My wife kept hearing a noise in our bedroom wall or ceiling. I looked outside several times trying to figure out what creator was making the noise. There were several birds setting on the roofs edge, but I could not understand how they were making so much noise. A little later, it sounded like something was in the attic, so I looked again. No holes were visible for a critter to get in. I decided to watch that side of the house from a longer distance and after about 5 minutes, it became clear. A couple of birds were entering the bathroom exhaust vent on the side of the house. They opened the plastic louvers and scooted right into the exhaust vent. Wow, those birds are pretty smart. I decided to get the ladder out and remove the louvers so I could get a view of the nest. There was just a little straw in the plastic flexible duct. After removing the louvers, the duct was a standard 4" diameter size making it perfect for a standard shop vacuum cleaner flexible hose. After putting on safety goggles, I lifted the vacuum cleaner with a short rope and was able to vacuum out the small nest. I researched online for some kind of cage that could be placed over the louvered flaps and found a perfect plastic mesh cover. The cage was white and my vinyl siding is gray, so I painted the plastic cage to match. I selected a couple of stainless steel screws that would work. Those birds looked so disappointed they needed to find a new nest. I was talking with a neighbor a few days later and saw more birds building a new nest in the vents on the other side of our home. I know that I am not the only person with birds using these style vents. Birds are known to carry disease and mites. You may want to pay close attention to noises in your home?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 6,000 people are injured each year in incidents involving the structural failure or collapse of a deck or porch. The most common cause of total deck collapse involves the deck “pulling away” from the house. This type of failure typically occurs because the ledger board was not properly attached to the house. Many decks I inspect use only nails to attach the deck to the side of the home and this is dangerous. Decks should be attached to the home using deck quality lag screws. These lag screws should be at least ½” diameter, be made from corrosion resistant material, and must be the proper length. Home inspectors can visually verify that lag screws are used, can verify the size and amount of screws, but cannot verify their length and whether they are secured to structural members of the home. Check out this news report of a deck collapse in Columbus, OH on a condominium. http://abc6onyourside.com/investigators/condo-balcony-collapse-prompts-150-decks-deemed-unsafe.
Chuck retired from an engineering management career to start a home inspection business