9.22.2011

When It Rains, It Pours ...

... and sometimes even leaks.

We have a smell in the basement. Not one of the typical new basement, new carpet, new paint smells. Rather a different kind of smell that has been there since we've moved in, though has gotten progressively worse over the past eight weeks. It's a smell Matt barely acknowledges, but one that singes my nose hairs every single time I go into the one unfinished room in our house.

I've asked everyone who walks down the street to come in and help me identify the smell. To figure out just where it's coming from. To give me ideas on how to rid it from our home.

The contractors came through and told me that it's just a concrete smell. Or maybe it's the insulation. Their suggestion? Try bleaching it. So four weeks ago we took everything out of the room and spent almost an entire night scrubbing and bleaching the floor. Then the next morning after the concrete was dry, we put an acid wash on the floor and followed up by painting it gray.

All. For. Nothing.

After much insistence, three more people were sent out by the builder to pinpoint the smell., Through deductive reasoning, with absolutely nothing in the room, they determined that it must be the insulation. Four days later the insulation people came to take out the insulation ... only to discover that the smell was still there.

Now I was getting angry.

I called the builder's office again and demanded somebody else come out. Because while I appreciated their confirmation that there IS a smell that ISN'T just concrete or insulation, nobody was pinpointing the cause. And. It. Was. Still. There.

A week ago the warranty manager, who has been dealing with new construction for thirty-plus years, came to the house to identify the smell. In less than ten minutes he discovered that the smell is none other than ... MOLD! Apparently we have a leak in the front of the house that was caused from water build up behind the brick and siding. Awesome! The water managed to slowly move its way down into the basement, thus soaking the wood, rusting a steel piston, and stinking up my room like nobody's business.

While I should be upset that there's a leak, in my brand new house, I'm not. Because after almost eight weeks, the warranty manager (who is totally my new BFF, thus ousting my previous BFF from the DMV) discovered where the smell was coming from and is taking immediate action to have it fixed! Immediate action being ten days later ...

Of course when it rains it pours here ... because nobody does chaos like the Perlman's do chaos.

So on top of the mold and the leak and insane coordination I've had to do with the builder's peeps traipsing in and out of my basement over the past month, we are also in the process of putting a large deck out back. A big, beautiful deck that has taken weeks to design ... to pick out colors and materials ... and to wait for the HOA to approve.

And while everything was going swimmingly the first few days with the framing, wouldn't you know that 3/4 of the way through laying the Trex decking, I noticed something wrong. The dye lots on the two Trex packages were different. Same color ... but a slightly different shade of the same color. And it's only noticeable from one side of the deck... which wasn't the side the contractor was on. Sh*t.

We called the place where the contractor ordered the Trex. And they sent someone out immediately. Sure enough, same color. Different dye lot. Which I was assured almost never happens. Unless you're me.

The next step was for the Trex sales representative to come to my home, take a look at it, and make it right. Which he thankfully did first thing this morning, and agreed to replace it free of charge. So now we have to re-order an entire palette of new Trex in order to match one side of the deck or the other. Rip out the 50 boards of the wrong color. And then continue on ...

To add the cherry on top, I received an email yesterday morning from Riley's teacher. An email asking if I would be the room parent in her class. Not knowing if it was sent just to me or a bevy of other parents, I waited an hour or two before I responded back to her, saying something to the effect of, "sure, if nobody else wants to do it, count me in". Which, two hours later she emailed back saying, "yes, YOU are the one I want to be the room parent".

Crickets ... crickets ...

See, when I filled out the parent volunteer form a few weeks ago, I was the 23rd or 24th parent (out of 25) to put my name on the list. I looked through and noticed that almost everyone checked all the boxes on the list stating that they'd do anything to help in the class ... including be a room parent. By the time I added my name, I actually laughed out loud and stated under my breath that there was no way I'd even be called for anything on the list.

I'll admit that I am really excited to do it this year as last year I was in Sheridan's class every week and never got a chance to focus on Riley. I just find it very interesting that the new mom in the class, the one at the very end of the volunteer list was chosen. The joke seemed to be on me.

Actually, aren't all the jokes these days on me?

Don't answer that ...




10 comments:

Jill Stowe said...

OY VEY!!! As soon as I started reading this I thought "OH NO, NOT MOLD!!!!" Just to find out, yes, mold!! At least you caught it early enough. I have a good friend who had a BAD case of mold that seeped through their house and they had to rip out a lot. I am glad you got the contractors on top of this so soon. Lets hope it gets taken care of quickly and without a lot of interruption. Power to you for all you do - you are a wonderful mom, Jill!!

Andrea said...

I shouldn't laugh. I really shouldn't. But I am pretty sure you and I twins that were just separated at birth.

Because that up there, is exactly like my luck with all things technology related. I am the black hole of cell phones, computers, etc...

I'm just glad they are going to fix the mold thing. I'm fairly certain there's mold (and plenty of it) in our rental house here. I seriously can not wait to move (you know, 9 months from now...)

Christy said...

Oh my gosh, I'm exhausted just reading about all the phone calls and contractors and people traipsing in and around your house. UGH. UGH. UGH!!! Thank god you have resolutions for the deck and the smell - are they going to have to rip out walls and floors to fix the leak and the smell? I hope not. And I know you'll rock the room parent gig for Riley! Have fun! Miss you! xo

Heidi said...

Um, yeah, this is a lot. Way to be persistent about that smell! I have a stupid sensitive nose, so I would have done the same thing. And mold! of all things. It's good you're catching it now.
You might not want to do it, but you're going to make a great class parent.

Mom24 said...

Oh Jill! So sorry. Make sure they fix it right, don't let them off the hook, though I'm sure you won't. Great job being persistent.

Think how wonderful the deck will be next spring.

Enjoy being room mother. :) I have a feeling the teacher knew what she was doing, you'll be awesome.

Connie said...

So happy they (finally!) found out the problem with the mold, and that you discovered the color situation with the deck before it was all done(!). Having a new house is awesome, but it takes work ... it will be thoroughly worth it though! And enjoy working with Riley's teacher!!

Elaine said...

O.M.G. Thinking to myself, 'This is deja vu all over again!' I mean, 1987, NE Ohio, building new house, fighting with the (much smaller) school district over the bus stop, getting the 'new in town' branded on my forehead, and...sigh...a friend losing a child.

-The Bereaved Parent- (Schiffer, I think) and Harold Kushner's -When Bad Things Happen to Good People- are two books I have read, reread, rereread myself, and given away again and again to people who needed them. There IS such a thing as 'good grief,' and the only way past is straight through--hopefully with the arms of friends around you, no matter how far away.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

So glad you finally got that smell issue resolved. And good for you - not letting it go. I'm so used to stinky basements, that I probably would have ignored it, completely unaware that mold was spreading.

I'm personally affected by the deck mix up since it's screwing up our plans for tomorrow! But aside from that - at least it's being fixed fairly quickly. Can you imagine if no one realized the problem until it was completely finished?!

I already told you how I feel about the idea of being room mother... But then again - my twins go to co-op preschool so I'm getting PLENTY of in-classroom time with them.

Daniela Swider said...

Wow, glad you got the builder to resolve the mold issue because mold can be nasty. The smell is one thing but it can cause serious health problems to the people living in the house affected by it.

And the deck color thing - so annoying. I hate to deal with crap like that but if it ain't right, I won't give up either...

As far as being the room mom. It seems that the teacher wanted you specifically. It's a good thing even though being a room mom is a commitment. You'll get to spend more time with Riley. You'll get to know her teachers and her friends and she'll really appreciate it. I did it last year for my daughter but can't do it this year because I am in Hindi...

Headless Mom said...

Just say No to Room Mom! Have I taught you nothing? ;-)

Sorry about the raining crap. You deserve a break!

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