouts should be at least 10 feet from the foundation.
  • Install a sump pump: Sump pumps are effective for pumping rainwater and groundwater away from your foundation. The water in the soil around your home drains into a sump basin and when this basin fills, a sensor will go off and prompt the sump pump to activate and pump the water away from the home.  Make sure that the water is pumped a safe distance from your home and do not pump the water into the sewage system.

For more information on preventing water damage through the foundation, check out our blog How to Protect Your Home’s Foundation from Water Damage.

my husband passed away and I need help getting his personal items out but along with that he was a gardener and has so much to clean up also he kept everything in the garage . I don’t know where to start

7. January 2020

Before answering this question, our condolences on the passing of your husband.  Cleaning out the belongings of a loved one who has passed on is difficult on an emotional level as well as a physical level and it is natural to need help and emotional support during this time.

When it comes to cleaning out the items in the garage, you can start by sorting through the items and deciding what can be kept and what should be thrown away.  Reach out to close friends and family members to help with the cleanup.  They will not only help you with the cleaning, but also be there for emotional support.

There are also professionals that provide cleaning services to help clear out a large amount of content.  Some restoration professionals provide deep cleaning, estate cleaning, and hoarding cleaning and are equipped to handle cleaning on a large scale.  If the garage is not only full of gardening equipment, but also full of dirt, then you should get a professional to help clean out the dirt.

Look for restoration professionals in your area, including professionals who provide hoarding cleaning services.  Give them a call and explain your situation to see if they can help with the cleaning.  This is the best way to start looking for a professional that can assist you.

how much are your hoarding cleaning services

12. November 2019

The cost of hoarding cleaning services widely depends on the specific situation.  There are several factors that affect how much these services can cost.

The most basic hoarding cleaning services that involve removing items and trash from the home are the least expensive because they take less time.  The cleaning professionals will need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow OSHA guidelines, and this can cost around $35 an hour per employee.  You will also have to pay disposal fees and a fee for the trash container which can range from $175 to $450 depending on the size of the container.

If the home affected by hoarding contains hazardous or biohazard materials, the cost of cleaning will increase significantly.  Biohazard materials are biological materials that can spread disease or infection and hazardous materials are any materials that present a danger to people or the environment.  These materials must be removed by specialists who are highly trained and have the proper equipment to neutralize these threats safely.  It may cost $200 to $400 an hour per employee if there are biohazard materials that need to be removed and replaced.

Once all hoarded items and biohazard materials are removed, the home will have to be thoroughly cleaned and this comes with its own cost.  Depending on the severity of the home’s condition, it can cost $0.75 to $2 per square foot to clean and disinfect the home.

The other thing you need to consider is the time it will take to complete the cleaning.  When hoarding cleaning services are done, these professionals work with the affected individual as items can only be removed from the home with their approval.  However, this can make the cleanup process more time consuming as those affected by hoarding are generally overwhelmed by the whole process and may have trouble making concrete decisions about what to remove from the home.  This will prolong the process and thus increase costs.

These are the main factors that will determine the cost of a hoarding cleaning service.  You should contact a professional and have them visit the home of the affected individual so they can give you an estimate.  Some services may provide the estimate for free.

My wife wants our attic checked for mold. Is that a service that your company would do?

from Luke Hermann 12. November 2019

Depending on the state you live in, you likely need to hire a professional that only provides mold testing to test your home.  Most states consider it a conflict of interest for a mold remediation professional to provide testing, so a third party must test your home first.  If you contact a mold remediation professional, they can recommend a professional in your area that provides testing.  However, you will have to pay a fee for a mold test, regardless of whether they find mold in your attic or not.

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