We had a big storm overnight with some heavy rain. When I got up this morning I inspected the floor and found it very wet around the same area where we spotted the mold. Mitch cut away a large section of the subfloor by the back door. The good news is the moisture had not spread beyond the subfloor of our home.
We put down a mirror to check it all out. There was some minor staining, but nothing that looked fresh and definitely no mold below the floor. What a huge relief!
We discovered that the wood in the subfloor and the door jamb has rotted away enough that it has to be replaced. I paused to wonder, if we had not decided to replace the flooring in our home, how long would it have gone until we found this issue? How bad would it be at that point? Whenever I think about mold in my own home, my heart wants to skip a beat. I immediately think of the Fabry family and all their struggles they have gone through. I also think about full disclosure when selling a home and what that will mean for us. We certainly are not professionals. We didn't seal off the area when we pulled back the floor. We did wet the area down to (hopefully) prevent spores from floating into the air. Then Mitch carefully cleaned it with a solution to kill the mold. It may not be enough, but I pray that it is.
We used a water hose to find where the area is leaking. It leaked perfectly at both lower corners of the door. It's kind of hard to explain. Since the wind usually blows the rain from the west, only the hinge side of the door is showing water damage inside. The other corner is protected somewhat. Part of the issue is how the door was made in the first place. The weather stripping doesn't match up quite right. Also the back door has virtually no protection from weather--when a storm hits, it hits up against the back of the house hard. Because of the rotting wood, as well as some issues with the door, we have to replace the entire door. Mitch's dad, Paul, suggested we also hang a storm door to help keep the water off the new door.
Now for the bad news. Mitch is out shopping right now. There are no 6" deep doors in stock. If we bought a door today, we would have to go with a wood frame, a conversion kit to make it fit our opening, and only a half window vs. the full one we have now. But we could have it fixed relatively soon. If we can wait on an order to come in, we can have a door hung on the right frame (no conversion). We can get full glass, also. We can pay (significantly) more money and order a door hung on a vinyl frame instead of wood. We decided that since the door is so exposed, it makes sense to go with vinyl frame instead of wood, even though it is more money. Also it is worth our time to wait for a door with full glass rather than half glass. With only one other small window in the kitchen area, I was feeling sad about losing that light. Finally, it will just feel good to have the door hung correctly versus having a conversion kit. One less issue to deal with in installation, and considering we are replacing it due to leaks, it is one less thing to worry about in the long term. Unfortunately, it's going to take up to 2 weeks to get here. We will have to patch the hole in the floor and wait.
The total cost of replacing our back door and adding a storm door is going to cost almost as much as our new flooring cost (a little over $500)! Granted, we got a very good deal on the flooring and we're replacing the door because we have to. But, still. I know it could be much, much worse.
We haven't used credit cards in 4 years. God has brought us through very tough financial times. He has blessed us with an emergency savings fund, but also with enough cash on hand to do these projects. I am humbled at His provisions. It is enough to have the food and clothing we need. He has seen fit to protect us by helping us find an important problem with the structure of our home in a most creative way--by giving me something my heart desired for a very long time. I don't understand why, because I know I don't deserve it. But I am thankful. I am so thankful.