A few weeks ago I was participating in one of the home improvement Internet forums when an issue with mice getting into the house came up.
It reminded me of the same situation we had last fall in our home.
We found one dead mouse in the basement powder room ceiling fan.
We found another one, also dead, in a drawn in the same room.
What gives? Was the noise of the home renovation projects attracting the mice? Unlikely.
Or, was the cool weather of the fall causing the vermin to look for a winter home. More likely.
What we did find, with certainty, was how the mice were getting into the house.
A broken dryer vent cover.
Above is a picture of the front of our home, specifically to the left of the front door (yes, that front door). The window you see is to the main floor laundry room. If you look closely in the lower left of that picture you will see two white squares on the wall to the lower left of the left most Pyramid Yew.
The vent cover to the right is for the dryer inside the laundry room.
What had happened is that, as far as we could tell, the original (or close to the original) vent covers for both the laundry room dryer and the basement powder room’s ceiling fan had not been changed, ever. Both were certainly broken.
The vent cover for the basement powder room’s ceiling fan was sufficiently broken to allow mice to enter.
So, I went to our neighbourhood building supply store and purchased replace both of the vent covers.
Most of the homes we have lived in have not had vents so close to the ground. However, both of these were placed so close to the side garden that they needed to have the covering so vermin could not enter.
Above is a picture of the vent cover for the basement powder room’s ceiling fan. Notice two things. First when the fan in the powder room is not pushing air out of the house that the three horizontal vent flaps are closed.
Second, a closer look will show the screen that resides just in side the horizontal flaps to let the air out but help block the mice from entering the vent.
And, third, notice the rather sloppy caulking all around the edges of the vent cover. This is one situation, however, when excessive caulking is better than too little so no gaps exist to let bugs inside IMO.
So, the next time you have mice or other vermin entering your house, check your vent covers in case they are broken or missing screens.
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