WADING THROUGH LIFE & WATER
I had just lost my husband. It had only been a month and I wasn’t thinking about the flood that had occurred just two weeks prior to my loss. That day we had awakened to water raging through the house. Randy was distraught. He wanted to help! But couldn’t. My son, Gavin (who was here helping me with Randy at that late stage of cancer), and I waded through to figure out where it was coming from, then he quickly turned off the main water.
Something SO BIG out of something SO tiny!
Well, a tiny little spigot under the sink had come undone. Oh my. Gavin and I went downstairs to the garage to find the shop vac. Water was flooding down on us like the Rain Forest, so heavy we could hardly see in front of us. We started laughing it was crazy! I had to leave to take Randy to a Doctor appointment, leaving Gav on cleanup duty.
Going To The Dark Side
After the flood, I had some naaaasty mold problems.
During demolition we found some dark forces lurking beneath. But I’m jumping ahead.
Losing Randy was all-encompassing, and as I first said, the flood or what it might be morphing into didn’t occur to us.
So one day, I asked my son to get me something out of the garage. The look on his face when he returned was a concerned face emoji. “Mom . . . We’ve got a problem.”
This is what greeted him. Whatever I had asked him for went right out of my head.
Within days, my incredibly kind neighbors came. My garage, which was the worst hit, was full to the brim with memories.
Sadly, I had had a recent influx of new things to store after the loss of my dad. With everything going on with Randy, I hadn’t brought some of the most important things in the house yet. Hindsight! (But I I never would have imagined that water scenario happening.) These boxes held Dad’s photo albums and prolific memoirs.
Going to the Birds
The garage held a bunch of stuff I and other family members care about and priceless (to us) antiques. We half way filled a large moving van with the items that went to a storage unit. (Still there till I get the garage put back together. We removed the drywall and insulation.) The rest went to its new home at the City Dump.
BTW, in case you’ve never heard the old idiom, “Going to the birds”, according to Word Reference , it means, ” Withering away. It’s a nice and humorous way to say that she is dying.” So…. It felt my stuff was Going to the birds in idiom, as well as literally!
Me going through some of my precious things.
Like my lovely hair attire? Depending on the job, I wore shower caps! A package of three is inexpensive from your local grocery store. Actually had to wear a mask like this just walking through my house for these past years until we could get all the mold under control. Had just a few ‘safe zone’ rooms that were clean as well as using air cleaners.
But when you’re needing extra protection for the major cleanup, this is a good way to go.
Sorrow & Gratitude
Hard to lose so much of my home and belongings, but doesn’t compare to losing priceless heirloom photos and letters. Heartbreaking. I saved what I could and took photos of those I could not. But I must say, when I think of those whose whole homes have been swept away, I feel so grateful to still have a home to fix and sorrow for those who don’t.
Moving On & Wrapping Up
First we had to move everything in the rooms elsewhere. Some, we covered in plastic till I was able to relocate. Friend, John (couldn’t convince him to wear a mask), and son, Remington, covering the Baby Grand, soon to go bye bye.
I found some plastic yardage at my local Dollar Store. Works great for some things!
Bubble Wrap Time
Large items and furniture in my upstairs area (kitchen, dining room and family room), I cleaned and moved to other parts of the house. Smaller to medium sized items I painstakingly cleaned off, bubble wrapped and put in tubs. I didn’t want to have to pull them out later into my new clean environment with possible clinging mold. I vacuumed, used white vinegar and anything I was especially concerned about, non toxic Concrobium. I was told that what could flow down, could come back up, so spores from the garage could have invaded the upstairs.
Mold Segregation – DIY STYLE
Next it was important to sequester the areas in question off from the rest of the house the best you can with with Plastic. This is what the professionals would do. I spoke with quite a few remediation companies. Expensive!
Big Bad Wolf
So the remediation was a big task. All of the places where the Big Bad Wolf had been huffing and puffing spores into the atmosphere, had to be removed.
*Note: When removing toxic mold material, it must be double bagged in black plastic bags and disposed of carefully.
Hepa Vac time!
Next, you must use a reliable hepa shop vac. I did a lot of searching till I found one that seemed would fit the bill. Wow, the Vacmaster fit the moldy bill all right. Love it! *see below
Hide & Seek Mold
Next was plenty of elbow grease cleaning and wiping down all surfaces I could . . . Again with the White Vinegar and Concrobium.
BUT WHAT ABOUT all that huffing and puffing of mold spores that went hiding in the nooks and crannies? I could seek till the cows came home, but wouldn’t be able to reach in sneaky tight places! As usual, I did a ton of research and decided FOGGING was my awesome solution! There are those that will come and do it for you. Pricey! You can rent them (I think I found one to rent at Home Depot, but not to buy).
I decided to purchase the Silver Bullet for plenty of good reasons! I’m so glad I did. Easy Peasy and gives me peace of mind.
I used it with non toxic Concrobium Mold Cleaner. Awesome stuff!
The best of the journey is yet to come! We are beginning to rebuild. I will have a whole new kitchen, new floors and new decor. As difficult as the experience has been and and much as I have loved what I had, it is a new beginning and I’m excited for all the wonderful products I’m finding and for a fresh new start. 🙂
Learn more about all I lost in the flood!
***What I’ve talked about and recommended is from my own experience and what I’ve learned online and in speaking with various companies. I urge you to also search things out and take my recommendations at your own discretion for your own safety.
Mold remediation is serious business. It’s good if you can afford a professional, but if you are like me and doing it DIY, you may consider checking out the mold remediation EPA guide.
Please SUBSCRIBE and See What’s Next! Thank you so kindly. ♥ ~ Deborah
*Update: My heart goes out to all those in Baton Rouge and the widespread flood loss and devastation. My prayers are with you. If anyone would wish to donate, you can do so on this page at AMERICA RED CROSS.
***PRODUCTS WE USED AFTER EXTENSIVE RESEARCH***
This thing is the greatest! Read why I love it and MY EXPERIENCE!
- Create a doorway in a plastic dust barrier quickly and easily
- Self-adhesive, 7′ long. Smooth glide, large sturdy teeth, maximum durability
- Flap hooks hold-up door allowing easy entry and exit even when hands are full.
- Zipwall comes in several different configurations.
This one was a little cheaper than the Zipwall systems (*see below), but for just one opening area, fine enough. I still have this fun little zipper door up which segregates the sleeping and office areas from the main part of the house that is under new construction. I think I’ll miss it when it’s gone. 😉 (After having it up for several years… I’ve had to reinforce it with tape on the sides but the zipper still works great!)
When you need a helping hand and there isn’t anyone around! (This helps with the ZipWall system, as well.)
Four adjustable floor-to-ceiling poles for bracing, clamping, and support; quick-release levers. Other size packs available.
It can be so confusing, there are so many respirators to choose from. Generally when looking I found N95 to be what is suggested. But others seemed to fit the bill. I spoke with 3M at length, and they suggested this one for the heavy duty stuff.
After trying others, this made such a difference as far as fogging up. Also felt better knowing they are specifically tailored for mold issues.
When wanting overall protection, this is the proper suit suggested by DuPont for mold.
These booties are the best price I could find for the count. I found I wanted to change booties often, as they became compromised. Even if you don’t need them for your construction project, they are very nice to have around when ever you want to protect your new flooring.
Tip: When I don’t have a fresh pair available, I often use plastic grocery bags I’ve stored. Simply tie around your feet! (Normally I use reusable grocery bags, but on occasion, I take advantage of the free ones at the store and always reuse in different ways, and if not contaminated, put in the recycle bin, of course.)
Comes in Small, Medium, Large and X Large
Please let me know your thoughts in the comment box below, friends.
SHARING is CARING! I hope you will consider it on your social media. 🙂