Friday, October 20, 2006

Grout is gross.

My house and I are the same age. I found that to be a charming detail when I purchased the home. But an old house, like an old gal, needs more in the way of maintenance than a good night’s sleep and a tube of lip gloss.

I’m fairly handy with repairs and remodeling (for a girl!) Who replaced the kitchen floor all by herself? Who ripped out the carpet from the back room, peeled off baseboards and put down fake hardwood floor strips? Who dug out the entire front flower bed and replanted it? Who painted every room in the house? Who fixed the warped part of the wall in the back bathroom? Who spent three months removing the ghastly wallpaper from the kitchen walls?


Who fixed the leak in the laundry room wall and replaced all the sheetrock? Okay, that one was Jason.

So when the front bathroom’s tub grouting began to turn grey and peel away from the tile, I had to finally admit that the approximately thirty different mold/mildew/grout/soap scum cleaners I have purchased over the last year were NOT going to get it clean because that grey color was coming from underneath. I decided that ripping out the old grout and putting shiny new clean bright white grout on would be a snap.

But alas I am beginning to find that nothing is easy. The peeling silicone grout that the previous owner (one of my brothers) had put on peeled right off. Easy cheesy as they say.

But then there was the second layer. No problem, consult with one of the ten gazillion experts on the computer. Improvise a grout removal tool – flat head screwdriver – and begin scraping away.

To reveal the THIRD LAYER of grout, from beneath which some forty-odd years of mold and mildew and God-knows-what was lurking.

Five applications of mildew killer, three applications of rubbing alcohol (that’s what the label on my new grout said to use), three old dishtowels thrown away (cause ain’t no way in HELL I’m using them again, probably got bubonic plague on them), fifty conniption fits thrown by Thor because he couldn’t come in to sniff, and only three scratches to the porcelain later, I have shiny bright white new grout.

Next up: insulation for the attic.

Uh, can I pay some-one to do this for me?

Thor sez: I just wanted to help.

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