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Monday, August 8, 2011

Mold Explosion 2011

***DISCLAIMER: I have lived through floods in my parents basement (multiple times) that included some toys being ruined, so I KNOW this could have been WAY worse, but it was just not what we planned to tackle three months into living in a new house :/***

A few weeks ago we heard a really loud noise (of which we never determined the cause) and ended up discovering some large spots of mold growing on various items in our basement :(  We immediately contacted the project manager who worked on our house, and he came right over the next morning.  He explained that it was harmless and we could just clean it up.  He explained that it was pretty humid down there and that was exacerbated by the fact that we had closed all of the vents in the basement (since we didn't feel like paying to air condition the unfinished basement).  So, Josh opened up a vent, I cleaned up the hiking backpack, breast pump bag, and desk chair, and we went on our way.  I planned to wipe off all of our plastic tubs and clean the large rugs that were in the basement at a later time. 

Fast forward to that later time: this past Thursday.  I decided I was going to really clean up the basement.I started with the stairs going down to the basement and scrubbed and scrubbed them.  I was thrilled to loosen lots of the construction grime that had settled on them.  Next, I mopped the floor of the main area where we stored things.  Then, I began to unpack the last few boxes that were still in the basement.  I had wanted to do this anyways, but the mold discovery was a great push in that direction!  The first boxes I unpacked were of board games.  I was really sad to discover some of them had mold on them!  Most of them were wipe-off-able, but there were a few that had to be trashed.  Then I unloaded a large box of baby items we were saving for whenever we have a second baby.  Jackson's infant carrier had been attacked!  It was pretty gross, and that is probably the most expensive item we might lose.  I am currently in the process of cleaning it up...  Then I discovered my wedding box of keepsakes has some items with mold!  I just stood in the middle of the floor and cried over that one.  I put all of that stuff aside and will go through it later.  At the very least I will be able to scan things into the computer to save.  It's definitely not the same as leafing through tangible items, but at least I can keep the memories.  By the time Jackson woke up from his nap, I had all of the boxes unpacked and the mold wiped off of everything salvageable.  I did fill our trash cans: the few board games, our old digital camera and case, a few picture frames, a baby gate, Paxton's bed and travel crate (neither of which we really use anymore), and a couple of rugs.  Josh was also kind enough to drag out ALL of our packing boxes from our move :(  We had been lucky enough to have ALL of our boxes (and then some) given to us for free!  We really wanted to pay that favor forward one day, so we saved all of our packing stuff since we had plenty of storage room.  Oh well, no one wants mold paid forward!

Josh suggested putting everything I had saved in the garage and then setting it outside in the sun to dry out everything.  I worked on that over the weekend and am ready to put all of that stuff away in various areas of the house.  I put whatever I could in the wash, which was great EXCEPT for the fact that one bag I washed apparently had quite a few pieces of Kleenex stashed in it.  So, there were tiny pieces of Kleenex to pick out of a load of laundry!  Totally not a big deal, but I just had to laugh that I couldn't even do a load of laundry without creating another mess to clean up!  I have one pile left downstairs of things that need to be wiped off, and I am hoping to tackle that tomorrow.   Then we should be all set.  We are going to look into a dehumidifier to control the moisture in the basement, but everything that is still stored down there is either not super valuable or in a plastic tub.

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