The other night I’m out working in the shop and hear a weird scratching noise. I turn off the band saw to get a better listen and discover that there are mice moving around in the ceiling. This house is just too much and I’m glad it isn’t mine. Since moving in I’ve had to
Evict a squirrel from the dryer, it was winter with deep snow so I couldn’t replace the vent cover which is 2 stories up.
Evict birds from the dryer, early spring they moved in, the dryer had to be replaced and the vent cover was replaced as well with a rodent resistant version.
We still had birds in the bathroom vent pipe, I had to wait till they left as they had babies before I realized where they lived.
Move a chipmunk out of the basement which has flooded up to 6” deep three times this year and is always damp so I get to kill mosquitoes even in Jan and Feb in upstate NY.
Move a vole out of the kitchen, no idea where that one came from.
Plug up the holes in the cabinets that the mice were getting into.
Deal with not one but four infestations of ants.
And now this. I’ve started looking for their source and found it. Turns out the house has had some really shoddy reconstruction. In its original form in 1878 the kitchen wasn’t directly attached to the house but connected through a breeze-way with a cistern in the middle. Sometime in the last century the decision was made to add the kitchen to the house and a foundation was put in that cut through the old cistern, I’m not certain yet what happened with the old kitchen, need to sort more information. Either way between that time and this is was decided that the kitchen should be expanded and the area where the original detached kitchen was turned into a garage.
To do this they built the kitchen out past the foundation and put in supports for the new floor joists and a wooden wall between the kitchen and garage. They then filled in the basement area of the original (earliest) kitchen with fill to lay in the cement garage floor. The issue with this is, the wall boards and supports that were laid in for the garage/kitchen wall have rotted away allowing the dirt to wash out to the empty space beneath the kitchen extension. This has allowed the cement floor to snap away and sink and has given the mice access. I filled the void with cement this week and it was covered in mouse prints before it dried. I also discovered that I could stick my hand underneath the support beams for the wall because the foundation beam is completely gone.
I am so glad this isn’t my house.
-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse