What I'm Seeing Now

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This Doesn't Look Like A Big Deal

This doesn't look like a big deal.

It's just a small crack in the putty where the AC line enters the house.

No harm, no foul.  Just seal the gap.

All that is true.

However, that gap is 1/2".

It is large enough to admit mice.

And accept admission they will!  That is a regular mouse highway there!

We had mice in our basement a few years ago.  I did not notice them until they broke into a water jug, which leaked all over.

While investigating the jug I found droppings, and other damage, and more droppings, and more damage, and disturbed insulation in the basement wall, and more damage, and more droppings, and, well, you get it.  It was Mouse Village!  And not the Disney variety...

The pest guy came and showed me where they got in.  My AC line looked like this one!

He said, "Don't you ever look at your own house?"  Well, um, no!  I'm too busy looking at other peoples' houses!

So every time I see this on a home inspection, I point it out to my clients and tell them my sad tale!  (Not tail)

This doesn't look like a big deal.  But it can become one!  Seal the gap!

My recommendation:  look around your house for small gaps mice can get into.  They will take advantage!  Especially in winter.  Once inside they will look for anything they can eat and drink!  Your house will be a regular Valhalla!  So try not to give them opportunity!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 21 commentsJay Markanich • May 19 2012 03:13AM

Comments

Jay, thank goodness I have a real mouser in my home...i have a crack somewhere those meeces are getting in & should be on the hunt to find it.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Jackson - well, it was a small thing I overlooked too!  Don't do what I did!

Ginny - they don't need much room.  I understand some can get in with a 1/4" gap!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I see mice or actually the evidence of mice all the time. No not in my house. Stay tuned I have a good mouse story coming.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

Careful Jay someone may report you to the fair housing authority for discrimination against the furry critters.  They are just looking for a place to live.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 6 years ago

If you mean droppings Jim, for sure.  Does your story involve singing and hats?

James - and that house was right beside a wetland too.  Who knows what agency could be pulling up to my door with handcuffs...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

And for something so small, they can be quite destructive.  They wrecked a few things in our home over the winter down in our basement.  Among other things, a dresser full of cloth and paper is very appealing to them.  We've cleaned out the mouse problem since.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) about 6 years ago

I hope so Bliz!  Those guys are hard to get rid of!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

That is so funny...we all focus so much on our clients'/customer needs, we often forget our own.  I''m glad you can speak w/ confidence/experience here and while I'm sad this happened to you, I know that you are saving so many others from having the same issue.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 6 years ago

We had a mouse highway in the home I grew up in.  The cats were happy but not my mom.  We finally found the hole under the sink in the kitchen that led outside.  Sealed it up and the cats had to find new toys.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 6 years ago

Oh gracious, I'm going to walk around my house looking for entry "spots".  I live next to woods plus there is a pond very nearby -- many, many "meeses", chipmonks, etc.  They had been plentiful in my attached storage shed but that has been taken care of.  Now, throughout the day/night I and my 2 canine kids and I hear scratchings under the floors (crawl space) and although the Park has sent the Park workman under the house several times looking for critters and/or damage nothing has been found!

I guess my next step has to be to discuss the issue with the Pest Inspector for his thoughts.  Thanks for sharing and many of us could benefit from a walk around our homes!

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) about 6 years ago

Jay, I see this all the time. We have very cute mice here though ; ) They are very good at finding those opening and making their way. You are right though, the AC lines seem to be one of the favorite paths. They will chew that insulation off the lines and have a nice little path going.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, I am going to be spending Sunday and Monday catching up on home maintenance.  I will keep an eye out for possible breaches and seal them up.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 6 years ago

Jay, it looks to me like a bear squeased something out as it poped through that hole :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

Jay, I think the mouse hoards moved to Winchester this year.  I believe I'm winning the battle, but I had to take 9 of the little goobers out before finding the access hole.  

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 6 years ago
Jay, Thanks for sharing... I'm with everyone else...It makes me want to check every crevice of my house! Rob
Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) about 6 years ago

It is the cobbler's kid syndrome around here Debbie!  Truly.

I can't imagine why your mom didn't approve Cindy!  Those little buggers sure made a mess around our house!

Sue - walk around a couple of times.  You will be surprised what you miss the first time around.

Don - that is a via to the belly of the beast!  And Valhalla!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Chris - good idea.  Any large holes, you should put in steel wool first, and then the putty or sealer.

Charlie (sorry, um) Shadow - I think you are mixing that up with Squatch skat!

Multiply that 9 by a factor you can't yet imagine, Mike, and you will be closer to the actual number in the house.

Rob - check away!  Who knows what you might find!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay -- any chance that snakes might be using that entry to find somewhere warm for the winter as well?

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

I think they sleep all winter Steven!  But if that line reminds you of a snake, consider it done!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I have yet to find a perfect seal for that opening.  Everything seems to eventually fail right there.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 6 years ago

I think we should rent a camper van and travel the country to find the perfect seal Reubs.  Lemmino when you're available.

Should I call Billy and ask him to come with us?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

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