Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Totally Mundane

Truth be told, only 2% of restoring an old house is glitz & glamour. The rest is totally mundane....the kind of stuff you can file under "when will I stop discovering crap like this!" I sometimes hesitate to even post about this kind of stuff for fear of boring the snot out of blog readers.

There has been a quiet rustling in a exterior wall in my living room for a couple of years. It actually was probably there when I moved in; the previous owner was less than truthful in her disclosures, I have discovered.

I've never really been able to tell if it is something outside in the downspout.....or something that has been able to work it's way into the concrete block of the foundation. I never got too alarmed by it because there was never any threat that it would get into my house, there was never any chewing noise, and it always disappeared when I tried to pay attention and figure out where is was coming from. Nevertheless, I have spent quite a few hours caulking the eaves and windows in this area hoping to eliminate this little guest.

I'm not sure exactly why it dawned on me last weekend that I should look down rather than up at the eaves to solve this mystery. The exterior of the house is stucco, the foundation is concrete block with a smooth cement exterior overlay surface. It seemed pretty impenetrable. But, something caught my eye.

The exterior, decorative surface of the foundation had a spot where it had worn through about 4" below the surface in this one corner of the house. I somehow tend to discover crap like this when the temp. is in the mid 90's.

So, Sunday I spent my afternoon in the parching heat patching this hole in the foundation. It's going to be below dirt level, so I went with sturdy rather than pretty. So far, no more noise.


Ranty said...

Oh man... gotta love discovering holes like that! It's happened to me too. I hate to say this, but my experience has been that damage eaves invite squirrels, whereas damaged foundations invite... rats.


Looks like you did great work though, so here's hoping that you never have to learn what was playing around in your walls!

StuccoHouse said...

Lol.....thankfully, the actual hole was not even close to being big enough for a rat....not even a mouse. And the noise was not anywhere loud enough to be either. The damage to the fascade was most likely wear from water from a formerly missing downspout. Long story short, it was probably either a very small bat coming down from the recently uncovered(but now sealed) eaves or a very tiny shrew.

One benefit of having an old arts & crafts bungalow are the traditional exposed wide eaves. They keep squirrels in their place....nowhere near the roof ;-)

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