Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Mold Prevention Strategy
Old 10-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Mold Prevention Strategy

In our humid environment, I'm always battling rust and mold.

I'm mostly winning, by using a dehumidifier in the bathroom, making sure there are no pictures on exterior walls, and moving furniture a foot from the wall.

I recently discovered some new mold on the wall in a room we rarely use.

Remember that the theory is that air hits the colder surface of an exterior wall, and moisture condenses onto the surface.

Here's my new strategy for preventing it, which I haven't seen mentioned on any anti-mold web sites:

I put a small desk fan on the floor, aim it at a problematic location, and leave it running 24/7. The idea is that it circulates the air and prevents buildup of moisture in some locations.

With a 20 watt fan, this will cost about $24/year, but I'll put a fan speed control on it, and cut it down to about 10 watts.

Do you think this will be effective?
__________________

__________________
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-09-2013, 10:24 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Do you think this will be effective?
It depends. If using the fan to push more room air against the wall causes the wall's surface to warm up to something above the dew point of the air, then the water vapor won't become liquid right inside the wall covering and you might avoid mold. But if the wall's inner surface remains below the dew point of the room air, then causing more air flow over the wall might >increase< the amount of water on the wall.

Decreasing the relative humidity of the air inside the house is the best solution--it takes care of moisture on the walls as wel as in the closets and everywhere else. Reducing the RH can be done by:
- Reducing introducton of water into the air inside (no unvented combustion appliances, use stove vent fans, venting clothes driers outside, use bathroom fans when showering, etc).
- Mechanically removing water (as you are doing with a dehumidifier or with an air conditioner)
- Increasing the temperature of the air inside the house
- Ventilating on the (rare) occasions when air inside the house has more moisture than air outside.

It's great to see your posts, Al!
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 10:36 AM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta suburbs
Posts: 881
In general air circulation helps, but if it just stirs highly saturated air from one place to another it will not.
For a quick test put a moisture meter in the troublesome spot and measure with fan off for a day and with the fan running.
I can recommend these: Amazon.com - AcuRite 00325 Home Comfort Monitor, Black
I used (and keep using) few of them placed in various places in the house to determine placement and operating schedule of the dehumidifier.
(And they are fine running on Eneloop batteries)
__________________
sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Thanks for the help.

The fact that the mold only develops down low on the wall or behind a picture frame makes me feel that exchanging that air with that in other parts of the room will help.

Dehumidifying or heating the whole house would be pretty expensive.

I have a few moisture meters which I've calibrated, perhaps I'll try some experiments, but humidity changes from hour to hour.

I suspect I'll never know for sure what works. The room with the new mold has been fine for 14 years, and another room that used to have a problem is now in good shape.
__________________
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: seattle
Posts: 643
What changed after 14 years? That would start me hunting for a reason. Did you re-roof or make any changes to the exterior, new paint for example?
__________________
bld999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post

I have a few moisture meters which I've calibrated, perhaps I'll try some experiments, but humidity changes from hour to hour.
Since you aren't so averse to spending money these days (and this would be an 'investment' in your home), how about one of these (or something like it, I just did a quick search):

Lascar EL-USB-2-LCD Humidity, Temperature and Dew Point USB Data - Amazon.com

Looks like it can record standalone with a timing you set, then later collect all the data at the computer.

Interesting calibration technique you linked. I guess the water and air and the saturation point of salt all work together to provide 75% and still absorb anything higher.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:06 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.