New Mold Chapter

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Our mold recovery journey took an unexpected twist last week when we discovered mold in one of our bathrooms.

Last week we noticed minor water damage along the baseboard near the shower. The damage appeared minimal. Chris scratched the surface of the drywall. He saw something black and proceeded to contain the area with plastic and duct tape until we decided on a course of action.

Mold grew within two days and multiplied quickly. Enough for us to take immediate action. We called a hygienist who performed a tape lift on the area.

He concurred with us. The spot was small, contained, and unlikely to be stachybotrys.

We got the news Friday that the mold growing in our bathroom is indeed stachybotrys. Stachy, of course, is the Green Goblin of mold and our family's most feared enemy.

A remediation company came to inspect the area and with the use of Thermal Imaging assured us this spot is likely contained and fixable. We checked for hidden moisture in other bathrooms and found a similar spot. Here's a picture of this spot. Both are similar in size. Both stem from water leakage around the shower curtain.


Friday was a dark day at our house. We felt defeated and traumatized. Stachybotrys in our home. Do we run to a hotel? Do we invest in this rented home to remediate it safely and thoroughly? Ignoring the problem is not an option.

As we talked it through, something rose up inside of me. A deep sense that running away would be succumbing to our fear and trauma. Chris agreed. Our children agreed. One by one we each expressed a desire to push through and try to fix the home.

And so we begin remediation this morning. The first bathroom will be contained and negative air flow will be established. We're going to extend the tile another foot, so that even if the remediation proves unsuccessful for our health, we'll leave the home safer for those who will follow.

We've entertained the possibility that we've cross-contaminated the stachybotrys and we're investing in a sinking ship... just like our Colorado home. While unlikely, given the fact that we've not seen any serious health regressions in the last month, it's still possible.

While this would be devastating, it wouldn't be the end. We've released our possessions once. We can do it again. Letting go of the home would be tough, but not impossible.

More than ever I know that any home, rented or owned, is temporary and vulnerable. My sights are set on something permanent and incorruptible.

I'll keep that in mind this week when 11 of us are sharing two bathrooms.