Today I went by the house to try and clear out some of the gutters, which have apparently never been looked at before. Maybe the previous owners didn’t own a ladder (we just bought our first one the other day). Unfortunately there’s a nice hard pack of frozen dirt in them, but I managed to chip away an inch or so off the top and clear out most of the leaves that have been blocking them up. The weight of the crud has caused the gutter over the porch to noticeably sag and drain water in the center, so I did my best to relieve some of the strain. My new heavy duty Wonderbar, having previously put to use prying up the linoleum tile, also makes a great icepick/scraper.
A few days ago, we arrived at the house only to be assaulted by the unmistakable scent of skunk(s?). We figure they are getting under the porch or possibly into the crawlspace. There’s about a 10″ gap between our neighbour’s house and ours and it’s never been properly sealed, so there’s a good chance that the little buggers have dug down into the most inaccessible part of the house. Great. I’ve researched a couple repellent suggestions (naphtha flakes and ammonia rags) that we’re going to try out before calling in the pros, who charge $300+ just for trapping the animal. Properly sealing these cozy areas will have to wait until the ground thaws, but once we know the critters are out – and hopefully they do leave – I’ll put up some temporary galvanized wire mesh to discourage any more unwanted tenants.