We closed on the house on a Monday but didn’t spend our first night here until a Thursday. There were a few things to do before then. We spent the interim building a temporary dog pen, installing a dog door, and cleaning the house as best we could.
At least that was the original plan. The first night (Tuesday) Brandon was very good at knocking out his part of the list and plowed merrily along through the dog fence. I, on the other hand, meandered around the house half heartedly vacuuming rooms, taking down curtains CAKED with grime, and dusting the beautiful staircase.
My main goal was to get the carpets in the house clean enough for us to sleep in on Thursday.
Yeah. Ok. Iâ€™ll get right on that. The former parlor now master bedroom was so particularly revolting I lost any motivation to hold up my half of the deal. I mean…LOOK AT IT.
Bleh. Please. Anything but that.
We left that night with the carpet vacuumed but only one corner unenthusiastically steam cleaned because Iâ€™m fairly certain I could have doused the entire thing in bleach and it wouldnâ€™t have improved the cleanliness. It was a horrible conundrum. Do we accept that we are sleeping on a green polyester bacterial colony? Or..
Starting at the door, I pulled and yanked and wrestled the carpet free from the tack strips all the way around the room. I could have removed the baseboards, sure. But excitement + enthusiasm + self imposed time crunch = baseboards staying put.
I figured out pretty quick that rolling the carpet with the backing inside and duct taping the roll together made a much more huggable carpet roll than the reverse.I worked in three sections, cutting the carpet between each before hauling it outside. And by outside I mean…
…I opened the window and shoved the padding directly onto the front porch rather than risk taking it through the house.
Carpet gone! Now for padding. This stuff was stapled every few inches around the perimeter of each section, but not too big of a deal since itâ€™s stapled to the subfloor and not the original wood floor. I didnâ€™t even bother taking the staples out. The padding was fairly nasty…some version of glue and decomposed foam peeled off the back and threw a white powder into the air.
Woo hoo! Carpet gone! Padding gone! Look how much better!
We originally planned renovate the house in stages and so we should at least live in it for a LITTLE while before tearing it apart at the seams, right? But…nothing underneath the carpet could be that much worse than the carpet itself.
Well…I might have been wrong. MIGHT. MAYBE.
What we have here is five-eighths inch particle board sheets weighing approximately nine hundred pounds each nailed down with three-inch spiral shank nails. Nails that will absolutely not budge by any means known to us mere mortals without damaging the pine floors beneath.
Oh…and did I mention? Thereâ€™s a FIREPLACE. How do I know thereâ€™s a fireplace, you ask? It might be because I found the cement base that used to hold a tiled hearth.
It might also be because upon removing this particular section of floor…black powder started pouring out from behind the wall – LITERALLY POURING.
It was at this point that I thought maybe I should have, you know, NOT done this. Maybe I should have said â€œHey Paige! Wait! There could be anything under there! How do you know? Why donâ€™t you just hold off a bit? â€
To which I would happily reply that true, there may be wood sheets and glue and nails and soot under there…but there is also no more carpet.