Saturday, December 10, 2011


Alright, for the most part, owning an old home is wonderful and rewarding... however, there are times when it's not so wonderful. Like today.

*insert long steam of expletives here*

I was working on the casings in the hallway when I noticed some scurrying noises coming from the attic or roof. I immediately thought it was just the usual pigeons on the roof, but it was fairly loud, and persistent, so I ran downstairs, put boots on, and went out in the snow (yes we've got a thin coat of snow at the moment). I went out into the street to be able to view the roof, and I saw... nothing. I went around to the other side of the house, and the roof top was bare.

I went back into the house, and I could still hear a bit of noise, and then I got worried/scared. There was something in the attic!

This was a royal pain because I can only get up there with the long ladder, which I had put away for the winter. So I decided to just grab the 6 footer and open the hatch to see inside. I did this quickly so that I could catch/see what it was.

I didn't see anything at first, but then I heard noises, and noticed a black squirrel looking out of one of the cut out holes (around the edge of the attic).


So apparently there's a hole somewhere along the edge of the roof large enough for a squirrel to get into the fascia. This also means that the squirrel had full access to the entire attic.

I did NOT want this. Obviously I can't immediately replace all the fascia on the house right now, so I decided to block all the holes with plywood. I did this rather quickly, but it turned out looking really decent.

This doesn't stop the squirrels from getting in the space behind the fascia, but it prevents them from getting in the house. Unfortunately it also doesn't prevent them from chewing-up the wires that pass through the space (these only go to exterior wall outlets, so it wouldn't be the end of the world).

I have no idea how much this will cost to repair. Ideally, they'd need to replace all the fascia boards, then cap with metal and add the missing drip edge all around the house.

I keep thinking that I had some better photos of the attic, but I don't. There's not that much to see, really.

Here's the patches, and I also made a sketch, showing how the house/attic is constructed.

The patch on the left was the largest one (20x12).


All the other ones were just covering holes about 4" square/round:


And here's the light I installed earlier this summer.


Here's the best I managed to sketch-out as far as how the attic is made. Basically the attic beams sit on the exterior walls (not quite shown properly in the pic), and the exterior walls form a continuous wall of t-g from the second floor up to the roof, creating a short wall around the attic interior. The main point is that the triangular portion behind the fascia is open all the way around the house. When they had to run wires into the wall, they made big holes in the t-g wall to get into the exterior walls.



  1. This is indeed a nightmare. The worst possible scenareo, I would think, would be for an animal to birth babies in a wall. I have a friend here in Florida who had to tear out an entire interior wall to take care of exactly that problem. Don't delay on this one!

  2. Well, from what I can tell, the soffit is a sealed triangular space that runs around the perimeter of the house. The interior walls are also filled with blown insulation, so I don't think they'd get inside the walls. I also think it's currently only the ONE squirrel and I might have scared him away. After I was in the attic I saw him in the large maple in the front yard.