It was just a “leak in my ceiling” call. At her door, Helen began to tell me of her concern that her roof was not working right. As I came to the door, I had noticed an unusually large amount of tree debris had been building up on her roof. She took me to a room near the front of her home that looked as if someone was currently using it as a sleeping room.

I was concerned that anyone would sleep here because less than 6 feet from the bed was an immense area of black, moldy, smelly drywall. I asked if anyone was sleeping in this room. It turns out that this was her temporary bedroom. Helen had lost her husband 2 years prior and couldn’t bring herself to sleep in the master bedroom yet. I ask her how long has the wall been like that? She told me at least a couple months, but from my experience, the mold had been there a lot longer than that.

Mold doesn’t just “happen” in your walls. It means that water is getting in or moisture is being trapped.

Helen was still mourning the loss of her husband of 52 years. He had taken care of all the maintenance of their home and she was at a loss for what to do. All I could think was, “I have to get her out of this room”. She was not ready to move back into the master bedroom as it held too many memories. So, with her permission, I moved the entire bedroom suite to the living room of the house, and counseled her to stay out of the other room completely and leave the door shut until we could clean up the problem. I shared with her that the kind of mold and mildew in that room causes a lot of health issues for others and I knew that an 8o-year-old didn’t need the exposure.

Helen’s roof needed to be replaced. Tree debris left on the roof through too many of Oregon’s winter-spring combinations had caused irreversible damage. The felt paper under the shakes had rotted from the retained moisture caused by the debris. The next step was to get that rotted sheetrock out of the room and dry the interior wall out, re-insulate, sheet rock, and paint.

We served her, and in the end, I came back over and moved her bedroom set back into her newly finished bedroom. Helen smiled, gave me a hug and said, “Thank you Patrick.”


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