When we bought our fixer upper in May, the “little house” as I call it, we faced a tough cleaning and fixing reality that no one really wants to face. There was mold.
Mold is the kind of thing that harkens up panic, nausea, fear of death. And black mold? The stuff that horror films are made of. And we had plenty of it on the “little house,” specifically under the roof overhang in the back. Like… a lot of mold. To the point where our mortgage broker said to us, “I just don’t know if a lender will give you the mortgage with… y’know… the mold.”
Fast forward to a conversation with my mother as the closing date approached.
“I’m concerned about the mold,” she said.
“So am I,” I replied, “but … the mold man cometh.”
The words hung in the air like a proclamation. A commitment to health and well-being.
“I have called him,” I went on, stating my plan of action, “He will be the first person on the scene. Nothing will happen in this house until the mold man helps us assess what needs to be done.”
I like safety. I like seat belts, sunscreen, driving classes and vaccinations. I was not going to take lightly the mold infestation on the back of the house.
Meanwhile, MyUPSGuy? Not concerned about the mold.
“I think black mold is over-sensationalized,” he replied to my panic about the mold, “A little bleach, a little power wash, it’ll be fine.”
This is where we’re different.
An asteroid is about to hit the earth. I am convinced that we should build a bunker, stock supplies and ensure that we have an action plan with the family, preferably mapped out in Excel. MyUPSGuy? He’s wingin’ it and sure that the asteroid will veer off course.
So I call the mold man.
And the conversation that ensues is a little… simple. Either reassuringly so, or… unnervingly so.
“Here’s the thing,” he shouts. He is obviously in the car and yelling into his cell phone, “See the thing is, there’s a big difference between mold that is inside and mold that is outside.”
“Uh huh,” I reply.
“See, the thing is… outside mold is… outside.”
“And therefore, there’s plenty of ventilation and air moving around. Wet it down with bleach and water, let it sit, scrub and power wash. Does your husband have a power washer?”
Of course he does. The asteroid is hitting the earth. Do we have pork and beans? No. But a power washer? That we have.
In the following days, MyUPSGuy got out there with the bleach and water mixture, the power washer, the scrub brush on a stick and now we have no mold on the overhang.
“If they had just scrubbed the mold off, they could have gotten $10K more for the house.”
So the end of the story is that apparently the mold… outside… is not the same as the mold… inside… and a problem that seemed complex is not.
I guess like so many things.
(And now I want to be crystal clear and say that we really have no thorough knowledge of mold and this blog is not recommending ANY particular course of action for the mold in your life. So call your mold man with any questions).