Bit of a breakthrough today. I finished cleaning the nasty, flood-damaged stuff out of our utility room. (Litter box full of month-old floodwater — yuck!) I swept it out, and was feeling a little better. Then, just for the hell of it, I punched a hole in the wall. Before I knew it I was hooked. I spent the rest of the day tearing down the walls with a shovel and my hands. By the end of the day I’d almost gutted the entire utility room, which is the biggest room in our house.

It felt good, very different from the work of excavating flooded possessions. As I tore the walls down, I was able to vividly envision the new walls going up. I even had a few ideas how to improve the place, make it better than it was.

I had never paid close attention to the walls down there. The upper level is all plaster and lath, but I was confused about what might be on the lower level. Today I discovered a bewildering mix: three different types of sheetrock, wood paneling, plaster and lath, and tongue-in-groove wood — all in one room.

Sure enough, in some places I discovered mold growing on the other side of the sheetrock — much more than on the outside. Perhaps they’d used some of the mold-resistant paint MF and Konrath told me about. I also uncovered old knob-and-tube wiring and plants growing in from my neighbor’s yard, including one really spooky, white, fleshy vine — a truly Lovecraftian specimen.

Before leaving I sprayed everything down with a bleach and water solution.

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