June 27, 2014

Satellite Installer Crawls Out With a Surprise

Tuesday as the Exede Satellite installer crawled out from under my house as he ran cable from the dish to the opposite corner of the house to my computer, he said "I have some bad news for you". I instantly thought about he would not be able to finish the installation and I would not be getting the service for some reason. I could only wish that is what he was about to tell me.

"You have black mold under your house on the wood and on the insulation"

What a punch in the gut that was. In the past, once a year, I would usually crawl under the house to inspect for anything like that or other issues. For 14 years I saw nothing that would lead to that or any other problems. Everything looked great under the house. It had been two summers ago since I had did that inspection. I remember that time frame because I built and painted a new wood door to get into the crawl space. For 35 years it was a framed glass window that was broken by one of the tv dish installers years ago.

For 14 years prior I saw nothing under the house that would lead to mold. I have always kept my vents in the foundation open TO PREVENT MOLD ... so how did this happen?

To interrupt the news here, I crawled under the house Wednesday morning to take a look. It's just a little mold, not black mold as the photos I have looked up on Google Images show. It should be an easy clean up but time consuming with it being something I can do.

He did say the problem is the insulation between floor beams are no longer allowed in today's house construction standards. My house was built 39 years ago by the local Amish. In between those floor beams is the pink fiberglass insulation wrapped in paper, the kind you would see inside of walls.

That will be a mess to tear out and push out through the only small crawl space, into the front yard, in hot muggy weather. It has to be done though. I'll need to buy a full body suit and a respirator instead just a facial mask, in case it is black mold.

After taking out all of the insulation, I will then spray bleach/water on all the wood to kill the mold. There is no wood rot and no termite infestation anywhere. I had one friend tell me he had the exact same problem on his older house a few years ago and was able to clean it up himself with a weed sprayer filled with bleach and a little water.

My question is why did it take 14-17 years to happen? Isn't leaving vent's open the right thing to do? I was told to leave the vents open year round by an engineer that did house inspections in his past work.

There seems to be a house issue to repair every year. There are times I wonder if it is worth staying here just because I have a low tax base and a house that is paid for. No matter what, I would have to get this mold issue fixed and any of the other minor repair issues fixed before it could be placed on the market for sale.

No plans to sell it, but with me you never know.

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