Hello, my name is Libby and I have Stachybotrys …
Ok, maybe it’s not that bad but it is a type of mold that I was not pleased to learn was living in my house.
Let me back up. While getting ready for a party at my house I had a few things done to get things in tip top shape because well … Hi, my name is Libby and I’m type A with a side of OCD.
Anyhow, I noticed some paint that had bubbled which I assumed was just a paint issue as I had recently painted the room. (Note: this will be featured in the upcoming Before & After blog post of my own house, so stay tuned!) Anyhow, turns out it wasn’t a bad paint job, but water behind the wall which was making the paint bubble! So, now I had a partially opened wall for my party to see what was going on as opposed what I thought would be a quick touch-up. Nothing like hosting a party as a Realtor and showing off my wet drywall to all my clients!
Fast forward to Monday after the party when we opened the wall to find a slow leak in the upstairs toilet. Once the toilet was pulled water was everywhere! We started pulling layer after layer, after layer … yes 3 layers of tile which is unheard of?!?!? We finally discovered that the subfloor was non-existent and sadly had to demo the entire floor and original 1920’s tub and original beautiful tile floor.
While doing the clean-up it was pretty evident that there may be a mold problem given the black fungus gunk sitting on the wood, pipes and insulation. On a side note, apparently moldy insulation is a delicacy for puppies because I couldn’t keep my pups from nibbling away.
Anyhow, it was evident that I needed to call the professionals in. I first called to have the air tested to see what we were dealing with. Thank goodness the asbestos readings came in negative. But let me just say this, I’m in real estate and should know this, but I didn’t even think of asbestos being an issue in my bathroom.
If I had been thinking clearly, and not like the type A monster that I am, I would have tested before we demo’d everything. I was of course more concerned about getting everything out and clean. But, if you can learn anything from me and this post please note that moldy insulation is delicious to naughty puppies and that you should test for asbestos before doing any demo in your older homes!
Ok, so I’m free of asbestos but what about mold? As mentioned, I’m type A and had a house guest coming into town soon, so I wanted to finish this project ASAP. While the mold test came in slightly elevated, I did a bit more digging and discovered that my Stachybotrys was also elevated. Thank goodness I listed to the professionals and had the house properly mitigated and cleaned.
This is important on two levels. First off, your health is paramount. DO NOT mess around with this and think it’s not a big deal. I was so close to throwing my hands up and moving forward with the project and am so thankful I slowed down to get things handed. Secondly, when you sell your home down the road it’s paramount to be able to disclose that there was mold but that you had it professionally cleaned and mitigated! As they say disclose, disclose, disclose! You will never be in trouble with a real estate transaction by over disclosing.
So, during the cleaning they found the black icky mold called, Stachybotrys living behind my baseboards. I didn’t even think about the baseboards since we had totally opened the walls and cleaned everything! Can you imagine sleeping away at night not know thing that stuff was living behind my walls?!?!?! Yuck, I’m so glad I did my due diligence and handled the issue correctly!
Big shout out to David with Project X Restoration for taking my calls and walking me through the process. I cannot say enough wonderful things about them. I came home to find the affected areas professionally cleaned and sealed off. They even put carpet runners down and wood protectors on all my floors. Now that’s customer service!
The bathroom had to be fully gutted and thank goodness for great insurance. I’m now in the process of remodeling my bathroom and will share a before and after with you. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my gross mold photos and please when in doubt call the professionals.
If you have any questions or need any help with your mold issues, I may not be an expert but I’m happy to point you in the right direction. If you have real estate questions, I can answer those all day. I’m always here to help!