Anybody watch The Bachelor / Bachelorette?
When the new bachelorette Hannah B. said she was a #hotmessexpress…well Hannah B….meet my previous laundry room mmmkay?! Guys. Water leaks ain’t pretty. Or cheap. So when our former neighbors called us frantically one weekend to say she had a leak coming from her washing machine upstairs and we should probably check our laundry room down below (we lived in a condo and she lived above us) for any signs of water damage, I was pretty annoyed. Not really something I wanted to deal with right smack dab in the middle of selling our house. Timing is a b*tch isn’t it?
Upon initial inspection we found a few water stains and a small puddle on the floor but nothing overly alarming or obvious. Nonetheless, insurance got involved and quickly came over to take moisture readings and assess the damage that our eyes could not see. What he determined was not the greatest news: we had elevated moisture in the walls, ceilings, and adjacent room, and it ALL would need to come out. Super.
He marked the walls for removal with tape, we re-located all our furniture / large appliances from the demo areas into other parts of the house, and we hired a plumber to drain and disconnect the water heater because that also lived in the laundry room with the washer & dryer .
We were then instructed by the insurance company to have a licensed company come out to test the walls and drywall compound for asbestos. Since our home was built in 1971 – there was a good chance the building materials used to construct the house contained asbestos and would therefore need to be removed in a sealed & contained area by licensed professionals. If you’re unsure whether or not your home contains asbestos – do your research before your demo for any asbestos related questions / concerns.
Once the testing was complete and the results were in (spoiler alert: the test came back positive) the environmental company came in and basically set up a Dexter-style containment area to safely remove the walls while filtering the dust and debris with a giant HEPA filter so it didn’t cross-contaminate the rest of the house.
During the removal process, it wasn’t safe for us to live there because of the asbestos, but they also discovered mold behind the walls due to the leak. It gets worse before it gets better, right? So, after the environmental company removed the asbestos we brought in a restoration company to clean the mold and scrub the air which meant that the containment walls had to stay up and we were displaced from the house a little while longer. Insurance put us up in an AirBnb down the street for a few weeks during the deconstruction which felt like a nice little staycation amongst all the chaos.
Once the mold was cleaned, an air quality company came in to test the air to make sure that any airborne mold spores had been filtered out of the containment area. This was an important final step because in order to take the containment walls down, the air inside the containment area has to be clean and free of spores so that when the plastic sheeting comes down, mold spores don’t go floating through the rest of the house. We waited a few days for the test results to come back and once we got the all clear, we were able to get inside the containment area and asses the situation and make a game plan for next steps.
First call we made was to a drywaller (best $$ spent btw) and he and his team made quick work to put the walls back up. By end of day one, they insulated and sheet-rocked both rooms.
And by end of day two, everything was tapped, mudded, textured and ready for paint.
Next order of business was tiling the laundry room floor. We ultimately decided to hire this portion out too although it was definitely something we could’ve tackled ourselves but after receiving the quote, it was affordable enough that we felt it would be money well spent to have someone else take the task off our shoulders.
What made the decision to hire even easier, was that we already had all the materials on hand. A Lowe’s store by our house was closing and we kinda went crazy and purchased a whole bunch of tile before we even knew about the leak! Crazy right?! The deals were just too good to pass up, and we purchased it with the intent to tile the laundry room. Our house had been on the market for a few months and after one failed offer situation, we had been discussing the idea of taking the house off market, updating the laundry, and then re-listing closer to summer when the market typically picks back up. But, wouldn’t you know…a few short weeks later we received an offer and then discovered the leak. Again…timing is a b*tch isn’t it?
Anyways…with all materials on hand and only needing to pay for labor, it really was a no-brainer and took a bit of the stress off our shoulders.
After the tile was installed and set, we painted, installed new cabinets, baseboards, an affordable light fixture, and then our plumber came back out and re-installed the water heater. The finish line was in sight and it was a huge sigh of relief to finally have hot water and functioning laundry room – just in time to close escrow!
It’s starting to look like a laundry room, right?!
Well…this is where I’m going end this post because if you want to see how all this ugly turned to pretty, you’ll have to come back tomorrow for all the pretty afters! Don’t hate me!