So we live in a tiny rental shack with a non existent landlord and a lot of mold. Our house is so moist my clothes that I store in bins always feel wet. Our floors feel wet as well. There is never true wetness, but the feeling of moisture is horrible.
Anyways, I have a dd who is 5 mths old and I really want to get this figured out before it contributes to her health.
You could run a dehumidifier, but those can lead to a really high utility bill. My parents run one underneath their house, got an industrial type one off of craigslist. I ran a smaller one in my son's room during the day for a month and my bill increased by more than $150.
I might look into moving, if possible.
I've was in a similar situation a few years ago and my husband's mold allergy and asthma was horrible. We got a dehumidifier that really helped keep the moisture down. And lots of bleach to kill the mold that was there- I washed all the walls and the bathroom with diluted bleach solution, and used it straight on our very wet and mildewy windows and sills. I did weekly bleaching for a month before it was better. We washed curtains and all of our linens in HOT water with vinegar, too.
"Guess what? It's a magical world. And when I sing, my songs are in it."
Madly in love with my 7 and 4 year old daughters
I second all of these experiences. I used a dehumidifier in my damp basement. It contributed greatly to feelings of comfort, and it did increase the electric bill.
In your case I do believe bleach is your friend. I washed the walls with bleach solution, and I did paint it over with Kilz brand paint (this was in response to a flood in the basement, not just to deal with "regular" mold/dampness issues). But I think the paint helped in the long run to keep things from growing up the walls.
If you are dealing with a damp basement, ironically, you don't want to bring fresh air from the outdoors into the basement. As it comes down from upstairs, it cools and the water condenses, so you're just bringing in water if you do that.
If you're on the ground floor or above, I would think that regular airing would help, BUT in the winter, if you're bringing in cool/cold damp air, then you're also just bringing in moisture. (I would think, but someone can correct me on this.)
Does your bathroom vent to the outside? If not, you should open the window a crack after your shower.
DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.
We have moisture issues in our basement and we are having some work done down there that I hope is going to fix the problem. When they fix it, our contractor is also going to use a product called Benefect. Apparently it is made from thyme oil. They are going to spray it on the wood to help eliminate the mold and they are going to fix the moisture problem at the same time. I had never heard of it before, but I looked it up and it was produced by a family who was looking for a safe cleaner for their immuno-compromised son, and it sounds like a good alternative.
My contractor said that the smell is very strong and will linger for 3-4 days, so I think we are going to leave the house for that time. I hate mold issues. I have major mold allergies and I just want this fixed. I hope you find something that can fix the problem or you can move. Honestly, it sounds pretty bad, and you may be able to report it to the health department, where they can force the landlord to go in and fix the problem.
In the mean time, if you can't move, I would put the dehumidifier nearest the greatest source of moisture, and then also run an air filter, especially where baby and you are sleeping. I am sorry you are dealing with this!
I lived in a place like this a year ago and I would highly suggest moving. I got a normal virus on top of living with the mold, plus some stress, and ended up with a completely out of wack body. It's taken the entire year to be close to normal again.
If you absolutely can't move, you have to get a dehumidifer AND I would definitely recommend an air purifier. After we moved, I got an Austin-Air purifier and new bed and pillows. I'd love to get a new couch but it's not it was a huge stretch to get the bed in the first place.
From my research, bleach and vinegar work fairly equally and they are both more effective when diluted.
Our house is fairly damp, partly b/c of the area we live in and b/c of the house too. We run a dehumidifier and it is amazing the amount of water that we can collect in a day. This winter I've been keeping the house much warmer than previous years and now when I run the dehumidifier there is not nearly the amount of water being collected. Our utility bill is higher but for comfort and warmth it is worth it.
We still have issues with water around the windows but I don't think that will be fixed until we can get rid of the metal framed windows and replace them with vinyl (not sure on that).