Rodent damage - what to look for?

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Old 05-15-20, 02:28 PM
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Rodent damage - what to look for?

We've been dealing with rats who had moved into our walls (MFH, slab foundation, no attic). Heard scratching/gnawing, called the pros, 4 weeks of exterior bait traps, baited the burrows, sealed the entry points. We acted quickly but have no idea how long the critters were in there or how much damage they might have caused. My question as a rookie homeowner is, what should we be looking for as far as damage? Pulling down drywall just to check would be a hard sell to the other residents, but I'm also a little paranoid about damaged wiring, leaking pipes, etc.
 

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05-16-20, 06:00 AM
Pilot Dane
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Short of tearing open the walls and a major expense I don't know how you could inspect the wiring. If concerned you could install arc fault circuit breakers for added protection.
 
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Old 05-15-20, 04:17 PM
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You are correct in being concerned. Rodents can cause a lot of damage. Luckily with a slab much of your plumbing is buried under the slab and should be safe. If you are on city water you can make sure nothing in the house is using water. Then note the reading on your water. Then check the meter several hours later and see if any water has been consumed. If it has then you might have a leak.
 
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Old 05-15-20, 05:17 PM
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Will do that, thanks. Do you think it's worth bringing in someone to inspect the electrical? No visible signs of damage, and the whole building was rewired <4 years ago.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 06:00 AM
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Short of tearing open the walls and a major expense I don't know how you could inspect the wiring. If concerned you could install arc fault circuit breakers for added protection.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 08:20 AM
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Tough call. Peace of mind is important but it's gotta be balanced out. If a property had holes chewed through wall and ceiling, I'd recommend removing those wall coverings in that immediate area. If I found damaged wiring then I'd move out from there. Otherwise, if no wall covering damage, I'd live with it. I've been inside framed/wired structures prior to wall covers and wiring is everywhere. Barring evidence of chewed wall openings, how would one know where to start and stop?
My electrical theory is weak. Times like this I wish I knew more.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 04:26 PM
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What kind of wiring is used? NM cable? AC/MC cable? I have seen a few NM cables with the insulation chewed off but causing no issues. I would agree with Pilot Dane, adding AFCI breakers would be the easier option as that is one of the reasons they were created.
 
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Old 05-17-20, 12:25 PM
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Thank you for the feedback! That gives me an idea of how to plan this going forward.
 
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