We have been working on routine maintenance finishing our downstairs for some time now. I finally got around to painting the roof overhang. “Got around to” is not really right. Faced up to is more accurate. Some of it is not hard to reach, but some of it is. This is where I was on Saturday afternoon.
When I built the house, I wanted the farmhouse look, so instead of soffits, I kept the rafter tails exposed. I still like the look, but I would never do it again. It was more work to finish than soffits, and now it’s more work to repaint. I painted two rafter bays at a time and then had to move the ladder. When I got to the last pair of rafters, I painted some and then saw some debris inside the vent. The attic vents are just holes drilled into a two-by-six that spans the rafters. I stapled screening to keep insects out of the holes, but spiders and other things sometimes get in. I assumed what I saw was old spider webs, so I stuck my finger in and dragged some out.
That’s when I saw the wasp I had almost touched.
I climbed down the ladder with all due haste and gave up on painting that part of the roof overhang for the day. I planned to paint it later at night, when the wasps would be dormant. Unfortunately, I found them at still active, possibly because of the floodlights right outside their nest. So I climbed up with some wasp spray and gave the vent hole a good dousing. Wasps kept coming out, so, once again I retreated.
I found another wasp nest just under the outside of the handrail on the front walk. At the time I was propping a ladder on the edge of the walk, on the outside of the railing, and painting the garage overhang. I saw that nest just as I was preparing to move the ladder right next to the nest. That meant another delay in painting. Later Saturday night I sprayed that nest. It was easily accessible, so I eliminated it.
I did not, however, eliminate the nest in the attic vent. This is what that looked like Sunday afternoon.
You can see how far I got with the painting, and you can also see two wasps, one at each rafter vent. You can also see something else that is going to force me to climb up again — I knocked one of the floodlights out of alignment. That means another climb up. I’m going to be as stealthy as I can. I’ll adjust the light and then give the vent hole another good spray. I haven’t been stung so far. Maybe my luck will hold.
I think I’ll wait to paint that part of the overhang until cooler weather.