I lay awake most of Saturday night, listening to the tick-tick-tick noises of the house, and imagining that was the sound of the shingles on my roof cracking. (It snowed again on Friday, just as Tuesday's snow was finally melting off. So there's been no chance to get the roof fixed, sigh.) And worrying about my basement. Lut, who has a fairly sensitive nose, hadn't noticed anything wrong with our basement before, but he could distinctly smell mold now.
Yesterday, we headed out to various stores. We hit Costco, where a samples-man was hawking cleaning fluid with a sample of carpet and various staining substances. "Does it work on mold?"
"It kills it!"
We continued on to Home Depot. I'd been thinking of buying a dehumidifier to try to dry out the carpet. The salesfolk said I could steam-clean the carpet to kill the mold and dry it, but warned that I'd just have the same problem until I got the basement re-sealed. I was feeling too dispirited by this time to ask about re-sealing and I slunk back home.
At home, I resolved to do something about it anyway. I pulled back the carpet and looked at the directions on the cleaning fluid. "Warning, for spot removal only, do not saturate carpet!"
I looked at my mildew-mold-stained carpet padding. I looked at the cleaning fluid. "Well, I never liked this carpet, anyway."
I called koogrr for company (Yay, Koogrr!) and set to work with cleaning fluid, scrubbing pads, paper towels, and a bucket of vinegar-water solution to rinse it out with. I did the concrete basement floor first, and felt positively Cinderella-ish, scrubbing on my hands and knees on a hard grey floor. All I needed was one of those brushes you use both hands to scrub with. I have one, but hadn't brought it with me.
The carpet padding wasn't quite as annoying to do as the concrete, as I could do a lot of it sitting on the floor with the affected area pulled into my lap.
The biggest nuisance was that there was some seepage along the west wall in the main room. I didn't realize until later that the west wall is an interior wall, which means there ought to be trouble on the other side of it, too. Worse, we've got the giant metal thing cabinet up against that wall, and it looks like there's some seepage in the carpet under it. Thing's a pain to move with both of us at it, and I didn't try by myself.
Even more stuff is against the wall in the room on the other side of it. A cursory poke suggested that it's a minor problem on that side; not nearly as extensive as in the main room, but noticeable enough that we'd better get the stuff moved off that wall and the carpet up there, too. Yi.
I left the carpet pulled back in the main room to dry, and Lut said the smell was much better this morning, yay. Somehow, I don't think minor_architect is going to be staying in one of the basement bedrooms, though. :(
Anyway, kagetsume suggested I could try basement caulk on it (must remember: silicone not latex). So I guess tonight or tomorrow it's back to Home Depot for that. Whee! Then more pulling up carpet and dousing it. Anyone want a phone call tonight? :)