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northside mold

Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter

Shawn, you stated there are mold problems when you live on the Northside. Can you elaborate? Why is there a problem? How is it a problem? All in the house? I was thinking the northside is the side I want to live on. Thanks anyone for explanations!! Best to you all.

Posted : April 7, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 545
Honorable Member


It's not just the Northside of STT -- mold is a problem everywhere, and is particularly bad for those of us who rely on open windows and ceiling fans instead of AC (which can help control humidity). Unfortunately, we learned about mold issues the hard way, so I'm glad to have an opportunity to get the word out to others in the hope of saving them the loss of favorite shoes and such.

The constant high humidity here is a real problem for leather goods, metal, and paper. Leaving leather sitting out in your home will cause them to mold in as little time as a matter of weeks. You can prevent mold from developing on belts, shoes, briefcases, leather clothing, etc. by keeping them in a closet in which you've placed a drying product like Damp Rid (it's similar to the silica packets that you find in boxes containing electronics, shoes, and even some prescription drug bottles). Damp Rid is available at KMart. Ric and Linda, one of my saviors on this board, also said that keeping a 60 bulb on in the closed closet dfuring daylight hours will also take out enough moisture to prevent mold from developing.

The humidity is also salty, so you'll find that your appliances will get rusty. It's not uncommon for a two year old refrigerator look 15 years old from rust damage unless you have repainted it with a rustproof paint like Rustoleum or keep it waxed with car wax. Magnets will only intensify the rusting process, so it's best to lose all of the fun ones you've collected. Computers are also affected -- have read here that the humidity and salt residue can reduce the life of a computer to as little as two years.

I'm one of those folks who pick up greeting cards to keep on hand. Learned that storing them with the card tucked under the envelope flap doesn't work down here -- the humidity activates the adhesive on the envelope and will adhere the flap to the card. I've started placing a piece of waxed paper between the sticky side of the envelope flap and the card, even if the card is only going to be around for a few days before getting sent. Same problem can happen with your bills if you tuck the bill in the envelope and set it aside to pay later. I keep my personal stationery, computer paper and envelopes in a closed cabinet that contains Damp Rid, which keeps the paper from going limp, and the envelopes from sealing themselves prematurely.

Someone on the board also suggested keeping these types of paper products is a vacuum seal bag or even in the freezer to protect it from termites as well as humidity. Another person who moved here about the same time we did found that his books were also being raided by termites, so it's suggested you check through your library on a regular basis. We brought lots of book but haven't had the bad luck of a termite attack on them *knock on wood*.

Bathrooms are where the mold can be a constant battle. Having lost of ventilation is key, but even then you may have mildew pop up and spread faster than you've ever seen it before. We keep it in check by doing a thorough cleaning with a diluted bleach mixture a couple times a year and then using an organic mold prevention cleaning product for the regular cleanings and one of the after shower sprays that are out on the market.

Don't let damp clothing stay folded or wadded up -- hang it up somewhere to thoroughly dry as soon as you can to prevent teh fabric from mildewing.

Mold is one of those things that there are downsides to living here, just as there are downsides to living anywhere. It is totally manageable by just changing the way you do a few things. And you now have the added advantage of knowing about it in advance, instead of discovering your briefcase and favorite pair of topsiders that had been stashed in a box in one of your less used closets are now consumed with mold and a total loss.

I'm sure others will pop in with their own tricks and hints - in fact I'm counting on it! Hope this helps -- I sure wish I had known about this downside to island life before we moved.

The now mold-free HipCrip

Posted : April 7, 2005 3:27 pm
Posts: 114
Estimable Member

In 20+ years of living here, the only time I ever experienced mold was on the Northside and it was pretty nasty. Leather belts, previously just fine LPs (yes, we're going back to THOSE days (!) basic tapes which got all skippy and nasty - and the inevitable mold in the bathroom and in lower hallways which, despite what one would do, always smelled "dank." Never experienced it on the Southside, although the couple who lived below me in a fourplex had problems so maybe their being closer to the ground exacerbated the problem while my higher level brought through more breezes. On the East End now for ten years, no problem at all.

Posted : April 8, 2005 4:30 am
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter

Thank you for the replies. It sounds much like to same tactics taken on a boat!!! I appreciate your post HC! Very informative and helpful. I have read all your posts and did miss you while you were gone! Take care.

Posted : April 8, 2005 2:15 pm
Posts: 4
New Member

Yes, I know I'm replying to a message that is 5 yrs old but it was so helpful - just wanted to say thanks.

If anyone else has ideas for humidity and mold, they are welcome

Posted : December 21, 2010 10:11 pm
Posts: 1085
Noble Member

Anyone who tells you there is no mold on the north side is simply giving you bad advice.

The north side is called the wet side for a reason. The east and south is called the dry side for a reason. And if you look at the plant growth on the north side you will see many more wet type plants.

The winds blow from the east - south east in the summer. In the winter they blow from the east - north. So there is not as much wind on the north side.

But not that withstanding the north side is a great place to live. It is more secluded than the east side. And it will take you some time to get to many things.

But you need to choose what you want.

Enjoy your life. Do what you believe is what is good for you.


Posted : December 22, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

OMG! I miss Hip Crip, Trade, Island Paul, Former Ohio Guy, etc.:-(

Posted : December 22, 2010 8:09 pm
Posts: 2259
Noble Member

Was thinking of Paul the other day. Have not heard from him. Usually emails at least once a year. Will have to look his email up and see how he is doing.

Posted : December 23, 2010 12:31 pm
Posts: 52
Trusted Member

Really and truly does damp rid work if you have the east wind - winds, and don't use AC? If so I'll pack a lot stateside so I can save a few hundred...

Posted : December 25, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 2138
Noble Member

DampRid works in small, enclosed spaces, like closets with the door closed. If you let fresh air in all the time, you will not get any benefit from using DampRid.

Posted : December 25, 2010 2:51 pm
Posts: 593
Honorable Member

I keep things that I use infrequently in plastic bins with a cup of Damp Rid inside... works well for me. So you might consider packing some of your stuff in plastic tubs!

Posted : December 26, 2010 9:15 am
Posts: 484
Reputable Member

WoW! What a day after Christmas surprise! An e-mail from Anna this morning answered my question to her as to why I heard from Ronnie out of the blue. What a wondrous thing to learn of this post of yours East Ender, and of Ronnie's reply to you - thank you both for thinking of me - hope they were positive!

Since I'm still doing the Toad and Tart website for/with Anna , I still have contact with some island news. And of course each year during 'the weather season', I keep track daily of things that might be heading your way. And was relieved to know that while you got deluged this year, that nothing worse had ripped through.

I'm very seriously into my watercolor painting work and am keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will be accepted into the 144th Annual American Watercolor Society competition. I will find out on Jan 14th. Acceptance into the competition is more important than any thought of winning - as one must have an entry accepted into two annual competitions (only one is permitted each year) before one can apply for membership: which I would truly love to attain one day.

Toby, our beloved Golden Retriever is now 5. His age is the way I keep track of how many years I've been off island. He had knee surgery this summer, and the 8+ weeks of rehab that was required, prevented us from doing any travelling, as he could not climb stairs, either here at home or in/out of our RV. We had hoped to get to the East Coast of the US this summer, as I needed to get to an ocean, and I'd never yet seen that part of our country.

I am in touch with a singer friend, Roger Russell, that I met first on this message board, and then in person when he came to live on island for awhile. He encouraged me to begin a Facebook page as the best way to see and read about his adventures. So hey, if anyone somehow thinks of me, you can always check me out on Facebook under Paul K. Basten. And to keep up with my painting, and find an e-mail address you can peek in at my website:

East Ender, I e-mailed Ronnie back, and would do the same with you if I had your e-mail address. I still have and wear my Secret Harbor t-shirt (getting kind of worn out actually), and think of the glorious times I spent over there in the ocean. I wonder if the development has perhaps gotten underway across the water from Secret Harbor - was supposed to be quite a deal and I had hoped to get to the beach over there, which I never made it too because of all the undergrowth one had to traverse to do so.

I hope your photo project of these many years ago, was completed as you planned and is doing the work you intended with it. A very happy New Years Blessing to you and all I remember still on island. As I'm closing e-mails with these days - Hugz.

Posted : December 26, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 484
Reputable Member

Ronnie, you would by now have seen my e-mail response to you. Happy New Year.

Posted : December 26, 2010 1:17 pm
Posts: 44
Eminent Member

Mold can and eventually will occur if the rH (Relative Humidity) is consistently 60% or greater and/or the Dewpoint is above 62 Deg. F. I know in St. Croix it is almost never less than 60% outside, except maybe high in the hills. Living without A/C is something I considered when I first moved here, but now would never dream of. I would live without running water before I'd live without A/C. Life is too short to deal with damp conditions, mold, appliances and TVs frying out every couple of years, food becoming soggy in a day or two, metal rusting out, dust, noise from outside, etc. Now my windows are all shut tightly and I will never open them again to disrupt my Zen-like environment. My wife is much happier now that she doesn't have to wipe away dust daily and deal with soggy food, not to mention constantly being dehydrated from sweating.

The good news is that you can get a 16 SEER Inverter Type Mini Split installed at less than stateside prices now (in STX, that is). I get many requests for these, and have many happy customers. With our current WAPA rates at $0.33 it costs roughly $100/Month for every 400 Square Feet of conditioned space to have A/C full time. That's less than it has ever cost for such an inexpensive up-front investment. Having a quiet, reliable, efficient air conditioning system is one more thing that truly makes these islands Paradise.

I will not advertise on this site in keeping with the rules, but I operate a licensed, insured A/C and Commercial Refrigeration business in STX and provide cost-effective, sensible solutions for our island's harsh environmental conditions. PM me if you would like more info.

Posted : December 26, 2010 2:37 pm
Posts: 384
Reputable Member


Good to see you back here.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


Posted : December 26, 2010 3:17 pm
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