On the other side of that wall was our dishwasher.
I contacted a plumber, who determined that the water supply line to the dishwasher was leaking. He replaced it, and told me to call my insurance company. “You’ve got a mold problem, and it will only get worse if it isn’t treated,” he said. “It’s a health risk.” This explained my cough.
The insurance company recommended a water damage treatment company, and a workman showed up the next day. His name was Jean, and he was from Haiti. He had a very thick accent. He pulled the carpet away from the wall, exposing the mold, which he treated with a chemical.
Next, he pulled out the dishwasher, exposing the wet cabinet base and the sheetrock wall, both covered with mold and mildew.
He went to his truck and brought in two very large dehumidifiers. One went in the kitchen, the other went into the family room. They are very loud. The drain hoses run into one side of our kitchen sink, which is now pretty much useless until they’re removed.
Jean told me that they would have to run 24/7 for three days. He said that the next morning, a different worker would arrive with what sounded like “ass-grabbers.” There was an uncomfortable silence as I tried to figure out what he was actually saying. Eventually, I understood that he was saying “air-scrubbers.” I confess I was relieved.
We slept pretty well considering the continuous roar of the dehumidifiers. The next morning, another truck showed up with the air-scrubbers. The workman told me they would only make things “A tiny bit louder.” He put one in the family room, and one in the kitchen. They are much louder than the dehumidifiers, so our house now sounds like a busy airport. Watching television in the family room is almost impossible. And of course we have these bulky machines in our way.
Then he gave us the bad news. He said that on Tuesday, workmen would come to “Rip out the cabinets.” Because they are now contaminated with mold spores, they have to be removed, along with the sheetrock behind them. The insurance adjuster will determine what kind of compensation we’ll receive from our policy. I’m told that if the water-damaged cabinets can’t be replaced with an exact match, they’ll give us enough to replace all of the cabinets.
We’ve never been happy with these cabinets, which are quite old, and the color of a “Flesh” Crayon. So naturally, we’re hoping they don’t make this color anymore.
But the worst part of this whole thing is that we won’t have a functional kitchen, probably for weeks. We’ve already committed to hosting Thanksgiving, so we’re going to have to change our plans.