Monday, December 24, 2007

Who's Siding are They On?

Update on the ants: I discovered that the exterminator -- either in an excess of enthusiasm, or because the problem seemed so extreme, or because he noticed other large holes in my siding -- started drilling random holes in the siding! Instead of being under the lip where it would not be visible and probably not attract water, these holes were smack in the middle of a board, and veered all over the place! My house looks like it has woodpeckers! And of course, in the rainy season, those holes are gonna let rain in… I doubt if they make corks that small, so I went around with woodglue and tried to at least waterproof the siding. And of course, realized that probably was silly as long as the other, larger holes, cracks and gaps are there, so then I went back with the foam insulation.

I don’t know if you’ve worked with foam insulation -- it’s like toxic silly string, and doesn’t come off of anything. The side of the can says that “uncured” foam can be removed from non-porous surfaces with acetone, but that’s it. Forget it if you dribble on clothes, hands shoes, grass… they state that it has to wear off your skin! And just like Super glue, as soon as you start to squirt it out, it just keeps oozing -- forget trying to patch a small gap or hole - you’d better have an 18” cavity to fill! I had tried this stuff several times, luckily never video’d or I’d have made YouTube. This is pure Lucille Ball material. This time, I decided that 1) it was gonna be a one-time, disposable situation ($5 for a can that can’t be used more than once, due to the foam hardening in the applicator straw) 2) I would sacrifice a pair of gloves and my worst work jacket and 3) I could always cut the grass after it hardened. That helped some, but I still ended up squirting too much into the gap, thereby having bright yellow “snot” hanging off the house. I also tried to catch the strings of goop that kept oozing from the applicator, by holding the can’s cap under them - I ended up with about 5 inches of foam piled in the cap -- more than ended up on the house! But I did manage to keep from getting on my skin, tho the gloves were caked. And getting the can and the pile ‘o foam into a garbage bag without touching anything, while still wearing the gloves now stiff with the dried foam -- that is Advanced Foam Insulation, and maybe I’ll get that right next time.

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