Mold Issues! Please Help!!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-18-2010, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I reeeeaallllly need to calm down here! I'm post-partum and hormonal and teary-eyed and freaking out and HATING my house!!

I have found mold growing:

1. In the windows. I'm CONSTANTLY cleaning it out of the windows, where the glass meets the frame. During the winter, when we're running heat, the windows sweat, and mold starts to grow on them.

I looked into having them replaced, but one honest bidder said that there was no need. Sweating was a "good sign" because we weren't leaking heat.

2. On the window shade by one of the moldy windows.

3. On a plastic cutting board that I pulled out of a drawer.

4. When I lifted the toilet tank lid today, mold was growing inside the tank!!

WHAT GIVES!???? I live in a dry climate! Now I'm paranoid that mold could be lurking behind my sheetrock, in my crawlspace, attic....

Is it a problem with my HVAC/ventilation system? If so, is it reparable? None of my other friends in town go through this, so something has to be wrong with my house! I'm cleaning it up constantly, but I HAVE to know what's causing it.

I feel so trapped. I can't stand my house, but the market sucks, and I couldn't try to show a house with two tiny children anyway. And I wouldn't even ATTEMPT it without figuring out this problem.

Please help!

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

I looked into having them replaced, but one honest bidder said that there was no need. Sweating was a "good sign" because we weren't leaking heat.
That is good to know, as I have this problem. We have mold here and there too on the windows and I am very paranoid about it elsewhere as well.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:09 AM
 
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Maybe your house is too tightly sealed, not letting moisture escape causing mold? My parents had sweating windows and when they had an air exchanger going it seemed to help (iirc).

Do you have a damp basement?

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Old 06-18-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
That is good to know, as I have this problem. We have mold here and there too on the windows and I am very paranoid about it elsewhere as well.
Me too! My solution has been to clean off the mold and paint first with Kilz then with outdoor paint. That seems to help. Also, raise your curtains/blinds during the day so the window can air out.

Have you tried running a dehumidifier to see if you have extra moisture in the house?
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(Deep breaths, deep breaths! Calm blue ocean! Calm blue ocean!)

So I got my hands on a book that suggests that I may have a leak somewhere in my HVAC system. If there's too much output of heat or AC and too little uptake through the return vents, it can cause mold problems! Live and learn.... Now if I only knew how to find the leak!

PP, I peaked into my crawlspace yesterday and couldn't smell anything musty down there. I'll measure the humidity level and see if that might be a source, though.

Keep the ideas coming ladies! You're wonderful.

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Old 06-22-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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I'm getting a big problem in my bathroom. I don't know if the fact that there's no window in there has anything to do with it

I hate mold

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Old 06-22-2010, 10:13 AM
 
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I'm getting a big problem in my bathroom. I don't know if the fact that there's no window in there has anything to do with it

I hate mold
You need air circulating so yes, either a window or a bathroom exhaust fan. If you have neither, try an oscillating fan with door open or a dehumidifier.

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Old 06-22-2010, 08:34 PM
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i live in a wet climate, and even with all of the various practices i'm used to, i simply have to keep after it. i scrub the windowsills each week with soap and water and follow up with a dry towel. i also have to scrub the bathroom ceiling each week.

in the kitchen, i make sure that i dry all of my various objects. it's common here for people to actually put their pots/pans/etc in the oven on a very low temp (post cooking, while it is cooling for instance), but i just prefer t dry them by hand.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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I can't say enough wonderful things about the difference a good dehumidifier can made. Our whole house was musty-smelling and we had giant patches of mold growing in the basement. $150 and a Lowe's trip later, the problem is solved. We're going to waterproof the basement this summer, too, which will help a lot, but for the moment this has made a dramatic difference.

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Old 06-24-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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what age is the house? WHat type of siding do you have?

Here are some other (unlikely) areas to check:
do you have a bathroom vent fan and use it after every shower?
do you have a humidifier on the heating system?
do you have any plumbing leaks (for example in the crawl space)?
roof leaks?
open fish tanks?
hundreds or thousands of house plants?
indoor clothes line?
dryer vent going to inside the house instead of outside?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
a leak somewhere in my HVAC system....
this would be (for example) a detached duct or inadequate return air ducts. you can get a "duct blaster" duct pressure test for about $500. (ouch! this is total overkill) I found a 4" duct loose on my HVAC system - fairly common. But should not cause major humidity issues. An hvac company can look at the returns and guess if they are inadequate. fixing this is usually not expensive.

If you have cold clammy air in the summer, you might have an oversized AC. This is fixed by (ugh!) replacing the whole darn AC unit. Your HVAC company could check if this is the problem.

Condensation on the windows could mean that you have single pane aluminum windows or that the seals have failed on double pane windows. Window replacement is expensive enough that single pane aluminum should be replaced, but usually not double pane. (this varies by climate)

Since you have a new baby, the easiest thing to do is just monitor humidity - should be between 30-60%, maybe up to 70% for comfort. In the long term, look for a small continuous plumbing leak. Get a dehumidifier if you need to. (might be hard to find in a dry climate!)
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