|Sam, not caring about mice|
So how do mice get into the attic? Inside the walls. This is another problem Dan and I have been discussing in regards to re-doing our front porch.
When our house was built in the 1920s, the techniques were a bit different than modern construction. If you see a house being build today, it's common to see the foundation put in first, then a subfloor, then the framing for the walls.
The walls for our house were build right on top of the sill before the floor was installed. There is no subfloor; they put up the walls, then nailed down tongue and groove boards, and then put linoleum on top of that. The problem is that none of the floor boards actually butt up to the sill, rather, there is a gap. Dan says the blown-in wall insulation is falling down into the crawl space.
Obviously it isn't air tight at the top, either. So besides being a convenient passageway into the attic for mice, cold air channels up the walls too. That cold air seeps through our tongue and groove walls, making them very drafty. The worst place is the front corner bedroom off the front porch. It catches the brunt of our bitter winter winds, which obviously blow through the gaps in the foundation and right up the walls! Between that and the large, single glazed windows, that room is impossible to heat (or keep cool in summer).
This is something that is finally going to be addressed as part of our front porch project. I mentioned sealing off the foundation from critters, but it will help with wind too. Then Dan will seal the cracks between floor boards and walls with foam. When we get to the new siding, the old bedroom windows will be replaced with energy efficient ones. Eventually, we'll get to the room's interior and do like we did in our bedroom, take down old walls, insulate properly, and put up new ones.
For those of you who like old houses, here's a couple of old photos to illustrate:
|These were taken during our 2011 kitchen remodel. Most our walls are pine|
T&G. All are painted, which wasn't a good idea since the paint cracks at the
board lines when the house shifts. Insulation was blown in at a later date.
|This gives you an idea of what we've been doing. One|
problem with the blown-in insulation is that it didn't get
to some spots, like under the windows and under the
diagonal corner bracing. Redoing made all the difference.
All of this makes for a huge project, especially with all the seasonal things which have to be done around here. We just try to prioritize (animals and food growing always comes first), and stay focused on the task at hand. This is the best way to not get overwhelmed with all the things needing to be done. It's one step at a time, all the way.