I really wanted this to be short, people, I did....but it is my last post on this as it is important. One does not have to live with mold or musty odors because of environment. IT IS CONTROLLABLE.
Its been almost 2 months since beginning my war on mold, mustiness and humidity.
I don't mind the humidity, my skin and hair love it, but its the mold that is a problem, I find, not just here in my house but in this part of South Florida or any sub tropical place that gets lots of rain and constant high humidity levels.
So here in part one I spoke of my beginnings of what I was going to do. I posted some pics and in this post I want to post my experiences, results and updates.
There IS alot of improvements and this is why I'm making this post is to hopefully help others also.
I need a cup of tea....hold on please.....
First mention is that I stopped using my essential oil diffusers so I can clearly get the scents right.
What I've learned, is that the mold is in the air and there is no way to get rid of it, ever, not in this climate. It lives here, it is its home. What happens for us humans is that when it is rainy too much mold grows, and the smells and the black of it begins to cover everything it attaches to. It will do this at humidity of 70% and more, so in our climate, its ever present. What is first needed is to bring the humidity down to 50% or less for the mold to go away or go into hibernation. I'm not precise on this but it is the generality. But unless one is locked inside the house with AC in conjunction with a dehumidifier on all the time which is very noisy and awkward, at least in my world, it won't happen.
* So the most important and effective thing is this sodium chloride ( I just love salt in all its forms!)
which is the product used in DampRid.
This DOES work to lower the humidity levels quickly and steadily, to around the 50% mark, that level that forces mold to go 'away' or into 'hibernation', and keeping it at these levels will require refilling the sodium chloride or DampRid so it keeps working. So at $20.00 the larger 25lb. bag I bought online is serving me well.
Every week I keep emptying the DampRid containers and hangers of the water they collect and replacing the salt so it keeps the humidity down. It is an expense, though cheap enough, and another chore, but one I am more than willing to do because it is helping so much.
I keep a hanger in each closet,
in the armoir where I have clothes, one container in every room,
one in my sauna, one in my car, one in the shed......basically in every room where you need the humidity down at levels of 50%. A good description of just how this DampRid works is here.
* Next step is the control of odor and more humidity level control with natural charcoal. I spoke of how I did that here and what I used were bags of natural charcoal for grilling. I bought some baskets with liners and filled them with the charcoal and put one in each room.
What I also did but didn't mention in my last post is that I also bought 10 large plastic baskets from the dollar tree to fill with charcoal and put up into the attic space. I don't plan on seeing these again they should be good for at least 2 years according to my readings so far. These baskets are around 14" diameter. The Japanese line the bases of their floors before laying on the wood, with huge bags of charcoal for this reason. I'm following suit, by putting as much as I can after the fact of this house being already built. But it is odor control and air purifying and humidity control because charcoal will absorb humidity when too wet and release when too dry while purifying the air.
I still have two bags of charcoal to throw beneath the house's crawl space. And this charcoal will stay.
This also was cheap enough with charcoal bags at $13.00 each and $1.00 for each plastic basket.
* I also have some fullers earth clay in the form of kitty litter which will also be distributed beneath the house in the crawl space and in those areas around the house where little rain gets to, and I will put some in containers protected from rain to also absorb moisture and odor. I haven't got round to this as I've been gardening so much.
* Next is to spray something onto the mold of the pavement which is visible and on the chimney wall which is INvisible but is mostly smelled.
I bought some vinegar and some ammonia as people say these kill mold but I think they're referring to mold inside the house which I do not have. But I bought it anyway as it is cheap enough to experiment with and it can't hurt. I poured some ammonia straight onto the pavement and it did nothing and the smell was terrible. I felt sorry for my plants too. But I will water it down and spray each week for maintenance. I will do the same with the vinegar which also did nothing full strength, but I will use up the gallon I bought for the pavements as well. Multi-tactical means no hope for mold.
** However what DOES work is the hydrogen peroxide 40% strength hair bleach which you can buy at Sally's Beauty Supply. I learned of using the peroxide years ago to clean many things as the 3% solution found in common drugstore bottles does little for my purpose of outdoor mold. But the 40% does!
AT first I was diluting the peroxide as I'm experimenting but I found diluting it doesn't work as much as I'd like. So one frustrating day, I poured it full strength into my dial and spray dispenser
and set the setting to 4oz. of product to be distributed with the hose, and I sprayed the chimney wall entirely even with the ficus repens covering it, as the peroxide doesn't hurt plants or living things which is one reason I love this so much, and THAT seemed to help alot with the smell from that area, as it seems to be down by 80% which is HUGE! So this is product number 3 which is indispensable with the war on mold, attacking it directly at the source outside.
( Are you taking notes? Cause I'm going through alot of work here to remember details, taking pics etc, to post here for others suffering from this nasty environmental curse.....?? )
And this is a treatment I plan to do every week to keep it down.
When I spray, for those familiar with how peroxide works, is there are alot of bubbles and foaming which is audible when I spray the wall, and this is good news and a good sound as it is affecting the mold that is not visible to our eyes. But I can hear it working, and the smell, this bears repeating is down 80% !
Also when I use my sauna and come back into the house I can still smell it, but now it is very faint. So I am winning this one, and I will continue to apply various things everywhere until it is mitigated.
Since it has rained this morning and that smell by the chimney is always bad in rains, I will go now to check and return to report: ok, the cursed smell is extremely faint, so the 80% is holding true even in the humidity of rain. This is good progress.
I will continue this maintenance until I no longer detect it. Then I can begin using my essential oil diffusers again which will not be losing its efficacy by competing with mold, but will be the dominating scents in house combined with also being mold fighting oils as I use a Thieves Oil Blend I make myself for this purpose, but which also smells very nice.
So there are the updates and results, and I hope and pray others who have a fight with this can do these things and be relieved of living with this noxious thing.
Ok, I will be making a post next on more pleasant things, namely my gardening, as I desperately need to move on to PRETTY!