In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine


Time to Break the Mold

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When we moved in to our new house back in February we didn't really have much trouble with water in our basement, not even after all that snow melted around our house.  But after a summer of Ollie digging under the front of our porch looking for his many tennis balls, and all this rain we've been getting, we've been noticing more and more mud on the floor down there.  We were only a little concerned at first but then we started finding spots of mold on the walls and on the dirt floor.  I promptly donned my ventilator, some rubber gloves, and a spray bottle of water and bleach and began my attack. 

It did the trick and proved to be good entertainment.  Although watching yellow mold turn red is very fascinating in an 'eww' kind of way, I'm sure it wasn't the best indicator of how healthy our air was down there.  We decided it was time we started preventing this kind of problem.  So, Sunday, we made a drive to Lowes (after remembering that all the places close to us are closed on Sundays) and invested in a dehumidifier for the basement and some gutters for the front porch.  We were psyched to see how relatively inexpensive gutter parts were, but a little frustrated by the lack of "this is what you're going to need" information in the general gutter-supply area.  We were standing in front of the boxes of parts at the store, laying them all out on the floor, trying to figure out what went where and how...but apparently didn't go quite far enough. 

We got home and immdiately got the dehumidifier running and Kyle set to putting up the gutters.  Much to our dismay (but not too awfully suprised) we had missed a few pieces.  But luckily we got enough assembled to at least funnel the deluge of water that comes off our roof where the two rooflines meet and direct it away from our house.

After only a couple days we are seeing a big change.  The basement doesn't have a river of slow-moving clay mud anymore and the air feels cleaner.  Once we get the missing pieces for the gutters we are going to finish it up and secure a buried pipe that runs the water completely away from the house to the road.  I wanted a rain barrel but we decided that neither of us wanted to see it next to the front porch, so we decided that once we install the gutters on the back of the house we'd put one back there.  This way I can run a line down the hill to our garden instead of always dragging the garden hose around to the back of the house whenever I need to water anything.

Do you have mold problems in your house?  Or maybe just worrying that you have optimum conditions for mold so it is just a matter of time?  There are some great instructions regarding how to prevent mold from living in your house at Ask The Builder.  This guy has some seriously good information.