One of the problems with having a dirt crawl space is mice. The unwelcome guests find the cozy warmth inviting for the winter months and occasionally they venture into our space upstairs.
Slowly sealing mice entrances
Since I find I am not as pressed these days to meet deadlines and such, I have decided to tackle some of the jobs waiting in the wings. The mice have waited a long time. Four years in fact. Actually, putting insulation along the walls below did deter quite a few. Apparently they do not like the taste. Still, a few is not enough.
Mice do not like steel wool
I have located several places through which the mice manage to invade. I may revisit the end of the kitchen cupboard where I used several packages of steel wool to fill the rather large gaps around pipes. Under the illusion that the space needed to be flexible for plumbing access, I left this removeable. The lack of evidence of their presence in the cupboard is, however, encouraging.
Filling holes and sealing baseboards
Mice really do not like steel wool. Yesterday I spent all morning in the pantry which used to be the cupboard space for a washer/dryer combination. The installation of new pipes and drainage system for the new location left large holes in the walls and in the floor. I am fairly good at drywall. Patching the walls took a little time because the holes were so irregular. Using some silicone, I sealed the base of the walls, put in some baseboards and sealed them as well. I used the silicone to stabilize the steel wool which I jammed into the gaping holes and reloaded the pantry. After all, it did not need to meet any fancy finished look.
Next, the little storage cupboard on the other side of the freezer. I defrosted that too. Much easier to do than the larder, I inserted steel wool along the bottom of the baseboards before nailing them into place. Having sealed off top, bottom and corners, I looked with satisfaction at what I hoped would be impenetrable barriers. Mice beware!
Projects for later
Another highway for the mice population is the furnace room. That is for another day. I some of the little creatures show up in the living room where they tend to show up, I will remove the baseboards and steel wool the joints. Also, for another day.