Critter hole in corner of house?

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by jmr106, Jan 15, 2018.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating using the link above.
  1. Jan 15, 2018 #1

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    50
    Sooo, here comes a headache: http://ibb.co/iAXzwm

    It looks like the brick just stops there in the corner in an odd way, like they didn't finish it or something. I don't see how the board even covered it completely even when the board was whole. It looks like something has chewed part of the board away from the corner to make the hole larger. What can I do about this? I'm concerned about all of these trim boards all the way around the house basically bowing out and away at the bottom part of the board. If they have "gaps" all the way around where the bricks do not even reach the top like I'm seeing in the corner, that's a serious problem and I may have to find a way to attach the boards directly to the bricks. I presume that now, they are attached to the inner wood all the way around the house. I can change that wood trim, but I'm concerned about the one where the old, unused cable connection (circled), live power connection (second one from the left) and old phone line (also no longer used - third from the right) join the trim board. That's would have to come down, a new board would have to go up and all of that would have to be reconnected again by different people.

    Got any advice on this one?

    I was messing around my mother's house today and I heard a thunk in the attic above a bedroom. Clearly a critter. Most likely a squirrel because I heard what sounded like some type of nuts being dropped/moved around in the attic. I went up and tried to see anything and all was quiet. It either got out some other way or went back out of the main hole quietly as I opened the attic door and lowered the stairs. Either that or it just got really quiet and stayed still until I left, hiding under something.

    So inside of the eve vent on the same side of the house as the above photo, there is some mesh wire attached to the inside paneling to cover up the inside of the eve vent. I presume that this was to keep critters out, as I see a small hole in the screen wire of the eve vent: http://ibb.co/cZw9E6

    At the top and bottom of the eve vent, there's like a little ledge on the top and bottom that they have covered it with some kind of cheap paneling like the attic has all the way around. The paneling piece on the top has been pushed down and looks like some kind of grass or nest or something is hanging out of the top of it. The bottom piece has been pushed up, as seen in the photo. This vent lines up somewhere with the upside down V area at the top of the house and I see that both boards do not meet together in the middle and there is maybe a one-inch space. Not sure if the squirrel is getting in that way and going around inside of the wall paneling somehow or through the hole in the corner. I may have to put some something outside of the vent to stop that.

    Closeup of said critter hole in the corner: http://image.ibb.co/jyDjgm/closeup.jpg

    Yikes. It is so jagged, I'm not sure how to even cover that properly and I'm wondering if it is like that all the way around the house. Somebody really messed up on that one. :hide:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  2. Jan 16, 2018 #2

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,691
    Likes Received:
    1,616
    Kind of looks chewed on.

    Get it closed up and sealed up.

    Also that vent needs to have hardware cloth or something on the inside as they can go between the louvers.

    You have no idea how much damage those little buggers can do.
     
  3. Jan 16, 2018 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,949
    Likes Received:
    3,135
    Hi J-------
    If you look at the fist photo about 2 ft from the corner there is a joint in the lumber so that bottom section can be changed.
    That board is called fascia or rake board. it is common to see it warped out at the bottom and a new one would be expected to dopy this one in a year or two.
    I think the hardware cloth that Bud mentioned is actually metal screen.
    If someone takes a 4 or 4" width of that screen and folds it in the middle it can be pushed up behind with a spatula
    The gap at the top where the two rakes meet can be covered with sheet metal or a decretive wood piece, that might be called a crown but mostly we called it ( you know that decretive wood piece where the rakes meet.)

    The hole needs to be dressed first with some kind of flap that will allow criter to get out but will stop them from getting back in. That should be left for about a week.
     
    bud16415 likes this.
  4. Jan 21, 2018 #4

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    50
    Alright, so maybe this is just one of those simple things about house construction in general that I never knew about. Or maybe this is something particular to this house, I'm not sure.

    Inside of the corner, the diagonal roof rafter is visible.

    [​IMG]


    An issue that I see going on is that I can see the "step up" of the bricks themselves, underneath the board.

    [​IMG]

    So basically with every "step up"...there's like a hole where the board has of course pulled away and the next step up in the brick leaves an open space. This is fairly alarming. While I had the ladder up taking pics, I nearly encountered said squirrel coming across that power line. It saw me and jumped onto the roof to go elsewhere until I went away, so it is definitely a squirrel.

    [​IMG]

    Did they half-butt this brick work, too? It steps up, but even if the wood were flat, there's seemingly no insulation. Just a board that, if fixed to the rafter wood properly, wouldn't allow critters in. However, there's no barrier from stuff like bugs or anything.

    There is a seam in the wood there where the lower piece could just have the front couple of feet changed out, but with the above problem that I see, that is completely useless now. Blocking off the front board and fixing that would result in a squirrel basically being able to climb along and go under the trim board every foot or two and still get into the attic. I presume that the area that it is getting into is basically behind this paneling stuff that they have on the side of the wall in the attic.



    [​IMG]

    That insulation is old and will be changed out in the near future, anyway. I presume that there are basically holes all the way up along the trim boards behind this wall. Oddly enough, it is only on that particular side of the house. The back porch side of the house, for instance...the trim boards are barely bowed and are just about flush against the bricks. I'm going to have to attach some mesh wire over the inside part of that eve vent, likely screwing directly into the vent metal itself to stabilize the wire.

    Changing that lower trim board out for a wider one could be done, but I don't particularly want to be hammering on that lower board or pulling it out at the risk of the upper board coming off and dropping power lines in my face. Plus, somewhere on the other side of that wall in the attic, that power anchor piece goes through the wall and would be visible. I have pondered that I could take that paneling down and likely see each of the holes visible, then just cut some wood and screw it in place in the meantime to block the openings until I can get the outside trim boards replaced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  5. Jan 21, 2018 #5

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    50
    I can see the old power anchor from decades ago still attached and poking through the inside paneling on the side of the house with long bolts. At one point decades ago, that was likely live and there were 2-3 children actually sleeping up in that open attic. Scary. If I encounter the new one visible in the previous photos, I'm going to presume it is live.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jan 22, 2018 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,949
    Likes Received:
    3,135
    ................opps
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  7. Jan 22, 2018 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,949
    Likes Received:
    3,135
    The area with the corner chewed away perhaps the there is room behind it to slip a piece of wood up behind the facsia .
    Earlier I talked about metal screening could be tucked up between the facsia and the brick but you could also just add a 1x2 or 1x3 or 1x4 which ever fits flat on the bottom of the facsia tight to the brick and caulked.
    On the inside, it looks like you have insulation against the roof sheeting. The attic should be kept at outside temps and all insulation should be on the floor. If it to be used as living space, Doing that right is a whole nother ball of wax.
     
  8. Jan 23, 2018 #8

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    50
    Yeah, the previous owners put the 3" rolled insulation against the roof sheeting. They also put some loose insulation under the floor boards boards in the attic. The attic does get the outside temperature, whether hot or cold.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  9. Jan 23, 2018 #9

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,949
    Likes Received:
    3,135
    So you should just remove the stuff under the roof it has a bigger chance of causing trouble.
     
  10. Jan 23, 2018 #10

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    50
    Most of that has literally fallen off anyway. I threw away the pieces that fell because they were very old. There is very little remaining. What kind of problems can that cause?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
    nealtw likes this.
  11. Jan 28, 2018 #11

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    50
    Up near the upside-down V area, I tore down the paneling and such inside of the house and I see where a squirrel has chewed on either board in the V area above the eave vent as a way to get into the attic. This is in addition to the other areas where I have found that I believe to be holes, but they may be covered by the gray drywall-looking stuff that I see on the side wall. I pulled down some insulation above the vent area and found a couple of baby squirrels mixed in with it when it fell. They're still on the insulation. I could hear the mother outside making calls to them and running around on the roof.

    Will mom go get them and take them somewhere else? Should I take them outside and put them on a window ledge or something? I wouldn't want them to fall off, but this squirrel and the babies can't stand in the attic, either.

    Until I can change the boards outside (need to get a ladder that is tall enough for the 20+ feet height), I need to do something from the inside like screw a board up there to block the opening between the two V boards. I don't know for sure yet, but the gray board that I'm seeing affixed to the wall may cover up some of those holes that I see underneath the boards that pulled away from the house. If so, just the corner of the house needs to be fixed and this upper area. Apparently it was just coming in, going down through the insulation and into the wall behind the paneling. I have ripped off most of the paneling. I physically saw it trying to come in the hole at the corner of the house and it saw my light and went back out.

    My main thing is...what the heck do I do about the baby squirrels? Now that I have moved things around and they aren't in the wall anymore, will mom move them somewhere else or just elsewhere in the attic? I haven't touched them with my hand. It is 54F outside and going down to about 43 tonight. Currently raining pretty hard. I didn't want to just chunk them outside. How would she watch them and build another nest somewhere at the same time? Their eyes are not open and they barely move, so I left them on the insulation and moved away sharp pieces of wood that would hurt them. Maybe tomorrow I will put them out on the window ledge for mom to pick up and take somewhere else, then seal the holes.

    http://preview.ibb.co/dcACKG/20180128_173747.jpg
    http://preview.ibb.co/hDssKG/20180128_173920.jpg
    http://preview.ibb.co/eSpuYb/20180128_173908.jpg

    Any suggestions?? :hide:
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  12. Jan 29, 2018 #12

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,949
    Likes Received:
    3,135
    I understand the caring for wild creatures but I would drown then just before I flushed them. I don't know anything about them moving their babies.
    I would cover the inside with metal bug screen, The extra vent would not be a problem. On the outside a diamond shape or something could just be nailed over that gap at the peak would be the easiest.

    fasic peak.jpg
     
  13. Jan 30, 2018 #13

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,567
    Likes Received:
    1,180
    Move them outside and let nature take it's course.
     
  14. Feb 4, 2018 #14

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    50
    Alright, so I pulled that front corner board off from the house. I see some weird stuff, like where they basically broke a brick halfway into (roughly, at that) and backed it away from the corner. I understand that would have needed to go up with the brick to form the point of the house, but this doesn't look right to me. It looks like they did a "half brick" all the way up and that's the cause of a lot of the holes underneath the fascia board that I'm seeing.

    [​IMG]


    On the front side, I see loose insulation at the floor level between the floor joists of the attic. So basically there's a board just nailed up there and nothing is even remotely trying to keep air/insects out. If I change the fascia boards, is there some kind of proper moisture barrier that I can up up behind the fascia board to keep water from getting in?

    I'm planning to add a downspout at the front with a small gutter piece to catch the water running off from the size.

    The large bottom fascia board is apparently 7 1/4" wide.

    I didn't see that in the store. I see 1 x 10, which is technically 9 1/4" x 3/4". The board is a little wider and would come and cover the gaps in the bricks created by the existing fascia.

    The smaller top fascia running underneath the shingles is 3 1/4" wide. I couldn't even find anything of that same design/shape at places like Home Depot. We don't have "lumber yards" and such around here.

    Where do people find this stuff? Then apparently none of the wood is treated and you just have to paint and prime it yourself to make it waterproof.

    Finally, I'm trying to figure out what in the heck I'm going to do about this hole that they made at the V point:

    [​IMG]
    Literally, the only thing that I could get in there so far has been mesh wire, which I can't really secure. I can't even reach in there with a drill to seal it with boards and screws.

    [​IMG]


    When I go to change out the fascia on the outside, is there some kind of moisture barrier that I can put up to keep water from basically blowing in sideways and going behind the new fascia boards? There's no barrier behind there, just bare bricks with open holes that lead right to the wall board and joists. That's a pretty serious problem. Granted, the house is from 1950, so I guess that's "normal" in this neighborhood.
     
  15. Feb 5, 2018 #15

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,949
    Likes Received:
    3,135
    For the screening I would go with galvanized much easier to deal with.
    For facsia up here we us a wood that is combed to make it look like a rough cut but it is pre primed white with oil based primer on all sides. All the yards carry it including the depot and Lowes.
    And it comes in all sizes because it used for all the trim on a house. And no it is not pressure treated.

    Best you ask what they use down there.

    On the gable ends there is a good chance there is nothing to nail to. they may be nailed thru the roof board down into the facsia.???

    Our standard fascia for gables is 2x10 and 1x4
    On the tails of the rafters we just do a regular 2x4 that is completely hidden with the gutter. Some Higher end house get a 2x8 fascia behind the gutter. Adds little to the house except more painting.
    Not sure which holes you were saying were subject to water but the water does want to stopped but air holes are good just stoop the bugs and critters with screening.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  16. Feb 5, 2018 #16

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    50
    I have since covered that hole in the V from the inside of the attic with a couple of small pieces of plywood custom cut to fit it. I screwed outward from the inside and through the fascia board, which should have kind of pulled the bottom part of the fascia back towards the house a little bit.

    Basically all of the holes are what I was referring to. If I pulled any fascia board off, you could see directly into the attic. No wall board in between. No moisture barrier behind the fascia.
     
  17. Feb 5, 2018 #17

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,949
    Likes Received:
    3,135
    If you have o wood behind the facsia, you don't want to pull them off as then you will be working under shingles on the roof. Anything major like that should be done when roof is being replaced.
    I would not worry about water going up in there your big concern would be critters and bugs.. You might consider just a 1x2 or 1x3 under the facial over to the brick Then you could caulk the joint to the brick. If you did that you would want the 1x2 to be just shy of flush with the facsia so water would not be beating on that joint.
     

Share This Page