Blindsided By Mold: A True Story About A Bathroom Renovation Gone Bad—So Very, Very Bad

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“Trish, there were mold hairs on the closet wall that were as long as my finger,” she said, her face contorting in displeasure as though she were recalling a gruesome crime scene.

I tried to visualize what “Big Mold” might look like, making a mental magnification of the worst refrigerator discoveries of my life.  All I could think was I never wanted to see such a site in person – and certainly not growing on the walls of my home.

Who was this unfortunate homeowner with a fuzz factory growing inside a closet? She prefers to remain anonymous, but for the sake of this article we’ll call her Madeline.

The “M” Word
People are funny like that when it comes to discussing mold problems in their home. When I asked this homeowner if she would write a guest blog for Greenspiration Home she looked at me as though I had mold growing out of my own ears.

“Are you out of your mind?  I want to sell this house one day!”

You see, mold is to the home as “cancer” is to the human body. It is something that everyone fears and many will experience, but few like to talk about.

But don’t be fooled by the lack of open conversation about the dreaded “M” word. Off hand I can think of at least four or five homeowners I have personally known who have had catastrophic mold and moisture problems in their homes. By “catastrophic” I mean to the tune of mushrooms popping up through the carpeting. A few of these homeowners were construction professionals themselves and they were as blindsided as anyone else.

Madeline’s Mold Story
Madeline owns a nice suburban home with a large, luxurious master bathroom, which had been expanded and renovated 10 years prior to her unappetizing discovery. Adjacent to this bathroom is a bedroom, once occupied by her teenage son.

One day Madeline noticed that the wood floor in her son’s bedroom had started to warp and buckle – a fact that was partially obscured by an area rug. The warped floor prompted Madeline to push aside a chest of drawers that happen to be on the other side of the wall from the master bathroom. The wall behind the chest was covered in mold.

The discovery got worse. Still trying to wrap her brain around just how bad this problem was, Madeline went downstairs to a large sewing room below the bedroom. She flung open the doors of a closet that sat directly below her son’s bedroom and began pulling back boxes of toys that were stored there for the grandchildren.

There it was – a solid wall of mold with filaments as long as a grown woman’s finger. Boxes that probably had not been moved for years obscured the mold and the extreme dampness.

Frantically, Madeline wondered where could all this moisture be coming from? There were no visible signs of a roof leak upstairs and the sewing room was next to the garage, so it was unlikely that this moisture could be coming from the outside. Eventually, Madeline had to face the facts. The water had to be coming from the shower in her beautifully renovated master bath.

Oddly, the shower itself showed no signs of trouble — that is until Madeline pressed her hand against the custom tile work inside the shower stall and felt the wall move beneath her hand….

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Author: Trish Holder of Greenspiration Home LLC

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