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Out, out, damn spot!

Our landlady told us that shortly before we moved in, she had had the entire interior of the house repainted. It all looked pretty nice -- clean, white walls in most rooms. However, we discovered shortly that the paint used in the upstairs bathroom (the one with the shower in it) wasn't moisture-resistant, and over the past few months, it has started blistering and cracking and peeling, and mildew has taken hold everywhere. Eeeagh.

The upstairs rooms in this house all have gabled ceilings (I think? The ceilings match the slope of the roof overhead), with the peak about ten feet up. The bathroom is small and cramped, with the single-person shower stall installed as an afterthought. Hence, the mildew growing in the peak of the ceiling in there is basically unreachable. Yesterday I used surface cleaner and mildew remover and scrubbed the entire part of the bathroom I could reach -- the floors, toilet, walls, window frame, sink, etc. -- and even stood on a chair to reach as high as I could. Now the bottom 75% of the room is remarkably clean, with some minor mildew stains but nothing horrible, but the peak of the ceiling is still covered with mildew that I just can't reach.

So now I'm going to tell our landlady that something needs to be done about the paint in there. The needed repairs in this house are starting to pile up, and I hate to keep bugging her, but I guess that's my prerogative as a renter, right? Plus, maybe she'll feel guilty that it's been over two months since we told her the oven was broken and it's still not taken care of, so she won't get cranky about other stuff. Maybe.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC)
you still don't have an oven? man, that sucks. so maybe she'll feel guilty about that, or maybe she's just the kind of landlord who takes over two months to do anything? I've had those before, and it wasn't very nice.
Mar. 27th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
She's usually somewhat more prompt than that. This time the delays have been due to the appliance guy miscommunicating, and the fact that she had to special-order the oven. So there were extenuating circumstances, I guess. She's really a pretty nice person, if a bit protective of her property.
Mar. 26th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
Um, your landlady sounds like she sucks.
Mar. 27th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
She's not as bad as I'm making her sound. The two-month thing is pretty much a fluke.
Mar. 28th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
I'm Not Crazy ...
Okay, I read your blog because I read your webcomic. I noticed your post about your bathroom mildew issues and I decided to add my two cents.

I worked in a paint supply store (Sherwin-Williams) for two years and I learned a helluva lot about interior painting and common problems associated with bathrooms and mildew.

First, forget about those costly surface cleaners and so-called mildew removers. Mildew is nothing more than a fungus that eats the additives in paint. The only way to kill it is to make a solution of two parts water, one part common bleach. Wipe, or sponge on the area and let it dry.

After the bleach treatment, the mildew should be dead. If it resurfaces, repeat the process.

If it resurfaces again, you may have mildew farther into your wall system than just the paint (Think dry-wall -- think black mold).

What your landlady needs to do it go to some place like a Sherwin-Williams and buy the interior paint that is specifically used in bathrooms. Easy to find, it's called "Bath Paint" (at S-W) and can be tinted into almost any color, if she wants it to be.

To help ensure that mildew doesn't return, she can buy a small packet of additive called M-1 to be mixed into the paint and it won't change the color of the paint or anything else undesirable.

The surface should be repainted and the area well ventillated. If there is not a fan or a window in the bathroom, you're going to get mildew again.
Mar. 30th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC)
Re: I'm Not Crazy ...
Just so you know, I don't actually have a webcomic. You're probably thinking of one of the other 21 Ryans with webcomics.

Thanks for all the great info on mildew-removal and painting. I'll definitely pass this along to our landlady so that if she decides to have the room repainted, it's definitely done right this time.

There's no vent in the room -- it's an old house, and the one-person shower stall was pretty much installed as an afterthought -- so that's undoubtedly contributing. We had a dehumidifier in there all winter, which got rid of a lot of the moisture fairly quickly, and now that things are starting to warm up we can open the window a bit while we shower, but an actual vent fan would be much more effective, I'm sure.
Mar. 31st, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm Not Crazy ...
You've no idea how foolish I feel because I thought you were someone else. Heh, guess that happens all the time to people the world over.

But, it's been interesting reading your LJ in the past -- even if I had mistaken you for someone else.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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