Nov 24, 2013

Burning Feathers

Make that burning fiberglass (Arnold says, "It's not a tooomah.").  Steve has been very busy with power tools and respirators and frequent showers lately, because he's been demoing our guest bathroom tub, surround, and the drywall around it.

The setup.

I feel bad on projects like these because we only have one respirator, and the bathroom's not really big enough to accommodate 2 people, so Steve had to do pretty much all of this part of our bathroom reno.  My job was to document/stay out of the way.

Steve prepped by removing all of the fixtures and the shower curtain rod.

Fixtures off!

What followed was 15 minutes of terrifying noises coming from this bathroom.  Once the dust settled, I snapped this shot of Steve's progress.

Upper drywall?  See ya.

The next time Steve went into that bathroom, there was the smell of burning acrlyic that accompanied the terrifying noises.  Although Steve had a respirator on, the door closed, and the fan running, this bathroom is in the middle of our house.  Of course once I realized I was smelling acrylic dust, I ran around our house turning on every fan we own and opening all the windows.  Once Steve's dremel saw max blade was too dull to continue cutting, we took the pieces of the tub surround out to the garage.  After a couple of hours, the dust had settled enough that I could peek in the bathroom.

Almost out!

At this point, we could see the finish line.  Unfortunately, our fears about running into mold were gaining strength.  See the left hand size of the exposed drywall?


I peeked between the studs.  Sure enough, it was mold.


Fortunately, the mold didn't look to be toxic black mold, and after doing a considerable amount of research, we decided we'd be able to kill the mold we could see here easily enough ourselves rather than having to call in a mold remediation specialist to the tune of $700 and up.  At this point, we still couldn't see under the tub itself, which is where we were the most worried about seeing water damage and even more mold.

A few days later, Steve was able to pull the tub out with help from his dad (thanks, Dennis!) and I was so relieved to poke my head into the bathroom and see this.

No black mold!!

There had obviously been some water seeping between the walls before, but we are reasonably sure that all of the mold on the drywall and water damage on the floor was from an isolated event involving the water connection for our fridge long before we moved in and condensation on the pipe.  We were able to clean the mold from the drywall as best we could, and sprayed a tea tree oil and water mixture on it to inhibit regrowth, and we're pretty sure that between that and insulating the pipe before we start putting the new tub in, we shouldn't have to worry about mold in the future.

Dodged a bullet!

The full demo process took us just over a week, which includes time to let battery-operated power tools recharge, get a replacement dremel saw blade, wait for Steve's dad to be over for a visit to finish pulling the tub out, and let the dust settle and get shopvac-ed out several times.

We're finally on our way to having a leak-free (and pretty) new tub and shower surround!

Why did we demo the bathtub since we had already finished sprucing this bathroom up?  Catch up on the back-story here.