Does it ever seem that... (kinda long)

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by iis612, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Does it ever seem that circumstances are conspiring against your efforts? I know that seems like a question someone would not typically ask.
    I guess I just need to vent.
    My family and I live with and take care of my wife's elderly grandmother. She is a sweet, wonderful woman who grew up during the great depression, and both world wars. She has it burnt into her mind that nothing should be thrown away.
    My wife and I have rights (deeded ownership) over the house, but because it is her grandmother's house of more than 50 years we are respectful, and treat it as though it is hers.
    The basement has flooded within the last 10 years, and required major repair. However, the repair was only done to the foundation and not the interior structures.
    I am begining to clear an area for my train room, which is a daunting task, as the pictures will show. Beyond that, I have found a suprise waiting for me.

    For those of you who are not familiar, the pictures that show splotches of black on the wall, that is black mold. The picture was taken after it was treated with 50/50 bleach water and wiped down.
    According to my wife's grandmother, one of her kids was going to take care of the interior flood damage (from 10 years ago). They told her not to file an insurance claim for the flood, so homeowners insurance is not going to take care of it.
    When I called the person that said they were going to take care of it, they said they were waiting for her to die. The house would be sold and it would be torn down because the lot is huge and can be divided into 3 lots for new houses. I told them that they were not selling anything they didn't own. Now there is a fight.:curse:

    It disgusts me that someone could treat there mother that way.

    Needless to say, the basement has to be gutted and rebuilt before I will have my train room.
  2. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I would get a mold remediation specialiist (I'm adding a second "i" because the filters don't seem to like the word I'm using) in. Bleach just doesn't do it. It really shouldn't cost too much to get that treated. Your health is more important. Not to mention the fact that mold spores would thrive on the materials used in layouts. Sometimes people just don't realize how bad mold can be.
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Based on what I've seen on some of these TV home programs, like, This Old House, mold can be treated, but to do it properly, there are mold treating services that know how to do it. They have meters that can sense mold just about anywhere. It is important that you get rid of it right away, and have the upstairs checked as well, you don't know where it can be hiding. You may get through this with a minimum of disruption so you can get going on your layout plans, but have a professional do it for piece of mind and for the health of everyone in the house.

    Oh yeah, as far as the others go, money is the root of all evil, so they say. I think they're all in for a surprise since you've got the upper hand.
  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

    The bleach water was just to keep the dust at a minimum while I remove that wall. Behind that sheetrock is a stud wall. The bottoms of the studs are rotten, and the sill plate is collapsing.
    The basement is divided into 4 rooms, a workshop, laudry room, furnace/storage, and a finished living area. Fortuantely none of the interior walls are load bearing, as almost all of them have to come down.
    On the bright side, maybe I can get some more space for my layout after this? Instead of 12'x12', maybe 12'x24'?
  5. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

    Rip those suckers out then. Looks like you'll have enough room for a lit stage and a disco ball if you want. :p
  6. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    I feel for you with the family situation and greed.

    My wife uncle was driven out of farming because his children convinced grandma to give them half the farm which they right away put on the market for way more than what it was worth. Then they started fighting over shares and wound up in court where the judge ordered it sold at appraised market value (abour 1/4 what they were asking) (they thought dad would buy it from them) and money equally divided. After courts cost and lawyers each kid wound up with less that 10k.....

    Good luck with the repairs and I hope you get your bigger train room.

  7. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

    My mom gave me my step fathers HUGE (20 produce style boxes) HO collection after he passed. I was waiting out of respect to pick them up when my mom passed away. You think you have the time right? My half sister ran in and scooped up everything in the house that she wanted and that included the train collection.

    Not a happy camper here.
  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I understand what its like to have a relative who refuses to get rid of anything. When my in-laws pass away, I've already told my wife, we are going to need to rent a big bin just to clean out the basement of their house. It's that bad.

    To bad about the other family business too. Guess they don't know that you've already got the rights to the house then. Bet they're in for a surprise.

    Most importantly, git rid of those moldy walls!
  9. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I've rented a 20 yard roll away dumpster for the clean up and construction mess. It's taking up half my driveway, but I don't have to drag trash to the curb. :thumb:
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    See, there's always a bright side...! Congratulations on your "glass is half full" approach. Sometimes it is very difficult to get through. Having just experienced this with my own in-laws, I can tell you that communications goes a long way - you may not agree on everything, but at least there are no surprises if you talk about things.

    Good luck with the extended family and the reno job... :)

  11. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I am afraid that there is not much of a brightside. While I was ripping out walls, I found mold to be in several more locations, including the 1st floors sub-floors. If it is widespread enough, it is no longer practical (or purposeful) to remdiate.
    I have an inspector coming to test for mold throughout the house, and based on his findings this house may be getting sold.
  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    That being the case, I'd be slapping a lawsuit against whichever one it was that said they would take care of the problem as well. After 10 years, the mold is probably through the entire house and having at least some affects on everyone's health.
  13. iis612

    iis612 Member

    The health effects are readily apparent now that we know about the mold. We had always chalked them up to lack of sleep, or whatever else.
    I would love to be able to slap a law suit down, but the person that said they would take care of it is of reasonable mind, and the witness (i.e. my wife's grandmother) is not always lucid. It would never see a courtroom.
  14. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    The first bad news that everyone should know is that your Home Owners insurance does not cover for flood damage. Flood damage is different that a busted water pipe that would be covered.

    The next bad news is that most Home Owners Insurance policies now exclude mold damage. Now would be a good time to review yours to see if it is excluded.

    On the subject of mold it may or may not be a problem. Just because you have mold doesn’t mean everyone is going to get sick and die. If you have a lung disease or allergies you probably will have some time of bad reaction to the mold.

    In any event for a heavy infestation of mold it is probably best to have a professional service do the cleaning. It might surprise you but if you live in areas with high humidity you don’t need a flood or even a water leak to cause mold. Many homeowners live with mold in their walls and never know it is there. If your house is constructed incorrectly moisture can form in between the sheet rock and then you will have mold and a lot of mold. In fact unless you take out a wall you will never know that it is there.

    Mold is more common in newer construction because of our fight to make homes more energy efficient we have made mold collectors in our newer homes. Nothing like having a $500,000 or higher valued house with more mold than you would ever dream of between all those walls. Now you know why mold is excluded on your insurance policy.

    In any event good luck and don’t worry too much there are some good firms out there that can correct this problem. I would invest in some top rated air cleaners in addition; they will help after the correction to the mold problem is made. Think on the bright side you know where your mold is and I can guarantee you that there are many more homeowners that don’t even know they have a mold problem.

    [FONT=&quot]BTW I have water in my basement every day of the week, the farmhouse was built over a spring, which was used to keep milk, and perishables cool in the summer time. I have joked that I should start a minnow farm. I do know it would make a cool effect for a great train layout over real live running water.[/FONT]
  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    A couple of friendly words of advice:

    1. Find out where the water came in. You may need exterior walls sealed.

    2. Save what you can from those studs. If you own a table saw, you can cut away the surface of the studs on all sides and get what amohunbts to brand new smaller dimensioned lumber. I do this all the time, even with 4x4's and 6x6's left outdoors for years by careless owners.

    3. When replacing sheet rock, get the new drywall that has no paper on it. The paper is what provides a place for the mold - the gypsum will not support it.

    4. When rebuilding, be sure and add new electric lines and outlets, wiring for lights and so forth wherever you might need them. Tearing out old walls is bad enough, but having to break into new walls is a heartbreaker.

    Well...OK...that's more like four things...:oops:

    Good luck. I had to do the same thing years agho, and it looks heartbreaking when you start, but in the end it's worth it - just keep thinking of that potential layout!

  16. iis612

    iis612 Member

    A little history about the house, as I am learning it now.
    The house was built in the early 1950's by a man who was a scientist. He worked on the Manhattan Project as a nuclear physicist. He passed away in 1980. He was a brilliant man, but as cheap as they get. The house was built slightly sub-standard for the time, for the sake of saving $500, literally.
    The basement flooded every time there was a good rain, or snow melt off for better than 10 years (being a suburb of Chicago, that is fairly often). It was left to dry out on it's own each time it flooded.
    The foundation walls had cracked along where the wall and the floor section of the concrete met. It was not repaired until 1997 (well before my wife and I were asked to move here). The basement was torn apart, and rebuilt along the walls and floors. However, there were sewage back-ups that were not corrected until we moved here. Every time there was a flood of any nature, it was left to dry out on it's own.
    There is mold in every wall of the basement, and many of the 1st floor load bearing walls, as well as the attic. The sub-floor on the 1st floor has mold growing along the bottoms of the boards, and I have found mold in the carpet padding on the first floor.
    It is rapidly becoming more and more clear to my wife, her grandmother, and myself that selling the house to a developer (only because of the size of the lot, and it's prized location) and moving to a new house is the best option.
    I did residential fire and flood restoration while I was in college, and am fairly well versed in mold remediation, but this is beyond my level of resources. Remediation here would be a full time job for an entire construction crew for nearly a month. The cost of remediation is not worth it. The other problems that are inherant in older houses (i.e. wiring, landscaping, heating/cooling, insulation, and interior decor) are too numerous to consider. It would boil down to leveling the house and building a new one. The cost/benefit ratio is staggeringly bleak.
    The bright side: I get a fresh room for my layout, we all get a healthier environment, and a safer home. Not in that order of course.
  17. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    That is too bad generaly while run off is not covered most policies cover sewer back up. Hey if you can get a good dollar for the lot then maybe a new house isn't the worst way to go. Besides the next thing you know they will find something in the house that glows. :)

    BTW when is the new addition due?
  18. iis612

    iis612 Member

    The new addition is due the 23rd of March.:)

    Fortunately, according the the OB, the mold should not effect pregnancy. That is good news.:)
  19. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    In the 50's, $500 was real money and even nuclear physicists were not paid terribly well, especially when their boss was the U.S. Government.

    Make sure the developer doesn't try to lowball you, take the money and move onwards and upwards. Things can only get better.

    I wouldn't want to even think about what else is inside your walls, or about your wiring and other services. It's a lose-lose situation trying to fix it. As for health problems, if any of that stuff cultures out Aspergillus, you need to bail immediately.

    Sorry to hear about it, though. It's not your fault, after all.
  20. iis612

    iis612 Member

    So, the inspector was here today. He confirmed most of what I knew about the basement. However, he also found mold in the attic and around the windows on the first floor.
    I have no accurate estimate as to the cost of remediation.
    It is time to call a real estate appraiser and see what the value is.

Share This Page