happy couple. happy cat.

The cops are here

Let’s go back a little further.  It’s 8 o’clock on a Friday night.  We’re cleaned up and ready to fire up the grill for dinner.  The wine is being poured and the pasta roller is being set up.  It’s chicken alfredo night in Casa Post Grad and we’re looking forward to a little down time.  I’ve just stepped outside to take out the garbage and hear voices across the alley.  Our back neighbors are out on their patio with a police officer telling him a story and waving their arms around in the air.  Then they point directly at me and the officer turns and stares me down nodding to the neighbor’s great tale.  No one else is in the alley.  We have no neighbors on either side.  Something was wrong and somehow I seemed to be involved.  I slowly turned around and walked back inside to alert the Mister whose response was “You don’t think it’s because of what we were doing earlier do you?”

30 minutes earlier:

… these two were out in the alley with big black industrial garbage bags.  Suddenly I understood.  We live in Baltimore.  We’re in an alley in hazmat suits with unidentifiable waste.  Meth lab.  A part of me kind of hoped the officer WOULD come over so that we could clear our name and have him see that we were merely removing mold from our bathroom.  Alas, he never stopped by so I can only assume he took one look at me and knew I wasn’t a threat or that I was just imagining the whole thing and the cops were never called about us.  A word of advice to anyone clearing mold from their house – take your suits off before going out in public.

The chicken alfredo was amazing btw.

Progress on the bathroom went a lot faster than we were expecting this weekend given the speed bump we hit Thursday night when we discovered the mold.  We wanted to have the entire subfloor up before our landlord’s fiance came over Saturday morning assuming significant repairs would need to be done given the amount of mold we were coming across.  Luckily, none were needed.  The bathroom may be sagging, but it’s structurally sound.  The black mold was all over the place but luckily only in between the bottom two layers of linoleum.  What very small amount of mold had penetrated to the subfloor was easily cleaned up after about 30 spray overs with a bleach solution.  We’d left the window open with a fan going all weekend to dry things out and made sure to cover the doorway with plastic so no mold spores could get out to the rest of the house with such a curious cat around.

When removing black mold, be very careful.  We made sure to buy coverall suits with respirators that had an N-100 rating (you should aim for at least N-95 when dealing with possibly toxic mold).  You can get them at Home Depot for around $20.  Also something I learned, more often than not, the black mold you find in your house is NOT the toxic type.  But who really wants to take that gamble when the side effects include vomiting, cramping, and sneezing and coughing blood?  Two of the most effective solutions for killing mold are a diluted tea tree oil solution (1 tsp. tea tree oil in 1 cup water) and a bleach solution (we used equal portions of bleach and water which was probably overkill).  We used both solutions.  I hate mold.  I wasn’t taking any chances.

All that was left was to scrape up any remnants of the paper backing from the linoleum and sweep up all of the scraps and dust.  We were ready to lay floor.  I actually got pretty far last night with laying the new floor, but I’ll save that for another post this week so I can give a full tutorial on the process.

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