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Friday, February 12, 2010

adventures in unplanned remodeling

Ok, so a few weeks ago, the old dishwasher that came with the house decided it wasn't going to work well anymore and we ordered a new one. It came in and Monday we decided to install it. It was supposed to be fairly simple, though we were afraid of what might be lurking behind the old one. We had previously removed a washer and dryer from the kitchen (and put new ones downstairs in the basement laundry room where they should be..) and had not been pleased with what was found.
We live in what is basically and old farm house, without the farm, in semi-rural Alaska. There are a LOT of wild mice everywhere. It is extremely hard to keep them out of the house, especially since the old guy who built the place did lots of little screwy things and didn't always seal things up properly. We are trying to fix all of these as we go, and have most of the mouse traffic into the house confined to 2 areas, the basement entryway and the garage. We are working on those as well, but they are going to require some structural changes, so meanwhile, we cope as best we can.
Anyway, mice have had access to the house for pretty much it's entire existence back in the early 1980's, and they have made good use of the kitchen and they had been quite active behind the sink and dishwasher area, so we had expected there to be much scrubbing and some flooring issues to be dealt with. What we hadn't planned on was the mold. Luckily we had lots of bleach on hand to douse the wall with and the plastic over the insulation behind the wall had kept it from getting into the studs. We bleached everything good and put in some temporary measures to help prevent this from happening again, but we are going to have to do some serious demo and redo the entire kitchen at some point. And we still have no idea why there was mold behind where the trash compactor was. There was no steam, nothing that should have leaked over there, yet there the mold was, and the wall was falling apart back there, too... so we did some quick repair there.

Then we thought we were done. We started discussing other remodeling projects we wanted to work on next. There is a nice long list, and some of it needs to be done in the next few months if at all possible when my oldest step daughter and her family will be moving in with us for a while. She has a 2 year old so there are some things we would like to see taken care of before she gets here.
Then we open on this evening... Friday night, a little after 8 pm.. Hall bathroom shower. Ya lean against the wall a little while turning and, oh look, the wall just caved in... *sigh*
Little old man had used regular dry wall in the bathroom.. this does not work.. they make stuff for use in there and other moist areas that is waterproof and prevents mold.. he didn't use any of that, and after probably 20+ years (cuz the tile.. ooh.. old pattern, but i actually like it and we had found a way to make it work.. is going to be hard finding something it will work with now.. but I'm really hoping we can save some of the tiles...) anyway, after 20 years, the drywall just had disintegrated back behind the tile and there wasn't really any drywall left.. just mold and bits of cardboard...
so all other projects are on hold again while we take the bathroom apart and repair the mess that is in there... We were actually planning a bathroom remodel.. just not that bathroom.. makes me worry what we will find behind the master bathroom when we do actually get to it...
Please pray that we get through this project without being forced into 3 others.... :)