Happy St. Patrick's Day!
My wife, Sheryl, and I live in a townhouse condominium. It's a townhouse in that the units are separate but share a common wall. It's a condominium in that this describes the type of ownership. Sheryl and I own the inside of our unit, and the homeowner association owns the outside.
The other day Sheryl was sweeping our back patio and noticed our exhaust vent needed repair.
This should not have been surprising, since our complex is about 30 years old. This vent connects to the exhaust fan above our range.
I tried to piece it back together, but it was so rusted, it disintegrated in my hand.
Though this would be the Association's to repair, a neighbor had a similar problem, and a property management maintenance crew charged the Association ~$250 to fix it. Since our dues are what pays for such things, I decided to fix this myself rather than have our Association rack up another big bill.
At first, I considered getting a dryer vent. The damper would keep cold air from entering the piping and emptying into my microwave.
Unfortunately, since the vent will be attached the ceiling, the damper would always hang open. Birds and insects could crawl up the pipe. Nobody wants that.
To keep insects out, I covered the hole with a screen. I painted it to match the siding.
I used a staple gun to attach the screen to the ceiling.
I bought a white A/C return grille at the local hardware store for $6.08.
I tried to find a replacement for the original covering but could not. I had to get a grille that was not adjustable so it could lay flat against the ceiling.
I painted it to match the siding.
I attached the return grille to the wall and applied a second coat of paint.
I drilled 2 starter holes and then screwed in 2 screws. The screws came with the vent. Easy peasy.
This was a simple repair that was very low cost.
I wrote this simple example up as a blog post in case other neighbors want to do likewise. Hint. Hint. Or even better, perhaps the property management maintenance crew could use this same approach? As our Association Treasurer, we've got to stretch our dues money every chance we get.
Repair is alive in the lab.