Wednesday, January 26, 2011

house disaster (proceed with caution)

On Saturday morning, out of the blue, we discovered an unwelcome substance in the closet: Mold.

Eric had an old belt on the floor of his closet that was just coated in it. It had turned green and white, and was so disgusting we were gagging. You guys can all thank me that we threw it out so fast I wasn't able to take a photo of it.

Commence freak out.
And begin to empty entire closet. and find more mold.
(if you don't want to see any of these pictures, you may want to skip the rest of this post)

We ripped out the carpet pieces laid in the closet (our closets are about an inch raised off the bedroom carpeted floor and extra pieces of carpeting were cut for the closet floors and just laid in them), only to find this:


From then on it was just like a bad movie. We started pulling out things from our other closets, in our bedroom and office. And wouldn't you know. Every single closet was infested.

Things we don't often pull out--like luggage, old school books, board games, and old clothes. Everything smelled gross and musty, and a lot of things had mold spores on them.


Somewhere in the midst of this, we called our landlord. He said he'd have an inspector come out early this week (hopefully today?) to see if he could figure out where moisture was getting in.

Most of this mold has to be somewhat recent because it wasn't all on old/unused stuff.
Bu it just seemed like once we started looking, we found in places we couldn't believe we hadn't noticed it before (inside a kitchen closet, on the baseboards).



E's blazer


Lots of stuff ruined, some stuff salvageable with a lot of effort
Eric started unloading the contents of every closet, inspecting items.  We started throwing things in piles: garbage, try-to-salvage, just needs a wash, and seems ok.

Anything that smelled I set out in the sun.


I started the laundry, adding baking soda and vinegar to each load, and hung things to dry:
(SO thankful for a sunny day!)

Then I made a bleach and hot water solution and we started sponging down every surface in the closets.  Looking back, we probably should have gotten gloves and a mask, but I just wanted to get it done. Every fan on in the house, every window open.

I can't believe I'm going to share these pictures, but this is what the house looked like in process.




5 hours of emptying, scrubbing, bleaching, laundrying, sunning.
I had done about 6 loads of laundry at this point and sometime after dinner (Eric's mom brought us In 'n Out--life saving!) we just quit.

Sunday was spent trying to put our lives/house back together.

Apparently you can't find dehumidifiers in SoCal (who would expect humidity?) so we stocked every closet with cedar blocks and moisture absorbing crystals something like this.

I did more laundry and we started to carefully restock (it was a good opportunity to purge!), leaving the floors clear, doors open, and still running fans. Not everything is put back together, but we're getting there.

I imagine we'll be paranoid for a while(even if it turns out to be a fixable problem). We rotate the fans every night and leave the ceiling fans on all day.

I feel like this is only a tiny taste of what home ownership will be like. yikes!

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