We’ve had several small surprises as home owners, but nothing has made me lose my cool. That all changed last Saturday morning when I went down into the basement and found mold growing all over the walls.
Not only was it on the walls, mold was growing on many of the possessions we’ve been storing in the basement. Ironically enough, we put everything that was “extra special” in the basement instead of our storage unit to make sure that nothing happened to it.
Obviously this was a major bummer because we weren’t planning on renovating any part of the basement until a few years down the road, and ripping down the walls and taking up the carpet will be an added expense we didn’t plan for. More than that, I’m extremely sentimental and was so sad to find nasty, colorful mold growing on all of the signs and decorations I made for our wedding. I would be dishonest if I didn’t tell you that my breaking point was when I opened the box to my Frye boots and found them covered in mold. (Haters can add that story to their list. #firstworldproblems)
We think the mold started growing last week when we had lots of rain in Charlotte. Our house doesn’t have gutters on it right now, so all of the rain water just seeps into the basement. Add the fact that we don’t have power so there is no light or airflow to the basement, plus the fact that the sump pump hasn’t been running = mold city.
Anyway, I’m sure this is just the beginning of the mold story. At this point we’ve taken out a number of things that are “organic” (pillows, clothes, blankets) and my mom kindly took those home to Winston-Salem to wash them – remember, no washing machine. All of our wedding gifts and countless other boxes are still in the basement and I’m kind of dreading the day I open them. I have to keep reminding myself, “they are just things.” Hopefully most things can be cleaned!
After all of this, Jonathan and I have been laughing about the difference between guys and girls. When I found the mold I wanted to sit on the porch and cry, worry about what we were going to do, and wallow in the fact that I might have to throw away everything we were keeping in the basement. Jonathan on the other hand kept his cool and dove headfirst into figuring out what we needed to do to fix the problem. Laura = wallower. Jonathan = problem solver.
All that to say, we are proud new owners of a 50 gallon dehumidifier and have the sump pump is now plugged in with an extension cord from outside. We’ll need to tear down the fake wooden walls (luckily it is just brick behind) and rip up the carpet. First we need to figure out where to put all of our things while we do that!
If you have experience with mold in your home, let me know! I’d love to hear about what you did to get rid of it!