Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug pest control firms (PCOs), Bed bug k9s, etc.

Heat Treatment Damage - Any Advice?

(22 posts)
  1. MG

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '09
    Posts: 5

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Nov 22 2009 13:22:38
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Just when I thought our bed bug nightmare was over, we quickly learned that we our home has damage from the thermal treatment. EX: Insulated windows have moisiture in between glass panes, doors won't shut/open, cracks in floor boards, counter/cabinets seperating from walls, hardwood floors cracking/seperating, blinds warpped... the list goes on. And it has been only 2 days since the hear treatment was done. I am worried that electrical wiring could be damaged posing a fire danager.

    I asked the company not to exceed 150. After the day of work was completed, I asked how hot it got inside? One employee said 170 and a second quickly corrected her, laughing that they got it up to 180! My heart sunk.

    Since I discovered we got bed bugs (we think from a 5 star hotel) I've done hours of homework and spent days on the telephone getting advice and deciding who to hire. I thought I was doing the right thing for my children to go with heat vs. chemicals, but now have another huge problem.

    Any advice from both consumers and professionals?

  2. bugfreebed

    junior member
    Joined: Sep '09
    Posts: 61

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Nov 22 2009 13:36:23
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Did they give you any kind print out on the temps or only verbal ? Call the company and ask for paper work on the temps during treatment .

  3. nervousaboutbedbugs

    member
    Joined: Jul '09
    Posts: 121

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Nov 22 2009 14:25:32
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I had thermal treatment done twice by a ThermaPure licensee, and there was some minimal damage done to my home, similar to yours but much less. In our case, we decided it was something we could live with if it got rid of the bugs, but yours sounds much more severe.

    Doublecheck the contract that you signed - mine specifically mentioned that they were insured in the event of home damage, and that any damage reported within 6 months of the treatment would be covered. Hopefully yours is similar.

  4. MG

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '09
    Posts: 5

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Nov 22 2009 14:52:32
    #



    Login to Send PM

    bugfreebed - 1 hour ago  » 
    Did they give you any kind print out on the temps or only verbal ? Call the company and ask for paper work on the temps during treatment .

    Thank you for your response. No. As a matter of fact, I thought their exit was too quick. After hours of working, it seemed strange there was no walk through nor debrief, no paperwork, and barely any explanation of next steps, except, "Don't use electronics until tomorrow." and "Don't let the kids touch any metal surfaces." My guess is they must have noticed the damaged windows when they removed the protective covers off of them and wanted to leave asap. Seemed like a reputable company. I will request a temp. report as suggested.

    I wonder if I should stop payment on my credit card until the company agrees to cover damages? Any idea what temp wiring is damaged?

  5. flabergasted

    member
    Joined: Nov '09
    Posts: 192

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Nov 23 2009 5:22:06
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I just posted a forum on this very issue Friday because I found BB's in my house. Check the forums and read mine “ PCO does anyone know about supper heating the house” I asked the people here because there not making money off of this. This was people being honest about their experiences and what you just described was exactly what I was worried about. Yes you could be looking have very big electrical problems I don’t know what the FT rating on the wire is in your house, if you have pvc or metal piping but if they got up to 170 to 180 for 4 hours maybe we have an electrician or plumber in the group from the US jump in here and offer some advise.

    As posted in my form We only have one Thermal company in Canada. Right!!!!!!!! where do you get a reference? I know if you heat a house to 140 degree there will be damages but to what extent was what I was looking for. The only way your going to find out is speaking to someone who has had it done. All I had for reference was watching video on the net on how they do the process. But almost every one I watched said it takes them about 3 hours to reach a heat of 140 to 150 degrees and they sustained it for 4 hours then start the cool down. I watched about 10 video’s not one directly addressed potential of electrical, plumbing and insulation damage all they said was there was a preparation list.

    I am the controller for a large construction company in Canada so I am well versed with contracts. A contract is contract no matter what country you live in. Get the contract out and search the fine print somewhere there must be something about the sustained temperature they achieve. I hope it says 140 to 150 the and do what bugfreebed said get the monitoring reports (every video showed them doing this) I would like to know how they even went into the home at 180 to monitor did they have fire suits?

    Don't come on like gang busters I know you’re pissed right now and rightly so, but my experience with substandard contractors is the paper work will go missing or not get produced. It’s easy for me in my position they don’t get paid until they fix there mess and the client is happy. As for putting a stop payment on your card contact the company asap they have performed the service and they may not cancel the charge.

    If that contract shows that there was suppose to be a sustainable temperature of no more than 150 and the reports are recording temperatures of 180 or not showing what you were told call your insurance company and speak with your agent. Construction companies and contractors have to carry liability insurance for this very thing but it is important you read that contract thoroughly. From the sounds of what you have posted it looks like the people on site were not trained properly and should have been supervised better. Laughing and telling you they hit a 180 sounds like these were kids just seeing how hot they could get the place. I am giving you the web site of the thermal guy here. He has heat chart right up front telling sustained temperatures requirements it’s about have way down the page in the centre. Also click on pest service tab his prep forms and faq sheets and compare hem with what you were provided. There are also a couple of the video’s links I watched there from the US because he truly is the only one I have found a site for in Canada http://www.tteheat.com/

    Another option if they get stupid when you approach them is the TV networks. As you will see from the web site most of the videos’ I watched were news reports because this is turning in to an epidemic. We have a little gal here they call the Trouble Shooter and I think most TV stations do this is exactly the kind of thing they go after in a flash this BB epidemic is a hot topic right now. You are the victim having got these things from a hotel room with through no fault of you own, as did everyone on this site. Now this family man who didn’t want pesticides used because he thought of his children first and went the most “expensive and green way” to deal with this situation house is literally “toasted”. Oh I can hear the sweet sounds of the lynch mob gathering.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

  6. DougSummersMS

    oldtimer
    Joined: May '07
    Posts: 1,966

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Nov 24 2009 13:15:09
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I agree with everything Flabergasted suggests... especially reading your contract very carefully and approaching consumer advocates that are available from your local news media.

    Removing some of the electrical outlet cover plates should allow you to visualize the condition of the electrical insulation where the wiring connects to the switch. You could contact an electrical supply or a wiring manufacturer to inquire about potential for heat damage to your electrical wiring.

  7. JWhiteBBCTV

    member
    Joined: Oct '08
    Posts: 232

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Nov 24 2009 15:20:00
    #



    Login to Send PM

    This post is just based on field observation and from speaking with MANY companies who use heat, both electrical and propane powered.

    With Temp-Air's mobile electrical unit, you can regulate the temperatures you achieve and thus prevent temperatures from reaching anything above 140 degrees. At that temperature, we don't OBSERVE damage to items like countertops, doors warping, etc... nor have we received any complaints about it. The interior of cars reach temperatures around or above 140 in the summer and you don't get in and find the clock not working, radio not working, electrical melted, etc...

    With propane fired systems you can reach temperatures that will damage. The fact that the technicians "bragged" that they reached 180 degrees is, for lack of a better term, a joke. There is no need to achieve that temperature and can be a health and structural hazard.

    That being said, I know good companies who use propane fired systems and can control the temperatures so that they don't achieve much hotter than 150'ish degrees in most locations and can be successful with heat. Just like with anything else, your service is only as good as the technician providing it, no matter how good the companies reputation is. This was a poor experience with a group of technicians that seem to not get it.

    I've read a lot of posts on here from people who have had poor experiences with heat and I want to hedge some of those and say that it can be effective with no damage to the home. It all goes back to the technicians being properly trained and the company setting the proper expectations and not guaranteeing it to be the magic wand for all situations.

  8. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,015

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Nov 24 2009 18:21:46
    #



    Login to Send PM

    This sounds serious. I'd recommend you have an engineer indpectyour jones for damage, especially indicating overheating and an attorney, to determine your legal recourse. It would be awful to let this go if they've just "totalled" your house.

  9. flabergasted

    member
    Joined: Nov '09
    Posts: 192

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Nov 25 2009 2:54:10
    #



    Login to Send PM

    cilecto - 6 hours ago  » 
    This sounds serious. I'd recommend you have an engineer indpectyour jones for damage, especially indicating overheating and an attorney, to determine your legal recourse. It would be awful to let this go if they've just "totalled" your house.

    Your right Cilecto it very serious!!!!!! the brotherhoood of the ring don't come cheap. I have the luxary of free advice from every type of contractor and was able to speak to an electrican about thermal heating at work today. This poor man's plight really hit a nerve, that's why when an electrican was in the plan room I went in and talked to him. Doug hit the nail right on the head. The first thing he said open the outlets to inspect for damage but make sure the breaker is turned off. The last thing this poor mans family needs it him getting zapped or a short starting a fire because the wood in the house is so dry from the thermal .

    If the jacketing on the wiring has been compromised it may show signs that look like melted plastic at the end where they strip to connect in the outlets or the wire may look blue if it is copper. Simplest way to describe the coloring is think of the of a copper pot that has been overheated it has a blue hue to it.

    Now here is the kicker I don't know how old MG's house is. Back when they developed this wonderful alternative to copper wiring called aluminum wiring "much cheaper to manufactur and supply only thing is the stuff breaks will break down from the eveyday current. I can't even find information on the FT rating. Early 70's to mid 80's was when they used it her and afte rhe years the connections start to fail. It would also be totally dependant on the bulding codes in your state. 180 degree heat would definately break this stuff down in the jacket.

    MG go to the breaker panel and take a picture of the wiring enter into the breaker box you will have probably have 110 (regular wiring and 220 (stove and dryer maybe a micro wave circuit) and check the the jacket. I should have the manufacture and sets of numbers that tell the type and fire rating embossed right on the wire. If you can't find it leading I would be cutting out some drywall in an inconspicuous place. US people help here I know off the top of my head that you have Home Depot, Lowes and Home Hardware all of these would supply electrical wiring and you would be able to identify they type of wiring at least this way it isn't going to cost you any more money. The people who work in the electrical section should be able to help you with the specification and ratings. Or once you know the manufacture hit the net and see what there site has. Maybe you can actually communicate with them directly. With the this epidemic happening perhaps they have started trials to see if this thermal treament has an effect on wiring. From the damage you describe they would have an actual test case and it would benefit to both them and you. If you have to do the lawyer route which we ar trying to avoid as I am sure this has cost you enough already; having the actual manufactures specificatio report would put the nails in the coffin.

    Next question hows your plumbing? Is it PVC piping or copper. You will probably will develope issues here also.

    I see people from every walk of life on this site suffering. My thought here is there a"Erin Brockovich" reading these forums that will step up and help this family.

  10. nervousaboutbedbugs

    member
    Joined: Jul '09
    Posts: 121

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Nov 25 2009 12:58:39
    #



    Login to Send PM

    MG - I hope by now you've gotten temperature readings provided by the thermal company, and have been able to talk to an electrician about your wiring. I must admit, I worried about my own after reading your posts.

    I just wanted to point out a couple of other things. First, I was unable to close my back door for the first 12 hours after treatment. This was because the heater duct had come in through the door causing it to become extremely hot and warp/expand. However, the following day that situation had corrected itself and returned to normal. Hopefully some of your damaged areas will also correct themselves.

    Also, it seems unlikely to me that they got your entire house up to 170/180. Hopefully only the air directly next to the heaters reached that temperature, and not the wall cavities where the bulk of your wiring is. One of my main concerns with thermal was that the wall cavities and voids wouldn't get hot enough, since they are relying strictly on heat transfer (no fans) to get the air into them. Hopefully this means that the areas near your wiring were nowhere near the 170 degree mark.

    I'm not diminishing the mistakes your contractors made, and I totally agree that you should follow up regarding liability (and hopefully liability insurance). Just hoping to talk you back off of the ledge that dealing with these damn bugs drives all of us onto...

    Good luck.

  11. jeffklein

    junior member
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 83

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Nov 28 2009 18:16:56
    #



    Login to Send PM

    180 degrees is too high! We heat between 130-140 degrees and cook time is dependant on temperatures measured through the sensors as well as meat thermometers inserted in couches, chairs and walls. I cant see anyone working in 180 degree heat without cooking to death. The second tech must have beenm joking. I would request a printout of the temperature sensor system that will indicate sensor number and corresponding temperature. This will probably match up to a handwritten graph of the structure showing where the sensors were placed. We once melted an edge of a tv where it was too close to a duct(we replaced it) but that was when we were green. I recently refunded 1000- for a carpet cleaning because the crew chief didnt follow protocol when working on carpeting. I agree about getting the structure checked if they did run that high. No good. On the other hand all bed bugs should be dead. Also if they didnt use fans they probably had hot spots but they would also have dead or cool spots and this is a problem in itself. With all thermal treatments you should receive a list of items that are heat sensitive and options for treatment as well as a walkthrough where the home is surveyed and any questionable items are discussed.

  12. buggyinsocal

    oldtimer
    Joined: Jun '08
    Posts: 2,431

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Nov 28 2009 18:46:34
    #



    Login to Send PM

    a walkthrough where the home is surveyed and any questionable items are discussed.

    I'm not a PCO, but I wanted to drop by and reiterate this. I don't think the situation being discussed in this thread needs this to be emphasized, but I do think it's a good idea in case future folks come by and read this thread to emphasize this particular protocol because I think that bed bug sufferers considering heat treatment may find that this is a good yardstick (Along with the lists and information Jeff mentions) to measure prospective thermal PCOs by.

    My thermal provider sent one of their thermal guys out to do exactly this. Several days before treatment, the thermal guy came by and walked through the house with me to talk about exactly what needed to be removed and exactly what I needed to do to prep. Honestly, I suspect part of the reason he didn't emphasize the TiVos is that they were way below his eye level (he was tall; I am short; the TiVo sit on the bottom shelves of the entertainment unit which doesn't have feet but does sit directly on the ground.)and he did tell me to unplug everything. It was partly my own sleep deprivation than meant I completely forgot to unplug the surge protectors that fed the entertainment unit, which is where the TiVos were plugged in.

  13. flabergasted

    member
    Joined: Nov '09
    Posts: 192

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Nov 28 2009 19:11:22
    #



    Login to Send PM

    jeffklein - 4 minutes ago  » 
    180 degrees is too high! We heat between 130-140 degrees and cook time is dependant on temperatures measured through the sensors as well as meat thermometers inserted in couches, chairs and walls. I cant see anyone working in 180 degree heat without cooking to death. The second tech must have beenm joking. I would request a printout of the temperature sensor system that will indicate sensor number and corresponding temperature. This will probably match up to a handwritten graph of the structure showing where the sensors were placed. We once melted an edge of a tv where it was too close to a duct(we replaced it) but that was when we were green. I recently refunded 1000- for a carpet cleaning because the crew chief didnt follow protocol when working on carpeting. I agree about getting the structure checked if they did run that high. No good. On the other hand all bed bugs should be dead. Also if they didnt use fans they probably had hot spots but they would also have dead or cool spots and this is a problem in itself. With all thermal treatments you should receive a list of items that are heat sensitive and options for treatment as well as a walkthrough where the home is surveyed and any questionable items are discussed.

    Nice to hear from a person in thermal industry I have been checking this post daily to see if a reputable thermal proivder would step up to plate and give these people the information that is required here. I chose not to go with thermal and yes this city had the only themal provider in Canada I could find on the net I am sure he has been trained and I couldn't find any roaring laws suits. This should be a warning to Canadian's if one of these guys pop up in your community check it out first you can rent these units the size they use from any propane company put a sign on the side of the truck and away they go. If they have any training on operating the units I am sure they could lie there way through the questions. Make sure that they provide you with proper credentials. We use propane extensively here with winter construction. In watching the videos I notice we use the same propane heaters here . We hoard in a space and order the appropriate btu heater required to dry to dry concrete so I am fully aware of how much heat these can put out. Once we had some kids go and fool around with the heater and it melted vinyl siding melt on the siding on the house because they poured late in the day and figured no one would touch it. Needless to say the construction sup was unemployeed shortly after. Read some more of the stories about bad treatments there has to be some regulation on this service to protect the concumer and the good PCO's out there using it.

    Keep eading the forums here this is the worst I have seen but there is many more. Perhaps some regulation who can provide this process. I still think these people were not trained properly and did give a dam they put in there 8 hour for that day.

  14. MG

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '09
    Posts: 5

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 3:01:33
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Wow... I haven't had a chance to check the Forum since my last entry. I have to admit I am blown away by the generous time you all have invested in helping me. Thank you. Thank you very much. You have made a difficult situation easier to deal with. I will write an update over the weekend when I have more time. Take Care.

  15. BostonPCT

    junior member
    Joined: Feb '09
    Posts: 69

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Dec 15 2009 23:40:02
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi Guys,
    As a long time pest control tech and new business owner I just want to say thank you to all of you for spending the time to post in the forums. Can't tell you how great this site is for someone like me. It's hard figuring out what road to take to have the greatest success against bb's and you don't get to hear this kind of feedback anywhere else so thanks again for the posts. I can't imagine how much worse this problem would have been if it happened 20 years ago and we didn't have places like this to share information (thank you internet). I really wish you all the best of luck and although it sucks to go through crap like this I'd like to point out your helping someone else avoid having to go through what you had to down the road by sharing the info.

  16. BuggyinLA

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '09
    Posts: 27

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Dec 16 2009 18:30:50
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hey MG:

    Are you continuing to discover heat damage to your structure as well as items in your home a couple weeks post-treatment?

    I ask because today I was moving a book off the top of the bookcase and the laminate that was just fine (I thought) immediately post-treatment snapped off. Similarly, a fairly new surge protector that was working post-treatment just spontaneously quit. It's been a couple weeks since the last failed heat treatment... and I really can't explain the cause of these things any other way. Thus, I'm wondering if continuing to discover damage post heat treatment is normal in your experience.

  17. nervousaboutbedbugs

    member
    Joined: Jul '09
    Posts: 121

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 10:31:59
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I'm finding similar problems, two months post-treatment. The shelves in one of my lower cupboards collapsed the other day - the plastic shelf locks had failed. When I went to fix the shelves, the laminate fell off. Worse, though, is the concern I now have for my wiring. I had a breaker pop the other day when I turned on a chandelier. I reset it, but the following day my window candles (in the same room) both died. The wiring for that breaker goes directly beneath my daughter's bedroom, which is the room we had the problem in and the room that got the hottest.

  18. Bugbitten Meg

    junior member
    Joined: Aug '09
    Posts: 78

    offline

    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 18 2009 11:09:44
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Heat is a standard way to simulate/accelerate 'aging processes' in materials testing, as far as I know: Google 'materials testing heat aging' for lots of extremely technical references which have no immediate application for homeowners, but give you an idea of what the experts look at when they do it in the lab.
    I pretty much assumed that I was accepting a moderate amount of 'aging' when I had my treatment -- more to electronics/electrical appliances and rubber/plastic/elastic/latex type materials than to wood, but then, Jeff Klein's crew did my heating job, and as he said above, they shoot for a maximum of 140F. (They got up to almost 150F in one room -- and apologized about it! -- but it was a small room which heated quickly, and also didn't have much but wood and cloth in it.)
    Laminates are definitely something which would be 'moderately aged' by heat treatment, and the glues underneath are also on the list. The first concern with wiring isn't usually the metal center, but the flexible casing on the outside (although, as said above, old aluminum wiring may be a different game altogether.) Broken laminates are a pain, and cost money, but are 'purely cosmetic' -- they won't cause a house fire several months later if you ignore them. Wiring is much more critical, but also more difficult for a layman to inspect. If you have reason to believe that there has been damage, do try to get a good thorough look at the likely problem points.

  19. gordie691

    newbite
    Joined: Jun '10
    Posts: 5

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Jun 9 2010 22:13:58
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I have been in the pest management business for 17 years and have performed over 3000 bed bug jobs over the last 6-7 years with a 100% success rate. I consider myself expert in this field. The sad thing is, there is way too much bad info out there. So much that folks are paying a fortune for heat treatments and PMP's are going out and buying these expensive heat rigs. I remain anonymous as I am not trying to sell anything. I'm just trying to dispel all the myths about insecticide treatments and the incorrect claims that insecticides are in any way harmful. This heat thing is just a fad and I see it going the way of termite bait systems. It won't be long and no one will see the need for it. Bed bugs are easy to get rid of and it does not require more than 1 treatment if you know what you are doing. Why would anyone want to take that kind of a risk? Melt your house all up for a bug that is no big deal to get rid of? Crazy! If you are looking for facts from a guy that knows, check out my blog.

    bedbugtruth.blogspot.com

    Thank you!

  20. AlyceAnn

    newbite
    Joined: Feb '14
    Posts: 1

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Sun Feb 9 2014 21:29:35
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I'd love to read your blog, but the link says I can't unless I'm invited??
    So please INVITE ME!

    gordie691 - 3 years ago  » 
    I have been in the pest management business for 17 years and have performed over 3000 bed bug jobs over the last 6-7 years with a 100% success rate. I consider myself expert in this field. The sad thing is, there is way too much bad info out there. So much that folks are paying a fortune for heat treatments and PMP's are going out and buying these expensive heat rigs. I remain anonymous as I am not trying to sell anything. I'm just trying to dispel all the myths about insecticide treatments and the incorrect claims that insecticides are in any way harmful. This heat thing is just a fad and I see it going the way of termite bait systems. It won't be long and no one will see the need for it. Bed bugs are easy to get rid of and it does not require more than 1 treatment if you know what you are doing. Why would anyone want to take that kind of a risk? Melt your house all up for a bug that is no big deal to get rid of? Crazy! If you are looking for facts from a guy that knows, check out my blog.
    bedbugtruth.blogspot.com
    Thank you!

  21. endless_nightmare

    senior member
    Joined: Apr '12
    Posts: 610

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Sun Feb 9 2014 22:03:16
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Alyce

    you are responding to a post that is more than 3 years old, the thread itself is 4 years old...

    Andrea
    not a PCO
    Spinal Cord Injury Advocacy/Volunteer
  22. ITortureBugs4Revenge

    junior member
    Joined: Nov '13
    Posts: 306

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Mon Feb 10 2014 5:13:47
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I can rant endlessly about the damage to property and other anguish resulting from heat treatments, which i believe are just expensive "snake oil" , but this post is so old i won't bother !

    .....I am NOT an expert.....

    Any advice i give here is based solely on my own personal experiences in dealing with bedbugs & other household vermin.

RSS feed for this topic


Reply

You must log in to post.

184,015 posts in 28,275 topics over 87 months by 12,189 of 19,342 members. Latest: bugAnxiety, redbird, sera143
Site Meter