Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Rats, destruction and the scientific wisdom of real estate agents

The recent discovery of rats taking up residence in my ceiling has been yet another journey of poor communication and discovery.

I'd heard something rattling around up there for a while, but figured that animals were bound to move in and out from time to time. As long as they weren't bothering me, why should I bother them was my approach. Then I heard something like a "pulling" sound which was coming from the exhaust fan above the stove. Visions of turning on the exhaust fan and either having blood spatter to deal with or an electrical explosion, ensued.

Neither of those things happened, but I did discover this one day when I had been away for a week.

© 2014 divacultura
All that black stuff looked like black shavings of some sort.  I had no idea what it was or what had caused it, but whatever was living in my roof was now causing me a problem. They would have to go.

Simon, the pest control guy, came, confirmed I had rats and put some baits out. He said they'd be gone pretty quickly and to call him if there was a smell. He said they would usually go away to die, but sometimes they don't make it.

That night, I could hear all kinds of different noises. As I stared up at the hole in my bedroom ceiling, and listened to the sound of falling rats, I was gripped by the future trauma I was sure to suffer when a dead rat fell through the bedroom ceiling and landed on me. Would I know? Or would I suffocate? Death by asphyxiation with the instrument of death a dead rat. Shudder. I rolled over and tried to block out the noises.

Meanwhile, the exhaust fan in the kitchen was out of bounds until it was inspected by an electrician. Finally, the electrician came on Saturday. Here's what we discovered:

© 2014 divacultura

Those rats had actually been eating away at the blades of the fan! There's a new one up there.

Meanwhile, the stove is full of plastic shavings. The elements in the stove can not be pulled out so cleaning is very difficult. To compound the problem, some of the plastic is melted from when I used the stove not knowing that it was full of plastic shavings.
In the stove dish under the element - melted plastic shavings.
© 2014 divacultura

Naturally, I don't want to use the stove while there is plastic in there. I don't want to make a bigger mess and I don't want to melt plastic while I'm cooking my food. I should just relax though because the real estate agent made this declaration in an email:

"The plastic shavings does not release poisonous chemicals, it is safe for you to use the stove."

When I asked how she knew, I received this:

"You can air the burning plastic smell by using the exhaust fan or open the window...I don't know what the plastic releases when heated but with a such small amount, it is not harmful. If you still have concern about it, please use the other 3 elements."

Seriously. I called her and asked her exactly what she was saying. During the course of the conversation she told me that the plastic would only melt a little bit and then eventually it would be gone.

There really is nothing to do when the response is so ill-informed, dismissive and impractical. I can imagine the bond discussion about how the stove was full of melted plastic and therefore I should forfeit some of my bond. In the mean time, I don't have full use of my stove. I'll add it to the list.

It looks like the hole in my ceiling will finally be repaired next week. I'm not going to believe it until it finally happens though!

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