The homeowner in Toms River, NJ wanted to turn his crawl space into an extra storage area. Watch Video »
Here are some “before and after” exclusion pictures that I had taken as part of a job to resolve a mouse infestation for a homeowner in East Brunswick, NJ. When dealing with rodents, it is critical to determine how they are gaining access inside the home. You can go ahead and set up bait traps and apply applications to deal with the mice inside the home, but to permanently resolve the problem and prevent re-infestations, you need to locate the entry points used by the mice to gain access into the home. Sometimes you know they are actual entry points because of nearby rodent activity near the gap or crack. For example, if you find tiny, dark pellet-like droppings or smelly urine near the gap or crack, you are pretty much guaranteed that some mice availed themselves of the opening to gain access into the home. Other times during the inspection, the technician may find potential entry points that need to be sealed.
Finding the gaps and cracks can sometimes be a challenge. Mice are tiny creatures and they can fit through a hole the size of a dime. A good inspection requires a thorough visual of the home’s entire foundation. Often, mice enter into the crawl space or attic and then use wall voids to maneuver their way around the home, eventually making their way to the kitchen to forager for food. Sometimes, the gaps are small and it takes a lot of detective work to find them. However, there are occasions where you’ll find a huge gap that for a mouse would be the equivalent of the Holland tunnel! That was the case here. With this home, there was a huge gap around a utility pipe entering the home. The gaps around pipes and wiring entering the home are always treated as one of the “usual suspects” to check when looking for rodent entry points. Here, you can see the large gap around the pipe.
To seal this gap, I filled it with chew-proof copper mesh. Rodents are persistent creatures that can tear and chew there way through many materials. For example, using caulk to close gaps is never enough. With the copper mesh firmly in place, this access point for mice has been permanently blocked.
These homeowners in Allenwood, NJ had recently purchased their home and wanted to better insulate their attic. Good attic insulation slows the rate of heat transfer. It is important both in the summer and winter. During the winter, attic insulation helps stop the flow of heat out of the home, and during the summer, it shows the movement of heat into the home. This not only makes the home more comfortable but also helps your HVAC system work more efficiently and effectively, saving substantial money on your utility bills. Insulation is one of those home investments that easily pays for itself over time.
There was nothing wrong with this home’s existing insulation. The problem was that there just wasn’t enough of it. Cowleys had the perfect solution: We came in and installed a 5" cap of our TruSoft blown-in cellulose insulation right on top of their existing insulation. This insulation offers superior thermal properties as well as a proven method of pest control.
Soil is a porous medium that acts like a sponge. After rainfall, soil soaks up water, and once the soil is saturated, it will form surface puddles along with moisture and humidity. This was the case for this homeowner in Belmar, NJ who realized there was a problem and wanted our crawl space specialists to handle it.
First, we removed all of the debris, flattened the surface and laid down a drainage matting. The drainage matting allows moisture to work its way over to the new sump pump that we installed. Next, we lined the entire crawl space with a super-durable, 20-mil 7-ply vapor barrier, which is made up of high and low-density polyethylene with a polyester-cord reinforcement. This barrier will deter moisture from entering the crawl space, is puncture and tear-resistant, and is treated with an antimicrobial solution to prevent mold.
Afterward, we lined the walls of the crawl space with foam insulation called SilverGlo™. SilverGlo™ not only has a higher R-value than standard EPS foam but also comes with a shiny integral radiant barrier that reflects heat for enhanced energy efficiency. The homeowner previously purchased a commercial-grade dehumidifier and planned on installing it after we were finished. Now, the homeowner has a dry, energy-efficient, and healthy crawl space.
Recently, I was sent to treat and remove a paper wasp nest for a homeowner in Oakhurst, NJ.
Paper wasps have that typical appearance we associate with wasps — a slender waist and long legs. They are called “paper” wasps because of how they build their nests. These wasps gather fibers from plant material and mix it with their saliva to make a brown or grey papery material for nest-building. They will build a small paper nest with a single tier of open cells to lay their eggs and rear their young. The nest has no external covering and looks like an umbrella, (that’s why paper wasps are sometimes called umbrella wasps). These nests are commonly attached to the underside of some structure by a short stalk.
Paper wasps, like any social insect, live in large colonies with a queen and the supporting workers that keep the colony thriving. Other social wasps that we regularly receive calls for are hornets, and yellow jackets. Although paper wasps are considered less aggressive than these other wasps that’s of little consolidation to anyone stung by one of these guys! Any wasp will aggressively defend its nest if it perceives someone as a threat, so a wasp nest that’s in an area where people are regularly walking to and from is a potential hazard that must be removed. If a nest is located somewhere on the property where it’s out of the way and not likely to be disturbed, I recommend to just leave it alone. Wasps can be beneficial insects by reducing other insect populations on the property.
For this nest, I used a quick knock-down aerosol and then removed the nest. These stinging insect jobs are particularly rewarding to me because I know that I likely prevented some awfully painful stings.
After we inspected this homeowner's attic in Red Bank, NJ, we came to the conclusion that it was severely under-insulated. After bringing this to the homeowner's attention he wanted us to add blown-in cellulose insulation to his attic.
Some of the consequences of having an under-insulated attic are uncomfortable temperatures throughout the home, a lower R-value, and high heating and cooling costs. Adding blown-in cellulose insulation is a great way to improve the R-value in your attic, improve the home's energy performance, and upgrade your attic insulation. Our cellulose insulation is treated with non-toxic borate, giving it the highest Class-1 fire safety rating and is resistant to mold and pests.
Once we arrived we first needed to remove the current insulation and then sanitize and deodorize the attic. Once that was done we began to add in the blown-in cellulose insulation. This blanket of insulation will create a thermal barrier and dramatically increase the home's energy efficiency