LESLIE: Mary Louise in Nebraska, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we help you with?
MARY LOUISE: I have some cracks in my foundation and I don’t want them “meeses” to come into my house.
TOM: The “meeses,” huh? (chuckling)
LESLIE: (chuckling) “Meeses.”
MARY LOUISE: Yeah.
TOM: Alright. Well, you know, the “meeses” can be kept out through a number of things. Cracks are only one place that mice can get into your home. But in terms of repairing these cracks, one way to do that would be simply with a silicone caulk to make sure we minimize the amount of water that’s getting in there. In your part of the country, if you keep the water out of a crack it’s always a good thing because you get a lot of freezing and expansion and that can worsen the cracks.
Are these cracks vertical or horizontal, Mary?
MARY LOUISE: Up and down. (chuckling) But they go both ways.
TOM: Up and down. That’s vertical.
MARY LOUISE: They go both ways, actually.
TOM: OK, but they’re small? They’re small cracks?
MARY LOUISE: They’re small and some of them are bigger. I have a crack between the house and the driveway; a small crack in there.
TOM: OK, well that’s just normal movement. But other thing that you can do to reduce the chances of rodent infestation would be to make sure that you don’t have storage against the house that can create a nesting site. This could be firewood or garbage cans or any of those sorts of things that creates storage areas.
MARY LOUISE: And I was wondering if I should use more of a surface bonding cement or something on them?
TOM: The best way to fix the cracks is simply by caulking them. You don’t have to resurface the entire foundation unless you want it to look better.
MARY LOUISE: OK.
TOM: If that was the case you would use a stucco mixture but I think just sealing those cracks up is fine.
Other things that you can do to cut back on the chances of rodent population would be to make sure you don’t have nesting sites around the house; to make sure that your food in the house is stored in sealed containers; especially pet food. And if you want to put something down to protect them and to protect your house from getting regular infestations put down some bait – some mice bait – and make sure that if you have pets it’s contained inside a protected bait station so that the pets can’t get to it but the mice can.
MARY LOUISE: Thank you very much.