I'd put so much love, effort, and money into the Neglected Nest after Mr. Nest moved out that I couldn't stomach putting more into it when I thought it wasn't going to be mine anymore. I also couldn't afford it once I moved into an apartment and was knee-deep in divorce hell. So the water got sucked up by the shop vac, but the moisture continued to be sucked up by the drywall. By the time I was able to take back the Neglected Nest, I had quite a mess on my hands.
I started calling around to mold remediation contractors to see what I was really dealing with. There are a lot of hacks out there, folks! I'm so glad I got lots of quotes because, in the end, I got exactly what I needed and feel very comfortable with what I paid. The first guy told me it would be $12,000-$16,000 to rip it out, treat it, and haul the debris away. He said the mold was starting to spread to the ceiling. The next guy said $8,000 and the mold had only spread 4 feet up the walls. The next guy was ideal, but not in the budget. They wanted $7,300 to rip everything out, put in a french drain and a commercial grade sump pump, haul away the debris, and guaranteed the work for 25 years. It was the first company that actually talked about addressing the problem, not just cleaning up the aftermath. I plan to save my pennies and have them come back next year to put in the french drain and sump pump.
In the end, I went with a one-man company that charged me $2,300 to treat the mold, seal up the affected areas, and use a preventative biocide to keep it from coming back (of course, the only way to really keep it from coming back is to take care of the cause- water leaking into the basement). This meant though that my Dad and I had to put on our work gloves and heavy duty masks rip all that nasty stuff out ourselves. It took us about 3 hours from start to finish to rip it out, bag it up, and grab a beer. Not too bad.
When we started ripping it out, we quickly realized that it wasn't nearly as bad as anyone thought! The mold was mostly at the bottom and had- at most in certain areas- crept up about 8". In some areas, I didn't have to rip out any of the drywall. So I now have the satisfaction of taking care of the problem myself (well, somewhat), and the peace of mind that my daughter and I can live in the Neglected Nest without mold and the hazards that come from it.
You can see how far up the mold had grown on the outside. The inside looked worse as you'll see a little further down....
You can see how nasty the studs look toward the bottom:
There was SO MUCH ROT! Once we tapped it with the crow bar, it all just came right down.
This is what we found under the drywall. Nothing to do to with Hurricane Irene, but an obvious quick-fix from a previous owner.
This is what the basement looked like after we finished.
This is all the nasty, moldy drywall before we bagged it.
It took 17 heavy-weight contractor trash bags!
And these are the "After" shots, once the mold expert came in and treated the area. It smelled HORRIBLE for about a week!
There are still some areas that will need a little work. Did you know that mold on wood can be treated and doesn't have to be thrown out (in most cases)? I was thankful for this news. Although I still trashed a lot of the really moldy, rotten wood baseboards, some were salvageable.
This was from the door frame of the bathroom that we renovated in 2008. I was able to save all of it from being trashed!
The bottom line: If you have- or ever have had- water in your basement, have an expert come out to inspect it. Mold is a serious situation and can cause migraines, allergies, respiratory infections, and can even begin to grow inside your body if inhaled long enough. But cleaning up the mess is fruitless if you don't address the cause. In my case, one of the biggest reasons for the water in my basement is because the driveway that runs right along the side of the basement wall has been in terrible need of repair for nearly 8 years. It was a "priority" when Mr. Nest and I were married, but not enough of one over new computers, a flat screen tv, and other material items. Well, I'm paying the price all these years later.
A new driveway will be going in next week, which will reroute water away from the house and out toward the street. It will cost me $1,400 (it's a shared driveway, so that's my half of the total installation cost). As I said earlier, I'm hoping to install the french drain and sump pump next year for $4,200. Those two efforts should address the root cause of the problem, and, hopefully, I'll never have to deal with this again. Had I taken care of these two issues years ago when I found out about them, I could have saved myself $2,300 in mold remediation costs. Oh well, lesson learned and now it's water under the bridge- and out of my basement!