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What sort of company do I call - mouse poop in attic

1309 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Freedomsand
May 5, 2015, I have finally moved back in to the house where I was born and raised, after spending 2.5 years emptying it out and fixing it up.

The cellar had lots of mouse droppings, and I found many dead ones. All cleaned out. Vacuumed each and very cubby hole where the floor joists rest on the foundation. The access area, an opening in the foundation, has been sealed with cement. All that happened at least a year ago.

Last week, learned that the insulation in the attic is covered in mouse poop. This is a ranch house: one floor living. Never found ANY evidence on mice on the main living floor. Nada, zip. Never occurred to me they found their way in to the attic. :surprise:

The attic is not finished, not used for storage, not easily accessible; you need a ladder on the cellar stairs to get through the opening. The insulation is the big rolls of batting, 2 layers (Dad put in tons during the Energy Crisis of the 1970's.I can remember him doing this. ) At least 27 inches thick. And so this means it all has to come out through the living room to the outdoors.

Part of the work I had done included new siding with new vent covers on the A frame attic vents and screening behind the vents so even access that way is out.

While I did a lot of work myself, this is not something I am even considering tackling on my own. I've just had one total knee replacement with the second one happening June 1, no way I am dealing with this. I found an old thread (2012) on here, mentioning be sure the workers wear respirators and are covered by workers' comp. But the thread never specified: what sort of company / contractor am I looking for? Is this a pest control company or a clean up company?

I looked at the Service Pro website, didn't see anything close listed. I just can't imagine a pest control company deals with reinstalling insulation, to complete the job. Do I need 2 contractors?

Also: my Dad died Feb 21, 2016, and the house is coming to me. Is this a possible insurance claim? Do I wait for the house to be transferred (deed signing will be this month so I'm not talking about a 9 month postponement on this job). Or do I file the claim now? Any thoughts on this point?

Thanks so much.
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Just making notes to self:
- need insulation removal
- need decontamination
- need insulation reinstalled - batting if possible, prefer this to blown in, just replacing what is there
- need proof of worker's comp coverage for employees
- need to investigate insurance claim issue
- one place says to use a professional, not a franchise guy looking to make a quick buck - not sure how to distinguish the 2?
- ??
A general contractor is probably a good place to start. If
He is experienced he will know which subs he needs. You want them to find and plug the holes where the mice are getting in.
Done already. Sealed hole and none in since, over a year.
I've been working on this, found 2 companies who do this sort of work. Would have liked 3 for quotes, couldn't locate a 3rd company. Then, the phone no. for one company has been disconnected. So I will be getting 1 quote. Not ideal. Still would appreciate any and all suggestions, things to consider.
Thanks, I think the whole thing is going to be ignored.

I did say above, there are no mice in the house anywhere at this time.

First company was Serv Pro. They sent out a fella who has worked for them for 4 years. He came in, looked at the attic access and said he didn't have a ladder that would work. He wanted to try mine; I told him it is too big. Insisted he had to try, so with much banging and crashing into walls, furniture and ceiling, he brought in my extension ladder, tried to set it up, determined it was too big (Ha!) and took it out again.

Next he had to return to "the shop," to get another ladder which he said would work. He returned with a ladder which is in 5 foot lengths and folds like an accordion. I took one look at it and told him it would not work. Twenty minutes and much banging and crashing later, he determined it would not work. Back to the shop he went.

He phoned from there, said they did not have a ladder, he would have to go to Home Depot to buy one, and he would return next day. Which he did. Got the brand new 8 foot extension ladder in, couldn't get it to unlock to extend, then couldn't get it to lock to remain up, finally succeeded, and climbed up. He had NO light of any sort, and took photos with his ipad; which show nothing, really. He came back down the ladder, removed it, tried to replace the attic closure board with a broom and discovered he had turned it 90 degrees. Back in went the ladder, he struggled but finally turned the board (I told him you didn't turn it back, turned it forward so now it is 180 degrees off), came down ladder. Removed ladder, got broom, and sort of got the board in.

A few hours later I receive an email estimate, says the job will be a one day job, if it extends there will be extra fees. Next I get an email from the office of when can they schedule this 3 day job. WHAT? Well, that was just an estimate, she says.

Three days later, second man arrives, has his own company, removes bats and other wildlife, does the decontamination, I will have to hire someone to put in the insulation. Highly rated company online. He comes in, takes one look at set up and says he doesn't have a ladder that will fit. He proceeds to bring in TWO in order to prove (to me, or himself) that he doesn't have a ladder that will fit. He tells me he has a ladder back at the shop which will do the job as it is in 5 foot sections with hinges (been there, done that, doesn't work) and he will also bring an old ladder which he can cut down to fit. Um, right. Lots of safety in THAT.

I've given up. I haven't seen up there myself (was going to use the photos of folks who gave estimates, but that didn't work), no idea how bad it is. At this point, don't care. Now if I can only find someone to completely turn and close that attic board, I will be able to move on to other things. The electrician had no problem; he had a ladder that fit - 8 foot extension - he was familiar with the set up as he lives locally and all the homes in this area were built by the same Developer and have the same set up. I may just have to call him and ask him to return and get the board shut.
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Size of the access is not the problem, location is. It is in the ceiling over the stairwell to the cellar.

Job needs an 8 foot extension ladder. You can't get a larger one in there due to the cellar door being in the hallway of this ranch house; you can't negotiate the corner with anything longer. There is no other access to the cellar such as a bulkhead, so you can't bring a ladder in another other way and then come UP the cellar stairs.

Yes, Dad had one and somehow in the process of my clearing things out, that got sold. Oops. I never realized an 8 foot extension ladder was an unusual thing to have!


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Excellent ideas! I have copied these so I can refer back and find them easily. THANKS!
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