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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Garage Retaken

If you've been following my blog for more then a few months, you already know that we have been slowly correcting the errors made by the former owners of our house.  These errors have ranged from the strange to the structurally unstable to the just plain filthy.  Our attached garage fell into the last category - only it went beyond simple filth into the realm of disgusting and awful.  It was so bad that we decided to pretend that it wasn't there and ignore it until some future date "when we had time to take care of it."  Yep, it was bad.  Oh, did I forget to mention that there was a small rodent population?  Well, there was, and when I say small I mean the size of the rodents, not the number......
As I said, we were prepared to concede the territory of the garage for the time being, until I discovered that some spots of mold were starting to develop on the walls.  Dirt and grime I could ignore by not opening the door.  Rodents I couldn't see could also be ignored (as long as they stayed outside).  Mold, however, was a step too far, and I decided it was time to go to war.
While my kids were sleeping off some sort of flu bug, I suited up in the oldest clothes I could find and emptied the garage of all it's accumulated junk.  Most of it went straight to the burn pile.
After the movable items were gone I attacked some unique (which is a nice way of saying bizarre) built-in cabinets with a sledge hammer.  In one small section, the builder had used nails, staples and carriage bolts to put his masterpiece together.  After he put it together, the mice made it all homey inside.  Oh, it was disgusting!
With the big stuff out of the way (and burned to ash), my next step was to remove all the detritus that was hiding in the cracks and nooks and crannies.  Also the mouse carcasses.  Since most of my readers are women, I didn't take pictures,  but I found several.  I still haven't recovered from the mouse mummy that almost fell on me.  It's a toss up if dead mice or living mice are worse.
Image found here.
My final assault on the garage consisted of spraying every surface with bleach and water.  I don't know what else was smeared on the wood beside the mold, but it was rather satisfying to see the bleach fizz on contact with the wood and then see it all change color.  It took several days for my sinuses to recover, but the garage finally looks clean. 
It really doesn't look like the same place, and I intend to keep it that way.  I also intend to find every crack that a mouse might consider an entry point, and block it so that they realize they are not welcome.    While this project was unexpected, it did bring us one step closer to finishing the "Whole House Project", so it was worth the work.  Hopefully I never have to experience anything like it again.

Happy cleaning, everyone!


~ Tandis ~ said...

Just curious, do you guys have "his" & "her" garages??

Your comment about your sinuses recovering made me laugh. You're an amazing woman to accomplish all that alone. I'm impressed!

Dana said...

Tandis - We do now! This would have been a lot harder to do if most of the kids hadnt been asleep on the couch.

Aaron said...

I... Was going to get to that.... admittedly it was slated for 2016...

Dana said...

@Aaron - notice I said "We" throughout the post. If mold hadn't appeared I would have pretended we didn't have an attached garage for another couple of years as well.