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Help I have mildew!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ok so we (meaning my husband and I) have been building our home and finally are out here. We've been commuting back and forth from our original home in the city as we've been building a new one and fixing the old one to sell. We live in tn which is very hot and humid. In the woods for shade. We have come and gone dropping furniture and what not off (always seemed to rain) and now we have mildew. Mildew on wood, on clean clothes in the dresser, moldy oatmeal... It is terribly frustrating. Anyone else off grid have any suggestions? Everything I can find online says use air conditioner or dehumidifier. That's totally unrealistic. People have been living without electricity longer than with. There must be a real answer. Help would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance!
post #2 of 5
curious to know too. I have always just delt with it. are you not at your "midew home" very frequently? I usually find it on things that we touch, but haven't in a while. if that makes sense. like leather gloves in the spring.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
We have just finally moved into our new home. I hope the problem is mostly due to being gone with the house completely closed w no air circulation and wet furniture. Eek! We had mildew on our clothes and everything! We've been working to clean it and I am finally feeling some relief. Just crazy with 3 kiddos and a house packed w all our stuff still waiting to be out away. But yes it seemed it was more so on clothing or shoes that had been worn once.
post #4 of 5

We have a similar problem, but haven't found a good solution yet.  Our house is a walk out, which varies between 3/4ths underground on one side, to completely open on the other.  It is great for energy saving, but horrible with mold/mildew.  Pretty much anything that gets left on the first foot above ground will get moldy smelling.

post #5 of 5

We built a passively cooled house in the Piedmont of NC, meaning no AC for our humid, hot summers.  Last summer was our wettest by far, and the worst for mildew.  I find it on woodwork, clothing that isn't part of the regular rotation, and leather items (the worst!).  

 

I find that woodwork that is sealed well with varnish doesn't get mildew, so I re-coated some of the worst doors/trim last winter.  Knots in the wood seem to be the worst.  I've been trying to eliminate our leather items and keep pantry items in snap-lock "tupperware" type containers, sometimes with a humidity packet thrown in, or some rice in a sachet.  

 

Mostly, I just did A LOT of cleaning - wiping woodwork down with vinegar or bleach solution, airing or re-washing clothes, etc.  Every week, I would make a clean bucket of a bit of soap, vinegar, and water, then put about 20 rags in to soak.  I'd pull out a rag, use it as long as I could, then toss it in the washer and start fresh with a new rag.  That way, the mildew junk didn't just get spread around.

 

It got so bad this year, that we bought a de-humidifier.  However, it put out so much heat that we just could NOT tolerate it.  I think some years will just be worse than others!  Probably storing rain-water wet items in a closed up space made things a lot worse than they will normally be.  I try to make certain that things get absolutely dry before they come back inside.  A couple times per summer, I wipe down our books with the vinegar/water, then sun them before re-shelving them.

 

My in-laws have a cabin that stays shut up, and they like putting little pots of a product called "damp-rid" around.  However, since we open the house every night to cool the house, they haven't worked for us.

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