High humidity mold  

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STTsailor
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December 31, 2015 3:02 pm  

Good Morning,
I am celebrating 10 months in STT and going strong after relocating from Philadelphia.
I have been following this forum for a while and found it very informative and helpful in avoiding relocation minefields. I am grateful to you all for all the valuable info.

I live on the North side of STT at about 900 ft elevation. The house is about 40 years old Caribbean style cottage with louvers windows to take advantage of trade winds. I hardly ever use AC as the temperatures are cool to tolerable year round. The humidity is high here and everything seems to be damp however. This high humidity level promotes mold which I have been trying to control by different interventions without much success. The white and gray stuff grows on wood furniture, leather, books, inside cabinets. I am in constant cleaning mode wiping down all surfaces. Tried vinegar, mild bleach solution, Lysol, detergents to no avail. I tried running AC for humidity control but this didn't work well considering constant draft from louver windows.

I am running fans, closing all windows before sunset or during rain and keep them open during the day.

Right now I am considering replacing all louver windows for the sole purpose of humidity control. It sounds pretty desperate and expensive but from my own research I came to the conclusion the there are hardly any solutions other then controlling indoor humidity and temps. So I am reaching out to you all for any alternative suggestions.

Have you found an effective chemicals/cleaning process or environmental modifications for mold control?


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dougtamjj
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December 31, 2015 3:52 pm  

Get a dehumidifier. I spray books, clothes in closets, furniture, beds and rugs with rubbing alcohol full strength. For floors, bathrooms and other hard surfaces, I use diluted bleach.


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OldTart
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December 31, 2015 4:12 pm  

I'm also on the North side at a high elevation but rarely have a mold problem - a small spot in one corner of the bathroom but more outside on the deck (at this time of year before the sun shifts around again) which I spray with a bleach/water mix. It sounds as though you have good airflow but am curious as to why you close the louvers. Unless there's a really heavy rain coming at an angle which drives it inside, I leave my louvers open 24/7 so I get the maximum airflow to avoid the issue.

If you're up on Crown Mountain above the cloud line then you'll need a dehumidifier as Tami suggested. Install drying rods in your closets too and look in Home Depot for a product whose name I don't recall but it's a packaged product which, when you open up the lid, sucks up the moisture. Good for cupboards and drawers.


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islandnewbie
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December 31, 2015 11:17 pm  

What about removing the mold/mildew smell from inside cabinets and drawers. No sign of the mold/mildew any more, but the smell will NOT go away. I've tried baking soda, bleach, vinegar, and air freshener. Some work for a time, but the smell keeps coming back when I close the cabinet doors or drawers. Any ideas? Thanks.


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OldTart
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January 1, 2016 10:41 am  

There are commercial products available for exactly that problem:

http://cleaning.lovetoknow.com/Mildew_Smell_Removal


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Ca. Dreamers
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January 1, 2016 11:51 am  

We live in kinda the same type of environment here on STX.

Don't use AC and the house is open all the time

We use a Home Depot product called Zep Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Remover.

Works like magic on wood and tile.

For clothes and closets we have C02 generators in the closets that helps.

Good Luck

CD


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Ca. Dreamers
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January 2, 2016 11:58 am  

We live in kinda the same type of environment here on STX.

Don't use AC and the house is open all the time

We use a Home Depot product called Zep Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Remover.

Works like magic on wood and tile.

For clothes and closets we have C02 generators in the closets that helps.

Good Luck

CD

I made a mistake on the units we use in the closets.

It's and ozone generator.

Sorry

CD


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STTsailor
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January 2, 2016 4:50 pm  

CD
I have nice chuckle on you post about CO2 generators and what the applications are. But ozone makes sense. I will try that.
I will get ZEP and give it a try too.

OT
I run dehumidifier in one room/walk in closet where there is no ventilation. Humidity stays at 60%. That works well.

The part of the house that gets excellent ventilation is not suitable for dehumidifier because of constant air flow with relative humidity at 90+%. I get fogged in no more than once a month on my elevation. Cloud basis are usually at 3000 feet here. I am not even close.


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labjr2
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January 2, 2016 6:43 pm  

What about UV lighting to kill mold and mildew? I use it in my central AC units but in principal it should work in closets and other areas as well.


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Gumbo
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January 2, 2016 11:16 pm  

There is a ready good product at HD called Concrobium. It's sold by the gallon. (About 35.00) I bought a good spray bottle and use it as a cleaner full strength. Cleaned my entire ceiling about 8 months ago. So far no mold.


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OldTart
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January 2, 2016 11:48 pm  

If you're having that big of a problem I'd suggest you consider moving once your lease is up. Many years ago I rented a house on the North side which I thought was almost perfect until I quickly realized what a huge problem it had with dampness, mold and mildew. A dehumidifier had to be constantly emptied and the walls on the lower level were constantly damp. I was never more happy to leave a place. As mentioned, I'm high up on the North side now and love where I am but I'd never again live in a place so damp and with those sorts of problems.


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OldTart
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January 3, 2016 12:49 pm  

PS: If you bought the cottage and aren't renting, consider consulting an architect to see if there's any way you can modify the structure to better take advantage of the prevailing winds and the sun to reduce the moisture. If you're surrounded by heavy vegetation which restricts both, cut that back too.


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STTsailor
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January 3, 2016 11:37 pm  

I get plenty of wind but not enough sun in the winter months. I will consider trimming trees to the south of my house to increase sun exposure.


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Ca. Dreamers
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January 4, 2016 10:28 am  

CD
I have nice chuckle on you post about CO2 generators and what the applications are. But ozone makes sense. I will try that.
I will get ZEP and give it a try too.

OT
I run dehumidifier in one room/walk in closet where there is no ventilation. Humidity stays at 60%. That works well.

The part of the house that gets excellent ventilation is not suitable for dehumidifier because of constant air flow with relative humidity at 90+%. I get fogged in no more than once a month on my elevation. Cloud basis are usually at 3000 feet here. I am not even close.

Sorry for the error, LOL.

After all it was the morning after if you get my drift.


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Ghost Rider
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February 4, 2016 2:55 am  

Have you tried DampRid??? They should sell it at Home Depot. We use it here in Florida in closets and it works very well and not very expensive ( at least here in Florida)


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BeachcomberStt
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February 4, 2016 10:29 pm  

STTsailor, what did you end up using indoors? Can you please give us an update?


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STTsailor
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February 6, 2016 4:31 pm  

I have done a couple of things that made a huge difference.
I improved airflow during the day and closed all windows after sunset. With cooling at night the temps fall below dew point on my elevation and there is visible condensation by morning. I am running fans continusly.

I bone dry all my cloaths and keep them in dry room which is a large walk in closet. I keep dehumidifier in the dry room to keep humidity at 60%. The doors are always closed there.

I cleaned all furniture with Clorax bleach first and than applied ZEP clear shell Mold and Mildew Inhibitor. This is an interesting product made out of shrimp shells. Works like a charm to prevent recurrence of mold. Active ingredient is called Chitosan.

I had my sofa steam vacuumed. This was expensive but after drying the sofa in my dry room I sprayed ZEP on it and dried it again. No more mold.

I discarded most of my furniture that I brought from mainland. It didn't work well in this high humidity environment. I purchased some pieces from Silk Greenery (expensive) and some from Furniture Inn (negotiate best deal). The less I have the better my island life is. Taking care of the boat is enough chore.

Perhaps the weather helped too. After very rainy December January was much drier.


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Alana33
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February 10, 2016 10:08 pm  

Thanks for the update.
Glad you resolved your issues.


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sporeleki
(@sporeleki)
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February 10, 2016 11:05 pm  

Interesting bout the Chitosan. I will have to check that out.


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BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
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February 10, 2016 11:09 pm  

I have done a couple of things that made a huge difference.
I improved airflow during the day and closed all windows after sunset. With cooling at night the temps fall below dew point on my elevation and there is visible condensation by morning. I am running fans continusly.

I bone dry all my cloaths and keep them in dry room which is a large walk in closet. I keep dehumidifier in the dry room to keep humidity at 60%. The doors are always closed there.

Perhaps the weather helped too. After very rainy December January was much drier.

Happy that things are working out for you. Thanks for your update. Very informative.

I have a very large walk in closet and turning it into a dry room sounds like a good idea. Advice on a good dehumidifier and size would be appreciated.

I've also been told to keep all my closet doors open for air flow to reduce mold and mildew smell. So I'm a little confused.


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