MY MOLDY ORDEAL

I had just found a really good deal on the real estate market and could get a larger house for me, my husband, and our two kids to move into. I had always wanted to move into a bigger house since our little boy arrived but we either didn’t have time to look or the houses were very expensive. The house came at a relatively good price and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. I discussed with my husband, Steve, who thought it was a fantastic deal too. Excitedly, we both breezed past an inspection, and in a short time, papers were signed and we were handed the keys. We contacted a home moving company and in one weekend, all of our furniture was set up and boxes were in the new rooms. Everything was arranged properly in the house, the kids went to their rooms, and my husband and I retired to the master bedroom. It was a dream come true.

It was my teenage son, Brian, who first noticed some yellow patches on the ceiling of his room a few days after we moved into the new house. At first, it didn’t look like anything to be bothered about but it seemed to be growing bigger every time he woke up in the morning and the first thing he saw was the ceiling. I also started to notice some fuzzy patches around the sink pipes in the kitchen. My daughter, Betty, also noticed that one day, when she tried to pick her doll that had fallen to the back of her drawer for some days, the toy felt a bit damp.

One afternoon, Steve wanted to have a pep talk with our son. He went to Brian’s room and the first thing he perceived was a musty smell in the room. Steve encouraged Brian to keep his windows open. Brian stood up to open one window, and then Steve went to open the second window. As Steve opened the window and light came in from outside, he noticed some black patches on the side of Brian’s bed. Upon closer inspection, he was positive that they were mold spores – he had lived briefly in an apartment infested with molds while he was growing up. He called Brian’s attention to it and Brian showed him the ceiling as well. Steve’s fear was confirmed – there was mold damage in the house. Steve immediately told me and we both did a thorough inspection around the house only to discover there were similar patches in different areas of the house. Now we started to realize why the atmosphere in the house always felt like a blanket especially when we all just get back from an outing. We knew we had to do something and fast. We made attempts to stop the further growth and damage of these molds. We called in for a roof inspection and a leak was discovered on the roof right above Brian’s room. We changed the ceiling panels of the damaged area.

We also inspected and fixed all the pipes that were leaking around the house. We ensured there was proper ventilation from that time forward. We started opening the windows and doors more often since we knew that humidity was what caused the mold problem in the first place. So as we increased the airflow, we reduced the moisture in the air. Soon, the musty smells around the house had started to reduce drastically. I didn’t want to take any chances, so I had all rugs and carpets removed and spread them under the sun. I read online that hanging rugs under direct sunlight can help dry any moisture and kill the molds. Some carpets were not as affected as others but there were two carpets which especially gave me a tough time. For one of them, I used white vinegar and methylated spirit. I mixed them in equal proportions and sprayed the affected area with the mixture. Then I used a stiff brush to scrub the mixture in to kill the mold spores. I returned the carpet outside to dry and the mold spores in the carpet were gone. It was only the last rug that proved impossible to clean and it was at this point Steve and I had to call in the experts for mold removal and remediation.

They came in and took care of the carpet. They inspected the house and found and took care of some other mold spots that were invisible to the naked eye but they commended us for the job well done to limit the spread of the mold spores. Steve and I also took extra measures to ensure everything in the house was always clean and in\ proper working condition. We told our kids to always report any warning signs of mold in the house immediately. We ensured that all surfaces were kept clean and dry as much as possible. We placed rubber mats between the house plants and the carpets. We did the same for the logs of firewood in the house. We cleaned our refrigerator as well and placed an open container of baking soda in the fridge as a preventive measure. We read online that the pH level of baking soda prevents mold growth and cleans the air in the fridge. At last, we finally got rid of the mold infestation and we could enjoy our new home in peace.

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