Remember what it's like to discover a toxic science experiment growing in the back of your fridge? Perhaps it's just a box of leftover Chinese food that you put in there a month ago? Now imagine an entire refridgerator and freezer full of food that has been a toxic experiment at 95+ degree temperatures. Once again - an ENTIRE fridge full of rotting stinking decomposing melting dripping oozing food. Now hold that thought.
During our refugee period, my sister went to Slidell while I stayed with the kids in Nashville and she emptied my fridge for me after it sat rotting in the heat and humidity for an entire week. I am eternally grateful to her. It's unlikely that I can ever pay this favor back. But today I had a chance to pay it forward instead.
My very wonderful friend Jeannie's husband, Mike, was finally able to get a couple of days leave to come inspect their home while she and the kids are still holed up in Texas. It's been about 2-1/2 weeks since the disaster struck. Sadly, they had 3-4 inches of water flood their beautiful home. It may as well have been 3 feet.
The mold is already growing about 18 inches up the walls and it will all have to be torn out. Much of the furniture is ruined from water soaking up in to the wood as it sat on saturated carpet. None of the doors will close anymore because they all swollen from the water damage. Mildew is everywhere. One of the upstairs rooms also flooded from water coming in through the damaged roof and pouring through the light fixture on the ceiling.
My Hubby helped Mike remove all the stinky moldy carpet from the house while I tackled the fridge. It was a brand new beautiful stainless steel fridge with a spiffy ice maker in the door and was only 4 months old. Hubby and Mike hauled it outside before opening it, and then they tossed all the big stinky stuff into a trash bag. Some of it was re-frozen since the power had come back on a couple of days ago which did help make the chore more bearable. I removed everything else including all the shelves and drawers, and tossed it onto the lawn. Immediately the flies descended upon it all like a Hitchcock movie.
It produced an odor that smelled like it came from the very pit of Hell. I began to hose it all down. The neighbors held their noses. They were familiar with our plight, and they understood what had to be done. A few of them offered helpful advice. Then I got serious and got out my big gun. I wonder if Martha Stewart has ever used a pressure washer to clean a stinky fridge?
The prognosis for the fridge is very good. I think it's going to live, but we'll know more tomorrow. I gave it two loaves of bread and some coffee grounds, and I'm going to call on it in the morning.