If you have been following me, you probably know that Bryan and I bought a condo in September. We are first time home buyers, and it was supposed to be a move-in ready place. Sadly, things fell apart quickly. This is a long story, please bear with me.
On the first week, I first noticed a small water stain on the baseboard near the corner in the laundry closet. When we had our inspection, the previous owner’s washer and dryer were still in place and exactly in front of the stain. There was no way anyone could have seen that. Thanks to the TV show “Flip or Flop”, we have learned a few things about mold. While we were keeping hopeful, Bryan removed a piece of baseboard and cut out some drywall. We saw mold.
We quickly contacted a professional and asked them to come and check it out. The mold guy did an air test and took a mold sample. He detected moisture in the walls of the laundry closet. Since the laundry closet is right next to the bathroom, he suggested to check the bathroom walls too. Just like he predicted, there was moisture in the bathroom walls as well.
The demolition started in the laundry closet. After the guys cut off 4 feet tall portions of dry wall, we could clearly see the bathtub pipes. They were rusted and old. There was mold in the area. To ensure there wasn’t any water damage on the sides of the tub, we had the bathtub and shower tiles removed. Some of the woods near the shower valves were severely damaged.
Bryan and I started to panic. The money ball for repair kept rolling bigger and bigger. We were stressed, worried, and concerned. There were many sleepless nights. I am usually a deep sleeper. Ever since then, I woke up a lot in the middle of the nights and kept thinking about what we can do. I don’t know how many times I cried. We felt helpless. But thanks to my parents, they are willing to help us out financially, which really took some of the pressure off of us.
Unfortunately, things were not getting any better. The guys found water damage and mold on the ceiling. The woods were rotten and chipped. It was obvious that all these were caused by upstairs neighbor’s unit. At this point, we thought we had hope. Just maybe someone will be able to pay for part of the repair cost. We paused all construction works in the bathroom. We contacted our Homeowner Association. They determined that this is a neighbor to neighbor matter. We talked to our upstairs neighbor. Her insurance company concluded that it was an old leak and they wouldn’t cover anything. The worst thing is the neighbor has recently got laid off. Even if she is willing to take the responsibility, we know that it won’t happen at this moment. Our hope was crushed. We were rolling down hill again.
By this time, we have been dealing with this for more than a month. The demolition resumed. We really were trying to be more positive. However, we weren’t getting any break. Bad news kept coming. More mold was discovered near the toilet, vanity and bedroom ceiling (bedroom is right next to the bathroom). The whole bathroom was demolished down to the studs. 1/4 of the bedroom ceiling was removed as well. The mold remediation has finally started after that.
After seeing all mold was cleared off, we felt so much better. We can build the bathroom back up at last. Picking out tiles, tubs, vanity, and fixtures was a fun thing to do. We were excited to see what our bathroom will look like. After 3 months, we are almost there. The construction is expected to be finished early next week. And we are planning to move in after Thanksgiving.
Thank you for reading our story. I feel much better after sharing. It wasn’t easy to face the problems on our own. Thank you for your sweet and encouraging comments. That cheered me up. If you ask me what I have learned from this process, there are a few things:
- I am so thankful for my family and their emotional support.
- Next time when we are buying a house, we will make sure to carefully check for any sign of water damage and mold.
- Life is not always smooth. There will be ups and downs.
- Life must go on. Instead of being upset, try to be positive and live happily every day.
Now, we have to get back to packing. I would not post anything next week, but I should be back on the first week of December… if we have the internet connected on time.