How is this a poisoned air conditioning compressor?
So, what's wrong here?
Sure, the unit is tilting, not good.
Sure, the unit is too close to the fence, not good.
Sure, the unit is too close to the soil, not good.
Sure, the unit is 20 years old.
But what else do you see?
It's kind of covered with plants.
Those aren't just "plants."
What's growing ON and IN the unit is
That's right, poison ivy.
I find that very often people don't know what is and what is not poison ivy.
Here in Virginia they often mistake it for Virginia Creeper, which is another vine.
Creeper has five leaves.
Poison ivy (and poison oak) has three leaves, equal in size, and shiny.
It's shiny because it is full of oil.
If that oil gets on your skin, and you are allergic to it (15% of us are not allergic), if left long enough it will bond.
Once it bonds to your skin no matter what you do you cannot get rid of it!
You can make it feel better temporarily by shrinking the little itchy pustules with an alcohol-based suave, or Calamine Lotion.
But that is only temporary. The special creams, and steroids, and such, do not do much for very long.
Once it has taken hold poison a ivy rash lasts 10-14 days. Sometimes longer.
SO BE CAREFUL!
It is an especially insidious plant. It is a true vine. If you see a vine with very "hairy" roots growing up a tree or on a fence that is a sure sign the plant is poison ivy. Even if it's winter and there are no leaves, that hairy vine will tell you what the plant is.
Poison ivy is a true rhizome plant. It sends rhizome shoots underground which will pop up elsewhere.
It spreads rapidly. It spreads far.
You can see from the photo that it has also infested the deck and house. It is growing ONTO and UNDER the siding, and getting inside the house. So long as it has a root source outdoors it will be very content growing indoors.
Kill it before you remove it. Killing it will make it brittle.
BUT EVEN THOUGH IT MIGHT BE BROWN AND DEAD, IT IS STILL DANGEROUS!
So be carefully removing it.
Wash your clothes after working with it. If you touch it, wash as soon as possible with COLD WATER AND DISHWASHER SOAP. The soap suspends it and the cold water hardens it to wash it off.
Dishwasher soap is formulated to cut oil and grease and removes poison ivy oils better from the skin. Other soaps work too, but not as well.
If poison ivy gets on your dog's coat and you pet the dog you can contract it!
My recommendation: learn what poison ivy looks like and keep your eyes peeled. It's best to eradicate it when it is small and it's roots have not progressed to where they will spread underground. When it progresses as far as in the photo above it can be a real problem. This house is a foreclosure and this poison ivy began in the neighbor's yard and progressed for over a year into the subject yard and house in the photo. This will not be fun to get rid of.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560