The Old Man and the Street

2005-5-30

Empty Spaces

I spent today putting the finishing touches on the attic in preparation for getting the air conditioning installed. After perforating my skull on yet another protruding nail, I took the time to pull hundreds of panelling nails out of the rafters. I then set to work pulling up the two pieces of "carpet", one of which was attached to the floor with wire nails instead of carpet tacks.

With all the big stuff out of the attic, it was time to tend to the dust, dirt, bits of wood, nails, peanut shells (from squirrels that apparently lived there before we moved in) and general crud that covered the attic floor from one end to the other. We're talking about 50+ years of filth. To give you an idea of just how filthy it was, here's a before and after picture of the rear attic windows:

And now, on to the cleaning. Supplies included:

  • 1 Shop VAC
  • 1 Shop VAC HEPA filter
  • 1 2.5" Shop VAC hose
  • 1 pr. gloves
  • 1 set of grubby-old clothes
  • 1 old hat
  • 1 pr. safety glasses
  • 1 pr. ear plugs

I basically started in the Northeast corner of the attic, worked my way South, and then West. After a while I achieved a zen-like calm as my mind wandered farther and farther away from the mindless task at hand. M. made me lovely lunch which I ate in the backyard because I was so covered in dirt I was sure I'd destroy the kitchen--when I first came down from the attic, I looked like I'd been rolling around in a coal mine.

It took over 6 hours to finish cleaning (including the time pulling all the nails and disposing of the carpet), but this is what the attic looks like now:

You can even see where some previous owners cut holes in the floor for one reason or other (See the before pictures for comparison). While the floor is for the most part sound, before we finish the attic (in a few years), we're either going to have to replace the entire floor or put a layer of plywood over it.

So we're now officially ready for the AC guys to install. Woohoo!

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