Several months ago, we noticed our shower seemed to have a leak we couldn't find; after taking a shower, a little puddle of water would form around the outside edge of the shower. We were already planning to have another small full bathroom built upstairs for the girls to share, so we had a close friend help us with a plan for that and asked him go ahead and take a look at our master bath at the same time. He suggested we rip out the shower and bathtub....check to see what was underneath, and then consider building a bigger shower while at it. Really, he noted, that would be the only way we would know if we had a potential water issue. We agreed, and the demolition of our master bath began yesterday. I am SOOOO thankful we made this decision, because underneath our shower and bathtub, black mold was beginning to grow and spread. It was still on the surface of the sub-flooring (had not yet penetrated), so we caught it in time.
According to my kids, I am an organic (ish) modern-day "hippy" .....while Chappy just "lovingly" calls me a hypochondriac (ha! ha!)......for example, I don't color my hair, don't wear much make-up, eat organic food, buy clothes and products NOT made in China (sometimes shopping at the local Goodwill), do not use plastic, aluminum, or microwaves unless I have to (well, I never use a microwave), refuse to use chemicals in the house (hence all of the creepy crawlys that live with us),etc. So, for me to see mold, in my house nonetheless, (totally) freaked me out!
To remedy the situation , we have moved out of the house for a few days until the mold is gone....we can be found at a local hotel. Not convenient, but at least I have more of a peace of mind. Chappy reminded me the hotel might be infested with all kinds of unseen mold, but I am content enough since I cannot see any of it!
On a more positive note, I took some "before" pictures and will plan to post both the "before" and "after" photos once the bathroom projects are complete. I am most excited about the girls' bath that is simultaneously being built upstairs. They have never had their own bath and can hardly wait to NOT have to share a bath with their big (teenage) brother. I can't say that I blame them. Their one request: a sparkly chandelier hanging from the ceiling. While our bathroom will be filled with different shades of browns (and a claw-foot tub I have been dreaming of), the girls' bath will be "retro" shabby chic with different shades of teal green glass tiles mixed with milky white subway tiles.....their walls will sport all kinds of funky patterns..... and to top off, a black and white checkerboard floor.....their vanity will be distressed white (antique looking) with black granite counter. Should be cute and fun.
By the way, we had professional air quality tests performed 3 years ago and again last year (possibly Chappy is correct about the hypochondria?)........both times the results were negative and stated our air quality was great (no mold, no Radon) This whole experience has proven to me the need to be extremely diligent when it comes to our homes. If you have a leak, get it checked out before the problem gets out of hand. According to our GC, our problem would have been HUGE had we waited even a few months. Apparently, mold grows and spreads very rapidly, invading floors, spreading up walls and potentially causing health risks to all who are exposed to it on a regular basis. To think it can hide under bathtubs, showers, tile floors, etc. is a bit disconcerting.