March 21st, 2005


Call the Landlord!

Owning a house means tackling a bunch of nasty tasks which the landlord would do in a rental. Usually I'm fine with that. I'm starting to get more handy on minor repairs. When a professional is needed, such as when the furnace broke, I can make sure it's fixed to my satisfaction, not somebody who doesn't have to live here. And mowing the lawn is nicer when it's my lawn.

But this weekend I tackled another minor job, checking for an intruder in one of the air ducts. After a bit of fiddling I took the fan unit out of the bathroom ceiling and pulled out some feathers. There was definitely some junk in there. So I got my plumber's snake and ran it into the duct. Started working it back and forth to get everything out. Feathers, more feathers, was that a head?, feathers, ack! a whole dead bird, closer to pigeon-size than sparrow, went past my face. Uck. A definite "call the landlord" moment. But there isn't one, so I kept going.

I got all the stuff out of the vent, up to the bend. Couldn't get the snake all the way through, the corrugations in the duct kept stopping it. The outside opening is unscreened but I couldn't get through that way either. I tried going through another duct and some snaking in the gaps, but didn't find any more signs of intruders. Haven't cured the problem, there were more scrabbling sounds in the eaves. Thinking of just screening the outside openings to block them, but if one of them is inside when I do it that could get bad. I'm probably going to have to bring the pros in for this one. Anybody have any suggestions?