Our family has had so many blessings we can give thanks for tomorrow. The birth of our adorable new grandson, Brody, the marriage of our daughter Nicole to Bill Callaghan, the fact that we are all in good health and doing well at our jobs and schoolwork. We even like to hang out together. We also have improvements to our house that fill us with gratitude. 

It all started one summer day when we heard a knock on the door and met Bart Ladzinski. He was a public adjuster, who had seen storm damage to our roof. We already knew there was hail damage. A roofer told us our shingles had round holes in them, with “helicopters” from our Maple tree sticking up from each hole. The resulting leak was damaging our dining room to the point that we dreaded rainstorms.

Bart offered to file a claim against our homeowner’s insurance to have the damage repaired. With nothing to lose but our roof leak, we took a chance. 

The insurance adjuster found hail damage to our roof, siding and gutters, as well as the garage roof. He authorized replacement of all these elements, as well as a new dining room ceiling. The work would be done by Bart’s company. 

This upgrade seemed like a dream, because in the 28 years we had lived in the house, we had hated its hideous gold aluminum siding. Plus, the siding had deteriorated, especially a section where some critters had lived. Birds had moved into the siding, causing it to bulge. The birds were good tenants. It’s true they didn’t pay rent and that my neighbor felt like he was living next to a small airport. But, at least they migrated south for a few months. The problem was the birds sublet to the squirrels. 

The squirrels were a huge nuisance and never migrated. We finally got rid of them by trimming the branches that led to our roof. But, as we later learned, the damage had already been done. In the meantime, the miracle continued. We got to pick out the color of our new roof and vinyl siding. We chose gray siding and a reddish roof. 

The crews Bart sent were hard-working and very pleasant to have around. They finished their jobs quickly and didn’t leave a mess.  However, they did suffer a setback when they pulled off the siding where the animals had lived. The exterior wall of the house came with it. It’s not a good feeling, to see outside, where there is no window. The squirrels had eaten away the beams. I don’t know if they were expanding the apartment or just had a taste for wood.

We chipped in our own money to have the wall rebuilt, so the project could be completed. We now have an eye-catching exterior and a pristine ceiling. Our garage remained an eyesore, though, because the siding was not covered as storm damage. We plan to have Bart and his crew back to finish their makeover of our property.  So, if a public adjuster knocks on your door and offers to have your storm damage fixed, just say yes.

   John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.

2 replies on “Thankful: No more squirrels, hailstones or helicopters”