The Moldy Bathroom and Super Wife

Yup. It’s official – our shower area has black mold in it! Just when we think we’re in the clear for a bit, something else in this house jacks up. Reason #3,001 to set aside money for stupid house stuff! Arghhh…

But as much as I’d love to blame the previous homeowners on this one, I really can’t put it ALL on them… Yes, they did a shoddy job re-tiling the tub and grouting the whole dang thing, but we weren’t that much better in keeping it in tip-top shape either.  So naturally with a concoction like that you’re bound to come across a mess or two. Or in this case, mold :( So it’s a good thing the Mrs. got on it!!

It’s actually pretty funny – it seems the pregnancy has completely increased all levels of awareness within her :) Like, some new super power or something – mixed in with an unhealthy obsession of obsessing! haha… So every time something gets in her brain now, she can’t stop thinking and worrying about it until we physically DO something about it. Like with the water heater the other week (double arghhhh). And continually freaking herself out with 1,001 worries about our baby, and what could potentially happen to him too. (That part I’m not too thrilled about – cuz then it freaks ME out!). Overall it’s been a pretty interesting thing to watch though. Some people have cravings for weird food or drinks, and others can smell a problem a mile away :)

Which leads us into the “solving” of this new moldy bathroom situation. And how fast, exactly, we can make it happen – since the last thing we want is our baby bump breathing all that nastiness in!  I never personally thought it was a really *that* bad, but apparently people can die from it :(  Including one of my favorite actresses from back in the day, Britney Murphy!  So sad.

So we started the process of finding a good handyman in our area – once again – and after a couple of hours of superb research, the Mrs. found a good one to hit up and so we did.  And we figured we might as well ask about upgrades to it as well, since they’re already gonna have to start gutting stuff anyways, right? :) (Right).

These are what our options looked like by the end of our researching/meeting with him:

  1. Do only the necessary work ($1,100).  This includes all demo work (the mold is in our bathroom ledge, not the walls), treating and clearing out all mold, re-building of this same ledge, re-tiling it all, and then fixing all other crap tiling/grouting issues around the rest of the tub – all compliments of the previous owner. Oh, and we’d need to pick up a few extra things outside of this too, like replacement tiles and new shower unit stuff – as those are also moldy :(
  2. Do necessary work AND re-tile entire shower ($1,800).  This includes everything in option #1, but also going in and re-doing the entire walls with our own hand-picked prettier ones. And way more modern ones at that – which should def. help sexy up the house for a later selling of it too.
  3. Upgrade again and put in a 2nd shower head! ($3,000).  This one we threw in just to see what would happen. We obviously don’t *need* another one, but I’d be lying if I said we wouldn’t enjoy the hell out of it ;) How awesome would this be??

All in all it wasn’t *as* expensive as I honestly thought it would all be, but it’s still a lot more than $0.00 which is where it was at until Super Wife picked up the scent ;) And either way, we HAVE to at least do option #1 and get rid of that mold anyways- ESP with the baby on its way, so def. better to do sooner than later here.

After a lot of thinking and going back and forth with all the pros and cons, etc, we decided to run with the middle ground.  It’s no fun at all dishing out $1,100 for pretty much the EXACT same thing we already have right now (except with less mold), so we might as well spend a little more and be EXCITED about it.  Get new tiles and make it a “thing” ya know? That way not only could we enjoy it all going forward and get it all done at one time (rather than upgrading later at a different point), but it would also have major re-sell value too.  As long as we don’t do anything crazy like pimp it out and scare off the conservatives or something ;)  But the Mrs. wouldn’t let me even if I tried, haha…. (how bad ass would it be to put “J. Money” in mosaic tiles though?? Or dollar signs all over??)

Also, while it kills me yet AGAIN to pull from our cash savings, I did promise Super Wife that we could allot some of it towards house improvements.  I just didn’t want to do that now before the baby comes out and what not…  but what are you gonna do?  Every day can be an adventure with home ownership so you might as well sneak in some perks while you can and not drive yourself crazy.  It’s a good reminder too to be blessed with the amount of money we’ve been able to save up over the past few years as well… it would have been a nightmare had we been caught 5 years ago!

Any one else have anything break since I last asked you 2 weeks ago? ;)

PS: When it’s done I’ll show pictures!!!!  At least I get some interesting blog posts outta it, eh?

(Photo by aka Kath. Tweaked by J$)

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  1. Jaimie May 14, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    When it rains it pours! I wanna see some *before* pics cause I’m nosey like that :-)

  2. Edward Antrobus May 14, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    I’d love a second shower head, but I couldn’t justify almost doubling the cost of the remodel. That seems awefully steep considering it only requires a few feet of pipe. All of the plumbing tie-ins are already right there.

  3. Call Me Wha You Want Even Cheap May 14, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    A few tiles in my shower have broken recently, then I found out that there is mold behind the tiles, so it all has to be ripped out. My pipe in the shower is also leaking so I might as well replace that at the same time. That’s the price of home ownership!

  4. Michelle May 14, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    That really stinks about the black mold!

  5. Rachel211 May 14, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    We probably have that here. This is Florida. EVERYTHING has mold. I’m not even sure you can get rid of all mold down here completely. Groan. We actually keep a spray bottle of bleach in the shower so whenever we are in there we give it a shot of bleach.

    Anyhow – the real reason I’m typing is about the second shower head. With your wife about to pop and this is something you want – this is what you need to get:|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Showerheads%2BHand%2BShowers_4294737243__%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=
    Something along these lines – because you attach the both to the wall and they look fine, but your wife is REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY going to want to use this for, uh…’hygiene purposes’ for the first couple of weeks after the baby; regardless if she has a c-section or a regular delivery. The hospitals answer to this issue is to send you home with pretty much an empty ketchup bottle to fill up.

    I know this post wasn’t exactly on topic – but for your wife’s sake BELIEVE ME! You get this and install it, and in a couple months your wife will be wanting to send me thank you gifts in the mail.

  6. Kurt @ Money Counselor May 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    I’m with you that spending a bunch of money just to keep ‘running in place’ vs. making an improvement is hard to swallow. When we have a home repair to make, we always try to work a little improvement in there too somehow. Sure makes a difference in easing the financial pain!

  7. Aaron May 14, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Ugh – that stinks! We’ve had issues with mold too – no fun. Hope it pans out okay.

  8. Trinnie May 14, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Yes! First the compressor on both the fridge and freezer side of our fridge broke, then the thermostat on our dryer broke. so the multi-million dollar ? on the dryer is, do we repair or buy a new one? and if we buy a new one, i’m going to want a new washer, so…… (the fridge we fixed, cost us $225.00)

  9. Stephanie May 14, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    I’d have probably gone with the middle ground as well. May as well make it look pretty if you’re going to have to spend all that money! ;-)

    When we first moved into our house, the bathoom was a total mess, cosmetically. My father-in-law is quite the handyman, so he remodeled it for us. Thank GOODNESS we decided to do it right away, because it turns out a bunch of the beams behind the tub were all rotted out! I actually posted about it not too long ago:

  10. Joe @ Retire By 40 May 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Sorry to hear about the mold problem. Hope you new tiles work out well! I found some black mold around one window and they are nasty. I cleaned them up with bleach and it looks OK for now. Hopefully they won’t come back.

  11. Rich Uncle EL May 14, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    I know you’re not asking but if I were you I would get a second estimate on the work, also I would do option two and then just have the construction crew give you a fancy new shower head with a second go go gadget arm shower head attachment. I’ve seen these on HGTV both shower heads get water from the same pipe but can be used simultaneously. This sums up my idea on how to spice up your bathroom on the cheap.

  12. J. Money May 14, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    @Jaimie – Haha, don’t worry – they’ll be coming soon ;) Right after we get the *upgrade* pics too!
    @Edward Antrobus – Yeah, but at least it made our decision easier ;) if it were $500ish or more I bet we’d have done it, even though it’s a super luxury we don’t need.
    @Call Me Wha You Want Even Cheap – Jeez, that sucks, I’m sorry :( You’ll be having fun before and after pics too now! Might as well fix it up more to your liking now, eh?
    @Michelle – I know :(
    @Rachel211 – Ahaahhaaa…. okay, I’ll shower it and see what she thinks :) You’re funny.
    @Kurt @ Money Counselor – Oh yeah! Cuz now there’s a huge part of me who’s EXCITED that we had black mold, haha… but only cuz we’re picking out our own tiles/upgrades/etc now. If we were just replacing what broke – w/ the same lame materials – I’d be a lot more upset.
    @Aaron – Thanks man, me too. Just another reminder for us to keep things CLEAN too and make sure we’re not letting stuff get worse. Which is always hard for us.
    @Trinnie – Oh man, what is going on w/ our homes? Sorry to hear that, my friend… I’d be just as tempted to replace w/ two brand new ones for sure – on some crazy deal that home depot or someplace does every now and then :) If I didn’t go that route, I’d go back to Cragislist and just pick up a used machine since it doesn’t matter much if it matches or not (since you’re not replacing the other one in this case). Hope you find some good ones either way!
    @Stephanie – Cool!!! Def. an improvement over what was in there before – and awesome you caught all that rotting too, I hate when that stuff creeps up on you – so scary!!
    @Joe @ Retire By 40 – I hope not! That stuff is no joke… maybe we need your cleaning skills around our house? :)
    @Rich Uncle EL – Great ideas for sure. And you’re probably right in that we SHOULD have gone and got another estimate, but I just didn’t feel like waiting much longer and wanted to just get on it. Pretty stupid though, for sure. And yeah, before you Rachel above mentioned those kinds of shower heads I had totally forgotten about them! It is a great middle gound to having multiple shower heads – thx!

  13. Brian May 14, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    *knock on wood* the only expenses I have are baby related (and those pile up quickly). I’m sure something else will come along.

    Sorry to hear about the mold, but at least you get a bit of a remodel out of it. I secretly think my old lady is hoping something like this will happen so we can get rid of the 1950s pink tile in the bathroom!

  14. Ash (in US) May 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Just a suggestion to an unasked question– you might want to do a bit of research on shower shelving. I feel like I read somewhere that windows/ledges in the shower are places that water can pool (because we use them like shelves, of course) and contribute to mold growth. Maybe there’s a way to redo the ledge to minimize the possibility?

    On the question you actually asked–I vote for option #2, with J$ pimped colors. If the missus agrees, of course. :D

  15. Sarah May 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    I have been putting off a similar revo because I do have the sexy 1950s pink tile, and I don’t want to loss it.

    @ Brian – Send me yours haha

  16. Lance@MoneyLife&More May 14, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Good call on updating the shower. Probably worth it in the long run if it is outdated. Right now I’m in the process of getting my AC unit replaced, but I knew I’d have to do that when I got the home inspected before I bought it. Fun times of home ownership! WOO!

  17. Cassie May 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Consider this a good thing. Your wife’s senses are running on high because she’s trying to prepare your home for the baby. Baby+Mold = No Go! The great part about getting hit with all of these repairs at once is that they’ll be dealt with and over by the time the munchkin arrives. Imagine discovering the hot water tank and mold issues at home with a 2 month old baby in the house, you’d be exhausted! Better to get them out of the way now :)

  18. LB May 14, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Sorry about the mold problem, but I would agree you have a super wife! :)

    I can’t wait, because if all works out next weekend, I will be moving, letting my hubby sell the house and leaving home ownership behind! WOOHOO! Plus I will still be debt free muwhaha :)

    Yeah I am a little giddy, but I am excited about the new job, and can’t wait to meet a lot of new people.

  19. Brian May 14, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    @Sarah – LOL I have two extra boxes in the attic that have never been used. Maybe I’m sitting on a gold mine and don’t even know it!

  20. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager May 14, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Nope, but my bathroom should be done tomorrow, which means I can finally move into my house! Yeah!

  21. Pasadena May 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Just my 2 cents on shower mold. It means : not enough aeration. After getting rid of it in my new apartment, I’ve not had any since… I leave the bathroom door open (wide) all day after I shower in the morning. Oh, and if you have ceiling-high shower doors or curtain, leave them open. Might be tricky to leave a shower curtain open, since it might get moldy itself… need to find the middle ground here. Or get shower doors instead ;-)

  22. Matt, Tao of Unfear May 15, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    When my brother moved out of my spare room, he conveniently left the far wall—with the window in it—covered in black mold. o_0

    Of course, my rental agreement specifically states that this place is ~100 years old, there’s mold in it, and there’s nothing to be done to get rid of it permanently. It’s our responsibility to keep it cleaned up, and to notify them only if it comes back super quickly after we’ve cleaned it up.

    I couldn’t rightly call the property manager with it in the state that it was, since it was clear that it had been festering more or less since my brother moved in (I suspect mold spores got stirred up when they replaced the windows, since it had never been a problem before.) So, I went in search of a solution.

    Mold Armor.

    I kid you not. I don’t usually pimp any particular products, but I sprayed that on the mold, and it just disappeared without any scrubbing. I didn’t use a respirator, but in all likelihood, you probably should. Spores + potent chemical concoction, and all that. I mean, certainly, if it’s inside walls/ventilation/etc. bring in a professional to deal with it properly, if you can guarantee that you’ll get rid of it all. If it’s just surface mold, you might give Mold Armor a try. I’m going to pick up a big bottle of it so I can clean up some other problem areas I’ve found.

    But, what I really came to blog for is to comment on how much money I’ve wasted on printers in the past, since I just went and had something printed at FedEx today and when I realized how much cheaper that is, I almost freaked out.

    I don’t currently have a printer. My former roommate had his printer set up on the network, and I used that. Today I had to print a contract and some tax documents for the new writing gig I scored. It ended up costing me $0.77 to print everything at FedEx. It’s probably the only thing I’ll have to print this year (since I do almost everything electronically, whenever possible.) How much does a printer cost per year once you factor in the printer itself, ink, paper, etc.? At least $10, but probably a lot more.

    Printers just don’t make sense anymore (unless you’re a student and can’t print for free), with the advent of smartphones and digital everything.

    Plus, I totally feel like a boss when I go into FedEx and have some lackey do all of my printing for me. Haha. “Make sure you only print the first page of document one, and print all of document two, double-sided, in grayscale, properly collated, and set for long-edge binding.” Nailed it! ;)

  23. Amber May 15, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    My husband and I have double showerheads in our master bath shower in our new house and it is SO WORTH IT!!!! Seems like couples always have to shower at the same time for whatever reason and it is just so convenient. And fun! haha. glad you’re getting the mess cleaned up!!

  24. ImpulseSave May 15, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I agree – you might as well go ahead and get something nice to look at while you’re spending all the money. Plus, you will probably have to do it at some point and so you might as well have him do it while he’s already there.

  25. J. Money May 16, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    @Brian – HAH! Sexy!!
    @Ash (in US) – I was nixed on the J$ colors, but we did end up going with some pretty sweet rock-like tiles :) I’ll be taking pictures of it soon and posting them up – it should look good. And you’re right on that shelving stuff – our guy said as long as you tilt it more so it can roll off, you should be fine – so we’re gonna keep it in and just do that. If we wanted to get rid of it, it would require more work which would = more money :(
    @Sarah – There you go! Hook her up Brian! :)
    @Lance@MoneyLife&More – Yeah, much better to know it’s coming than be surprised – that’s the worst :(
    @Cassie – I know, right? I am thankful for that – for sure. Just wish they’d *never* happen, haha…
    @LB – GOOD!!! Get outta there and go on a fun adventure :) So will you be renting going forward then? I’d totally do that right now if I could too. One day though…
    @Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Awesome!! I want pics!! :)
    @Pasadena – Ahhh, yes – you’re probably right. Airing it out should def. help out more – we try to do that as well.
    @Matt, Tao of Unfear – HAH! I literally just finished a blog post which has ink costs in it – stay tuned for it ;) But I agree – printer ink BLOWS big time… I hate it… and nowadays printers cost less than refill cartridges :( But I still like keeping one handy because I print out all my invoices and other stuff for my online biz, so I have no intentions of pimping out FedEx like you are. But it’s a great idea! (I’m gonna remember “Mold Armor” too if anything creeps back up later, thanks for the tip.)
    @Amber – I’m JEALOUS!!! Think of me next time you’re in it!! I mean…
    @ImpulseSave – Yep, for sure. And it’ll help with selling or renting the house faster too later!

  26. Jen @ Master the Art of Saving May 18, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Sorry about the black mold, that’s really lame. :-( I had no clue that Britney Murphy had died. I had wondered why I wasn’t seeing her in any new movies lately. Sad stuff.

  27. J. Money May 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I know, very sad :( Mold stuff is nasty!

  28. Fifi May 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Blerg, babies end up being more than just babies don’t they! I like how every time you mention something kind of annoying or frustrating about the missus, there’s a little smiley or haha next to it. I know. You have no choice. ;)

    PS – the new blog project is coming along, got the design almost done!

  29. Andi B. May 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    I believe that super power is called “nesting” and it just hits some of the ladies harder than others. Our tenant moved in pregnant and the extent of her nesting was painting. I know another lady who nearly gutted her house. I guess regardless it means safety for all!

  30. J. Money May 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    @Fifi – Hehe, gotta keep it loving still! ;) Awesome about the new blog project too – give me the inside scoop once it’s live! I wanna see!!
    @Andi B. – Yeah, I’d take that any day! :)