Mold, black mold; not Texas Tea Black Gold, but in my closet black mold, growing behind four layers of wallpaper, scraped off one at a time, layers of black mold in between each layer, black mold, all the way down to a cement wall that had black mold. We did pay a home inspector, but this was a hidden mess.
When I first saw the closet walls, gunky stuff was on the outermost layer of wallpaper. I decided to scrub down that wallpaper because I was thinking, maybe somebody sprayed a can of Pepsi all over the walls. That took a few hours that I will never get back because as the wallpaper got moist from the warm dishcloth and fell down, I found my first identifiable layer of black mold. Thick and thriving, unaware its life was about to end.
Spraying each layer with bleach, returning when it was dry, scraping each layer off with a knife/chisel, vacuuming, spraying bleach again, not just because black mold is toxic, but because I am blessed with OCD and then me, showering. Often.
I bought a ventilated mask when I began this week long, no end in sight project and I dutifully put it on for every adventure into the closet from hell.
I couldn’t breathe for the rest of my adventures without inhaling hot steam that I’d exhaled just a second ago, but it made me feel safer somehow.
I say somehow because I hadn’t thought about getting safety glasses or a hat and the black mold showered down upon my head and in my eyes pretty consistently.
So after each adventure in the closet, I stepped into the shower with everything I was wearing and it all got washed.
I decided after the first day that I needed more safety equipment and my husband was delighted that we needed a trip to Harbor Freight. I bought safety glasses, some better scrapers, a worker’s jumpsuit and a huge straw hat.
We also stopped for a gallon of Salted Caramel ice cream.
A week later and one gallon of Kilz and that closet was the cleanest space in this century-old house.
There was only one fatality. The vacuüm cleaner choked to death.