We homeschool. Therefore, we have a lot of books, supplies, bookshelves, and cabinets. One day something fell down behind a cabinet by our set of French doors in the dining room. My wife had to move the cabinet to retrieve it and that’s when she saw mold on the wall. Not good.
Ever since we moved in, we’ve had a problem with water somehow getting through those French doors. The original construction company came out to look at it, but they weren’t sure what was wrong. Up until this spring and summer, it hasn’t appeared to be a big problem. Our state has been in drought conditions for a number of years. There very rarely was enough rain where it looked like water was getting in. We knew we needed to deal with it, but since it was such an infrequent issue, we didn’t worry about it.
Unfortunately, it turns out it wasn’t coming through the doors. The water was getting in underneath the frame. Speaking to our insurance adjuster, when it rains, the water bounces back up from the patio (cement) and gets underneath the siding and hits wood. It’s soaked in by the wood. That, in turn wicks it through, into the house. In my area of the country, where you have high humidity and you typically have a good amount of rainfall, this has been a problem with a lot of homes. In the adjuster’s words, “It’s not ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘when’ you have to deal with this issue.” He also said he had seen this issue with many homes. Speaking to a friend of ours who is a general contractor, he just nodded his head sadly when I told him our tale. Now we’re going through the mold remediation and the replacement of the doors, including the likely rotted wood under the door frame. The home insurance is covering most of the estimate, but not all of it. We’ll be out of pocket for some of the expense.
Even though we’re out of pocket some of the money, the fact of the matter is that we were looking to replace the French doors anyway. Our dogs used to scratch to get in, and they did a number on the exterior surface of the door (metal) and the glass. Nothing that damages the integrity of the doors, mind you, but certainly an eye sore if we wanted to sell the house. Basically, this is an all in one unit including door frame, meaning we would have been faced with replacing the door frame anyway. In other words, most of the remediation cost we’re facing we would have faced anyway. Except we would have faced it without insurance bearing part of the burden.
In other words, the discovery of mold looks to be a blessing in disguise. As a result, my family is looking to make the most of this bad situation. For the days where they’re doing remediation, everything in the dining room is basically in the living room. When you have children and you homeschool, that’s going to mean a cramped house., especially when traditionally our dining room has been our “schoolroom” like with many homeschooled families. However, that pain is tempered by the fact that we’re dealing with the issue to the house and we’re actually getting a break on a repair we were looking at doing, too.
We can’t avoid bad situations in life. However, if we look hard enough, we can usually find something good about the situation. If nothing else, you can gain knowledge. For instance, this situation has taught me a little more about how houses are put together and some things to watch out for. I know I need to get a roof over the porch. This protects the entrance way. We don’t have this issue on the front porch because it’s covered. Now we know that. We’ve been wanting to cover our back porch for some time. This just helps us pull the trigger sooner. Sometimes bad situations help in that way, too. They help you make decisions you need to make. Needless to say, getting the back porch covered was moved from a “nice to have” to a necessity.
If you find yourself in the midst of a bad situation, look for what you can take out of it. Maybe it’s knowledge. Perhaps the bad situation will lead to a better situation in the future. Try to use bad decisions to help you re-prioritize things in your life. See if a bad situation can help you make some outstanding decisions. Usually there’s something good we can take away from any situation, even a bad one. That’s making the most of a bad situation.