One key problem about buying a renovation project – especially one from a repossessed house – is that the quality of the house internals are rarely even ‘ok’. We new the house was bad. We viewed the house a couple of times. But nothing actually quite prepared us for the utter filth that lay behind things, under things, stuck to things etc.
The house was fumigated before we moved in (the building society who repossessed it insisted on it), but this seems to do nothing to kill the nasties living in this house. I’m usually pretty immune to flea bites – they prefer the girls, the cats or anything over smelly old me – but in this house I’ve been bitten. Bitten a lot.
Removing the stairs carpet seemed to be the pinnacle of flea activity. The stairs consisted of a lovely (sic) shade of what must have been beige carpet. It had largely been eroded by trampling feet so that in most places only the backing was visible, and through the backing appeared to be underlay.
The smell in the carpets was horrendous and there was no way that I could let the girls in the house with the carpets in. So my priority task was to remove the carpets. Bedrooms, bathroom (oh god the bathroom carpet needs an entire blog article, but I just can’t bring myself to write it), kitchen, lounge, and hall all went on day one. All floors were vacuumed, mopped with bleach, cleaner (sugar soap), and then some great stuff called magic odour zap http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?cId=101513&ts=35700&id=65263). None of this is environmentally friendly, but it just had to be done. What ever was down there had to die. So, end of week one and we had the major smell’s out of the way and the main source of all things crawling.
I had of course ignored the stairs. I didn’t think too much about it, it’s a small staircase and we were trampling dirt in and out the house so it provided a way of cleaning the boots off before getting to the living areas (upstairs). Smells persisted and the girls started to get some serious flea bites. After ruling out just about everything else, I set about removing the stair carpet. Perhaps carpet’s would be a better description though. The first layer came up to review that the underlay (so I thought) was in fact chocolate brown carpet. Hmmm nice. Chocolate brown carpet covered in dog hairs. Hmm not so nice. Chocolate brown carpet covered in dog hairs, lumps of smelly ’stuff’, and a strong smell of ammonia. Hmm, I could taste the air – I didn’t want to of course, but literally the (I’m gagging while I think of it) smell penetrated all.
Anyway, being a man, defender of the home from unwanted bugs, and all round hero, I ploughed on pulling up the carpet’s. Four layers in all. The end result was some rancid carpet just outside our front door, stairs that had to be cleaned with bleach about fifteen times, and me covered on flea bites.
It just amazes me that people live like this and don’t notice something is wrong. How could they not smell the stench? Why were they not bitten by the flea’s? Also, why did they nail the carpets down in the house? 2″ nails bent over. Why didn’t they take up the old carpets? and Why didn’t they vacuum the place once in a while?