We’re Angie’s List members. It’s an… interesting service. It’s rather like paying money to subscribe to an opinionated phone book. I have found that most of the reviews are a few steps above Amazon’s, and pretty much on par with Goodreads: yes, some folks have various axes to grind and they want to do this in public, but the majority of reviews reflect the experience the reader/user had with that product/service/book at that time. Overall, it’s worth the subscription fee, especially with the condition of our home and the various life support systems it requires.
Sometime back in May, I got one of the Angie’s List daily deals for gutter cleaning. A local company was offering a heck of a bargain, so I booked the deal. The company’s owner came out, inspected the house, and we set up an appointment. Then the gutters fell off, so getting them cleaned was not a priority. I called the owner back, and he said that while he could not offer refunds for prepaid Angie’s List services, he would give us a steep discount on getting the entire house pressure washed. Done and done.
Last Wednesday, two very nice Hired Dudes showed up with a big truck and some crazy-powerful spray equipment in the back. Brown and I had removed the storm windows and screens the night before, and these were neatly stacked out of the way so the Hired Dudes could have access to the main windows. I assumed there might be some leakage when the windows were pressure-washed, especially in the window seat where there are noticeable gaps between the window and the sill, so I planned to have some towels ready when they got to that side of the house.
They got to work, and I got to work. I’m happily typing away at the computer with the sound of running water in the background. It’s quite pleasant, really, and I can’t figure out why Zu keeps banging my elbow with his nose.
ME: “I’m working, dog.”
ME: “I’m working. Lie down.”
Now, Zu’s not a “Timmy’s in the well!” sort of dog, but he is by his nature an excellent guard dog and is very attuned to changes in the house. Such as, how the sound of running water is technically not background noise when it is pouring down the interior walls.
The next thirty minutes was marked by the most Flight-of-the-Bumblebees-frenetic housecleaning I’ve ever done in my life. I’m waving frantically to the Hired Dudes a story below, and they can’t see me because (a) they’re a story below and (b) the windows are covered in a thick soapy paste. And I can’t run out to talk to them, because me and my handful of towels and buckets are what’s standing between massive interior flooding and the odd electrical fire. I’m scooping, rinsing, throwing suds, and swearing at anything dumb enough to coexist with me in this dimension. By the time I finally got their attention, there were two windows left. The Hired Dude asked me if I wanted them to stop, and we both looked towards those last two windows…
HD: “Ride it out?”
ME (sighing): “Yep.”
By the time they were finished, the house was thoroughly washed, inside and out. I had cleaned and rinsed all walls, windows, and floors within the space of an hour. And the mold and fluff that had accumulated on the exterior was blasted into oblivion…
Overall, I’m pleased with the whole house-pressure-washing thing. It’s something I would have never considered without the discount, and I don’t think it needs to be done again anytime soon (read: years!), but it’s definitely made a difference in the exterior. However, we now know there is some serious leakage around the windows, and we have needed to get out the caulk and the paint to fix up the bits that didn’t survive the pressurized water.
(Oh, and the window seat? Turns out I didn’t have to worry about that area leaking at all. Not so much that those windows didn’t leak, mind, but the water ran straight back outside once it came in. So… win? I guess. And more caulk. Much, much more caulk.)