If you’ve just managed to remove an unwelcomed, animal houseguest from your attic, you’re probably aware that your task is far from over. Not only are you going to go over every nook and cranny of your home with a magnifying glass to seal up potential entry holes, you’re also going to have to clean up after the little monster. Cleaning up has less to do with feces and urine removal as it does with getting your attic back into shape. After all, it’s likely that your insulation has been chewed, scratched, torn and, yes, even defecated on. Any duct work you have may be in need of replacing, and we’ll hope that the electrical wires have been left alone.
The first step in attic repair is to seal up any tempting crevices that may serves as throne rooms for mice, squirrels, or bats. Sealing up holes does not have to be done with oddly cut pieces of metal or wood nailed haphazardly around your property. Many products are available for the patching of moderate sized holes. Synthetic spray sealants can be applied to a hole and then, once dried, sanded and painted to match the rest of the wall. After all the holes are patched, you can move on to the more important aspects of repairing your attic. Now is the time to check any electrical wires and sockets. Ceiling fans and ceiling lights can be prime spots for pests to frequent due to the amount of warmth present in these locations. Any damaged wiring must be replaced as soon as possible or you put your home and family at the risk for an electrical fire. Duct work must also be repaired if damaged. Inefficient ducts will drive up your energy costs significantly.
If everything else is in working condition, it is time to turn your attention to your insulation. Because most homeowners don’t know they have a pest problem until it has blown out of proportion, the damage to insulation often warrants its complete removal. If you are replacing insulation in your attic, consider the use of closed cell foam insulation. Closed cell foam insulation is composed of tiny cells filled with a non-combustible gas that helps eliminate noise pollution and helps to completely seal out air and moisture. A type of liquid insulation, spray foam is applied to a surface using a hose with a special application nozzle. Once applied, the foam expands to one hundred times its original size, completely sealing any cracks or pinholes. Closed cell insulation will harden and provide a shell that is moisture-resistant, durable, and energy efficient. Spray foam has a fifty percent better energy efficiency than most comparable products, and will often make you eligible for state energy programs. When it comes to spray foam and pests, the foam is most often comprised of non-nutritional substances, so will have no appeal to burrowing insects. Spray foam is also less enticing to rodents, due to the fact that the foam hardens after application. Most mammalian pests prefer soft, fluffy insulation that will make it easy to create a nest to share with offspring. The fact that foam is unappealing will not protect it from the chewing that occurs, however. Even so, the damage is significantly less than with that of fiberglass insulation. Homeowners with communal bathroom pests, such as flying squirrels, will be grateful they installed a moisture-resistant, hard insulation such as spray foam.
With no available entry holes, properly routed and attached electrical lines, clean and safe outlets, uninjured duct work, and energy efficient insulation, your attic will have fully recovered from its animal invasion. Routine checks of your unused home spaces will ensure pests will no longer be an issue, and will ensure your home is a safe and efficient as it can be.
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