Hi everyone! It's been a while since I have been here, and I may be a little rusty at this, so bear with me.
I was thinking the other day, and thought... who gets into more crawl spaces and attics than a home inspector? Not many people get to have these lovely experiences daily, so I'm thinking, why not share some of these wonderful exploits with those of you who do not get the opportunity to be gnarled up in tight, hot, dirty, and sometimes damp spaces.
Thus, a new series is born...
So, let's begin with one of my all-time memorable attic exploits:
It was a hot day in mid July when I pulled up to this monstrous 3 1/2 story converted 3-unit apartment house. From the outside, I could see that it was going to be one of those rather lengthy inspections, since the outside revealed peeling paint, unkempt yard, and cracked windows (just for starters, before I had even exited my truck).
Well, my gut feelings were not far from wrong. Two of the units were vacant, with abandoned belongings left behind, and the third was occupied by a single gentelman, who lived on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
Although the basement was dark and damp, there was not much else remarkable there, other than wiring which was in great need of updating. Since the property was largely vacant, most of the rest of the inspection was fairly easy, except for having to move some of the belongings left behind to get a better look.
By the time I got to the 2nd floor, I was very hot, and dreading what I knew was yet to come...yep- the dreaded attic, where temperatures were certain to be around 140 degrees or so on a day like this.
As I finally got my ladder brought up to the third floor, I stopped for a short rest, and then prepared myself for attic entry (coveralls & filtered mask). As I was standing there on the 3rd floor, I noticed this very large aquarium in the living room, with nothing in it but some gravel, and a large branch. I remember thinking to myself "Wonder what used to be in there?" Hmm.
Well, no matter, duty called, and at this point I really didn't care much what used to be in that aquarium; I just wanted to get this attic inspection over with. So, I set up my ladder in the closet where the attic access was located. I climbed up, poked my head through the access, fumbled for a second finding my flashlight on my belt... ahh there it is!
I turned on the flashlight to get a better look at the nearly pitch black attic space. As I panned around the attic with the light.... uhh... yikes! Something big, long and spotted is staring back at me... from about 4 feet away! I think I let out some kind of girlish scream... and then just froze. After a paused moment, I managed to yell... "There's a big snake up here!"
I heard someone running up the steps... and then he said... "Ralphie! You found Ralphie!"
Panick-stricken and afraid to move, I manage to say "Ok, now what do I do?"
The voice replies "Oh, he won't hurt you, it's just Ralphie, my pet 8 ft boa". "You can just come down, and I will go up and get him".
Still trembling, I manage to slide back down the ladder, and collapse in the chair. The tennant calmly goes up and slowly brings all 8 ft of "Ralphie" down, and deposits him back in his 300 gallon home.
He tells me "Ralph has been missing for almost 3 days. I had no idea he could get way up there!"
Hmmm.. NEITHER DID I, BUDDY! NEITHER DID I!
Well, needless to say, after this unique experience, I am now a little more "wary" of empty aquariums.