Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Forty Years of Mice Piss"

Anyone who lives in the woods knows that a mouse invasion is a constant threat. In winter, mice want in. If the roof is insulated with fiberglass, they will make cozy nests and come back year after year. Here in Wellfleet, we also have chipmunks, in particular, one chipmunk, who looks upon Seagull Cottage not as a part of Chez Sven, but rather as Chez Moi. This chipmunk hides nuts and steals the seeds Sven feeds the birds, then hides these seeds in what would be considered clever hiding places, if one were a chipmunk. We have tried traps that kill, and traps that do no harm. The supply of invaders never seems to cease, however.

This fall the small room ceiling became such a popular hangout for the little furry creatures that Sven and I decided to do something about what my husband inelegantly called "forty years of mice piss." We had the wallboard demoed, and today the foam guys came to spray closed cell insulation. I did not spend as much time researching this go-round as when we did the Green Room, but consulted our friend Nate Cook, contractor extraordinaire, instead. He recommended closed cell due to the higher R factor (6.4 per inch) and the fact that moisture cannot get in. We also changed the fourth window in the small room. Sven and I are pleased as punch with the result. This new insulation will cut way down on the cost of heating the cottage. It will also be a much cozier accommodation in winter and cooler in summer. What's more, the mice hate foam and can no longer access the walls. Victory at last!