Service Story #50: Doing It Right
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ SERVICE STORY (Reviewed on Thumbtack) –
Produced for Kristin Army of NE Portland, Oregon on Jan 29th 2019 –
I am Wilderness Security Guide, the Environmental Control Character for Storysold: Pest Control, and this is the story of my service –
Often when the flurry of rat killing subsides and all the dragons and bad bugs have been slain, life once returns to normal. Without any villains to trigger The Conflict, our thoughts naturally drift to the important things of life: Who’s turn is it to take out the garbage? What show do we watch next now that we binge watched GLOW? Does the Paid sandwich I bought and ate while I was working count as a tax deductible? Is it illegal to drive and eat at the same time? And other matters of importance…
Once The Action dies, it’s perfectly normal to forget about cleaning the rat nests and or excluding the entry holes so life can return to normal for a lot longer. People do it all the time.
Even people who are in process of selling their homes forget to shore up their territorial lines. That’s normal too. Most people usually wait for a home inspector to poke around their crawl or attic spaces for half a hot minute (and not a minute more), and then emerge from his or her brief encounter with the dark corners of your home itching to launch the word “infestation” from his lips like an overpriced government missile.
But not the Almys. They decided to do it right without any professional advice-giver there to prompt them into action.
Here’s the message we read and replied to on Thumbtack:
KRISTEN: We had roof rats in two areas of our attic space a few years ago, and while they are no longer present, we are FINALLY wanting to remove the gross stuff we are assuming they left behind prior to putting our house on the market this spring.
The company who’d done their rat killing for them quoted them a lot of money to remove all the old insulation, and then clean, disinfect, and replace it with new insulation.
When the job was done, Kristen said, “I would have bought a hazmat suit and clean it myself for that price…”
And I’m no saint. I was rubbing my hands together and eyeing the couple like a money tree when I pitched my quote. Turns out, I’m not much of a hustler. It was still $200 less than the other owner/operator from Thumbtackwho bid the job.
That was the most exciting part of this story. The rest of this service story is just me, doing my best to follow the Almy’s lead and Do It Right.
I arrived as arranged on the 29that 10am. After a brief greeting, I staged all my gear on the porch.
An hour later, I was covered from head to toe in the super old, funky blown insulation someone had stapled behind three walls full of cardboard.
It wasn’t rocket science, but discovered that the removal process had a trick to it. Don’t rip away the cardboard when you’re under it.
The cardboard was only torn in two places, which made me curious about the nesting situation reported by the other company. Unfortunately, unlike regular insulation, I couldn’t inspect the space behind the cardboard without ripping it down. Here’s a few shots of the old insulation.
Once all the old was bagged and staged on the porch, I did the first wave of cleaning and disinfection. Then I drove to Home Depot for more insulation while I contemplated the legality of deducting a lunch I ate while go-getting a load of clearly, legally deductible supplies.
Hum? I thought while I waited on I-5 with the rest of the herd. What am I going to do if Plaid Pantry stops selling Portland Subs?
In the next scene, I cut and strung the unfaced (cheaper) insulation along the sides of the walls to match the preexisting style:
I had extra insulation in one of the 2 smaller sized rolls I used, and that prompted me to insulate the open floor spaces as well.
It’s always so much fun cutting open those big bags of faced (not as cheap) insulation. The pink insulation pops over the plastic like a muffin top.
When I finished stapling the faced insulation to the roof, I stood back and made sure I hadn’t missed any sections:
And that’s that. I vacuumed up all the old crap and disinfected the space again, all before midnight.
After a short, sweet parting conversation with the Almys, I was driving away in my wife’s Full Cellar Farmcargo delivery van fully loaded with old insulation and cardboard and broken boards. The soundtrack of the night had been mostly classic indie: Wilco, Radiohead, Luna, and Portland favorites like the Dandys and Decemberists.
“When we arrive Sons and Daughters,” the van speakers danced with the Decemberists. “We’ll make our homes on the water. We’ll build our walls with aluminum and fill our mouths with cinnamon…
“Here all the bombs fade away…”
It wasn’t the first time I had the thought, but I’d been too busy doing my best like a good Boy Scout—trying to Do It Right…
Where again did that other company say the rats were nesting? Because I don’t remember uncovering any runways behind the cardboard, or bagging any droppings, shelled nuts, or urine soaked insulation…
Maybe I missed it in the day’s flurry of action?I wondered as I showered, grabbed a bag of chips, plopped down in front of the TV, and finally let my body clock out for the day. Or maybe “clean outs” like this service have become so profitable to Generic Pest Control they hand their clean out proposals to every customer with rats?
No matter. The attic sure looks better now. Thanks Pioneer Pest Management!