thursday brought me, rather unceremoniously, to the end of the semester. i had three classes, in which i filled out class & professor evaluations, reviewed for final exams, and ate a lot of candy (thank you, dr. bywaters--you made my afternoon!) at 4:45, i got on a #5 bus and headed back to my apartment, feeling rather apathetic about the whole thing (it's the end of the semester? really? no trumpets or messengers to herald this conclusion? no? well, okay, i guess) and slightly stressed about everything that must be completed before next wednesday, the end of finals.
so i got home and started tidying up around the apartment, putting things away and taking out the garbage and such. since it was cold, and since more snow was on the way, i decided to go into my closet and get out the mesh hamper containing all of my winter stuff--hats, gloves, scarves, et cetera. all was going well, until i got to the bottom of the hamper. my favorite cubs knit hat (pink and gray and green) was oddly... damp. and dirty. hm, i thought, that's strange. i turned from the hamper and walked over to the closet. which is when i saw it.
mold. mold growing. IN MY CLOSET.
needless to say, i was really confused and really grossed out. i called the photographer, who told me that he would check it out when he got home and that, in the meantime, i should call our landlord. so i did. at this point, it was about quarter to five and he said he'd be over about six or so. i decided to continue cleaning up, leaving the hamper and the winter clothes on the floor. it wasn't too long before i found MORE mold, right outside the closet (on the same wall, on the eastern side of the room) hiding behind the laundry basket for our shoes and a few pieces of art that sit on the floor. at this point, i continued to get more grossed out... after all, we sleep in this room, and it's definitely not healthy to be breathing in mold.
and then, on a hunch, i decided to move the bed and check the wall there. our bed is in the northeast corner of the room, and it rests along the same wall where i found the mold in and just outside of the closet. i really wasn't expecting to find anything, but i figured it was better safe than sorry. i honestly wasn't expecting to find anything, but...
i did. there was more mold. LOTS MORE MOLD. upon this discovery, i promptly freaked out. this mold? the mold behind the bed? it was SO MUCH WORSE than the mold in the closet. it was multi-colored, and gross, and FUZZY, and oh my god SO SO GROSS. called the photographer to let him know that i had found more mold (to which he was simply pleased, of course). i was more or less freaking out until the landlord showed up. he was there early--my leasing company is incredibly prompt about most matters and this was no exception--and took a look at the mold with equal parts embarrassment and disgust, saying that it was the worst case of mold that he'd ever seen.
seeing as it was after 6 p.m. there wasn't really much that he could do that evening; he told me that we should stay out of the room and that he (with maintenance and his painters) would start work on it in the morning. the photographer and i slept on the futon and left for work in the morning before really anything had been done; we arrived home later to find that they'd cut out the mold (the bottom quarter of the wall was gone, leaving exposed studs, insulation behind the moisture barrier) and set up a dehumidifier. after work on friday we ran away to the suburbs and didn't return until last night. over the weekend, while we were gone, they fixed the walls, put in new trim, and repainted. we should be able to move back into the room today or tomorrow, which is great; all that is left, i believe, is a carpet cleaning.
of course, we're still not sure what caused the mold to begin with... the moisture was coming from inside the room, so it's not an external leak coming from outside the unit or from the bathroom (which is next door to the bedroom). it's quite a mystery and hopefully we will collectively be able to figure it out... the important thing, though, is that it's gone, and now we can breathe a little easier.