One of the many projects on my list for the weekend was cleaning out the larger grainery so that I can use it for storage. It was a good weekend for doing it as the weather was clement and C&C were out of town so I could borrow tools without inconveniencing them.
I did not bother doing the smaller grainery that will be a shed because it’s much too open. I won’t touch it until Charles has time to help me block the existing entrance, put in a new door, and we get a roof on it. The larger grainery has some access points, but is reasonably weather tight.
Before I started cleaning, I had to be able to walk around the grainery safely, which was hard to do as there were lots of wires holding heavy pieces of metal hanging from the walls and ceiling (which is where I confess that I have a nice bruise on my forehead from walking into one…). The wires were to keep the walls straight and true against the pressure of all the grain being stored.
Charles had thought to offer me bolt cutters, so I was able to deal with wires, a job that wasn’t too difficult on the ground where I had leverage, but was a little more perilous up a ladder. His bolt cutters are sharp!
Once the grainery was safe, the fun began.
Cleaning was tedious and had many steps. The first was dousing the entire structure in a bleach solution. This is because there was mouse poop everywhere and mouse poop carries the deadly hantavirus. I was advised by Charles, our local pest control officer, to wear a mask and gloves and to get rid of as much of the poop while it was wet as possible, seeing as the virus gets released into the when the waste is disturbed. The wetness holds it down.
Once the bleach was applied, using a handheld sprayer (picture below), I swept as much as I could and then I used my shop vac. I kicked myself at every stage for having forgotten to borrow C&C’s much larger one, but my one-gallon model was good for doing the top of the walls since I could lift it.
During this stage, I found two dead mice and at least two live ones. Needless to say, I didn’t hesitate to put down mouse poison as it would be stupid to do all this work only to have mice move back in!
Next step was pressure washing, twice. Both times, I wound up with more huge piles of mouse poop on the floor, blasted from every nook and cranny! I knew that I was never going to get the place 100% clean, so after the second pressure washing, I did another pass with bleach on the ceiling, rafters, and walls.
Then, I shop vacced the floor, gave it a final pressure wash, and let it dry. Once dry, I swept and shop vacced again, then did a final pass with the bleach.
That done, I moved in some pallets on which to rest stuff, moved all the crap out of my yard into the building, draped a tarp over what I didn’t want to get wet as there was rain in the forecast for Saturday night, and added a lock to the door for show.
When I went in the grainery this morning, it was nice and dry despite the overnight rain, and while I can’t say it smelled nice, it was definitely fresher in there!