Being kind and considerate seems to come naturally to many of my clients, and that trait makes working to improve their current situation a joy for me.
Recently, I had a lengthy conversation with a past client about a new and complex-sounding problem. The setting was in their business facility and a very offensive odor war invading the building. They needed immediate help but my commitments prevented me from coming to the site as fast as they had hoped.
They informed me a while later that some friends had gone into the crawl space and found a disconnected warm air duct, and had reconnected it. They didn't observe any other issues.
After this conversation, I was able to carve out a little time that day to just stop by to take a quick peek in the crawl space. I found all ducts connected and the crawl looking quite clean at first glance. I noted there was no insulation on the car decking flooring over the floor joists, and I found two ventilation ports with heavy rat soiling running up the foundation wall to a formerly open vent location. Rat droppings were not present in the crawl, but I found mice droppings inside the insulation wrapping a large warm air trunk.
So where could the odor have come from?
Attendants upstairs identified the odor as 'musty'........like mold and mildew might cause..........so upon further investigation, I found that all of the vents were screened with 1/8" screen and some even had a stamped, louvered face over the screen. My conclusion was that the inside odor was coming up into several rooms via the disconnected duct, and that the duct screens were a major player in the problem.
I called my client when I finished my inspection and informed them of several rodent access points that needed repair, and advised that all the vent screens be replaced with 1/4" screen with no louver covering. This change will greatly increase airflow that will help remove excess humidity in the crawl space, and help remove the dank odor detected above.
This inspection was conducted as a no-fee favor for my client, and they were so appreciative of my efforts on their behalf they offered me a certificate for a free massage in their clinic. How nice is that! Now, I've been invited to dinner, sent home with dinner, and even had a VIP tour of a client's DeLorean, gull-wing car.........but all after paying me for services.
This may be the first time I've been paid in the barter manner.
Maybe I should start offering services in exchange for a new truck or a great pair of work boots!
So you see, my clients do indeed.....make the world a better place.........