It's been about six weeks since my last post, and for good reason. What started as a small leak from my refrigerator's water line ended up becoming a wet-and-mold filled disaster that resulted in a near-complete tearout of my just-renovated kitchen.
So how did such a small leak cause such a huge problem? The answer is water and time.
It turns out that even a small, slow leak can cause major damage if left unchecked for a long period of time. And a couple pin-prick leaks from a 20-year-old piece of plastic tubing that runs from the kitchen sink to the fridge? Chaos. Frakkin' chaos, man.
To make (financial) matters worse, none of the repairs are covered by insurance. It's complicated why this is so. Trust me when I say I exhausted every option. Suffice it to say, if you are about to buy a home--even if you already own your home, please do yourself a solid and review your insurance policy very carefully. If you don't have good coverage for mold, add it.
So here's what the kitchen looked like after my remodel:
That slow leak led to nearly the entire kitchen floor being torn out and a total loss of all the cabinets on the east side of the wall. A remediation team was brought in to safely remove layers of wet, moldy flooring and drywall, which caused my house to look like this...
...for a week and a half, they discovered a secondary leak stemming from the same water line on other side of the kitchen. So the rest of the cabinets all had to come out. Which is good news (in a sick and twisted way), because it turns out that all my plumbing is completely shoddy and not even remotely up to code.
So screwy that the cabinets that I so lovingly painted and added custom made doors to were built AROUND the plumbing. This, apparently, is the worst thing ever. Total loss on that side too. All sorts of fuckery going around here.
All this patchwork plumbing will be moved to the crawl space below house and made to meet building codes. Yay?
Then, of course, there's the living room. It shares a wall with the side of the kitchen where the majority of the mold happened. Turns out that the mold had seeped into the drywall on the living room side too. So my living room ended up like this.
And now it's like this.
The floor looked like this.
And now looks like this.
There is good news. However bleak the situation is now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be a tiny flicker of a speck of light at the end of a tunnel filled with drywall dust, air scrubbers, power tools and plumber's butt crack paved with every dollar I have, but it's there. I've hired a general contractor and have put my trust in him to deliver me from this hellish nightmare. As we speak, two very nice gentlemen are adding new drywall to the kitchen and living room areas.
A sigh of relief is building in me. It won't be released until this whole thing is over. But for now, there's a wall where there wasn't one two hours ago. And for that, I am grateful.