The carpenter, Joe, dropped by yesterday to check out the bathroom. The leaky one with the mold in the cabinet? I asked him about the roof. He said the gutters were full of debris and dumping water on the flat roof which had caused the leak but that the roof is good. I had noticed that there was no leakage after this past rain which was good.
He saw the mold in the cabinet, and then asked if he could get a look in the one under the sink. I pulled my stuff out and right away he saw something I had not been aware of. More black mold up high and close to the affected cabinet. Dry chalky patches. He rubbed it, and told me that the mold was dead. Dry means dead. He said. Dead Mold. Well what's it doing there and what killed it? Too dry to survive. Needs moisture. Must have been from the original leak in the ceiling a couple of years ago. Could it be from the recent leak? Hmm...unlikely, since it was dead. No living toxic mold? Are you SURE? I don't like the looks of that mold. How do I KNOW for sure that nothing is happening in that wall? Or in the ceiling?
"Look, we love you, Gina. Chris wants you to stay."
" Ok, so how bout then I'll just move into his house, and he can live here?"
" Seriously, just tell me what do we have to do to keep you in this apartment?"
" You have to make it safe. I don't care if it's dead. What's going on in that wall? or in the ceiling? I just want the black mold gone. That's all. I have been coughing and having a headache lately."
" You really shouldn't read that stuff. You know who puts that stuff out? Mold Remediating companies. They freak everyone out so you buy their expensive services and products."
" It's valid information. Look." I pulled out all of my information on the dangers of black mold and told him that I was serious. I had already started looking at other places.
" OK. I'll show you how the ceiling has no wall board, these are just treated cedar boards, nailed 1 inch from the studs. No insulation touching it. It's floating. That's why it moves. It's not rotting wall board I assure you of that." (Taking the collar off the ceiling light to expose the other side of the ceiling).
"The cabinets and wall I will rip out and replace. Anything we have to do to keep you here."
" OK. I don't want to move out. I just want to feel safe from mold. Eventually I will have to buy a place but I will stop looking for other rentals."
So he comes back after work and tapes off the doorway with clear plastic. He rips the entire cabinet and wall board off and sprays some kind of mold killer/blocker on everything. It smelled like bleach. I was doubly paranoid about the mold spores and the bleach but felt better when he gave me his report. After about 2 hours, he is done.
"Well. I've got good news and bad news...The good news is that I'm done. The bad news is that I did it for nothing. There's no mold in there. It's bone dry."
Hmm...I went in. As he had said, Joe had removed the cabinets, the sink, the wallboard. He had torn out all of the insulation. I saw the 260 year old original bead board siding which looked black because it was wet. As it dried,it was fine. At least what I could see of it. I think when it's time to buy, I'm going to have to find a newer place. He said the insulation which had been put there years earlier was bone dry but black on the paper, from an old leak in the ceiling. After the leak was repaired, without moisture, the mold could not survive long and died after coming through the wall.
I was just glad it was all out of there.
" I feel better already."
" Now can you at least admit that your symptoms are psychosomatic?"
" Probably seasonal allergies. All of the live mold outside."
Joe told me about the restaurant ( Our House Tavern) next door being 260 years old. Some guy being hung outside of it. A salt shaker flying through the air between the cooks. Creaking steps and stuff like that. I asked him what he thought about this house, being built in the 1700s... He said he didn't sense anything though he had been up here when it was really beat up and dark. At night. He and I both get the creeps from my storage area. GET OUT. I sense kids were sent there for punishment. 'It's just a room' as my friend used to say. I blessed the house months ago, and chased away anything evil in the name of Jesus. I guess that took care of the mold too. Moooooooooold.