Humidity problem!

Hey guys!
I’m going out of tw for the summer and leaving my apartment empty during the time. It’s gonna be about two months and i’m a little worried about my stuff. I mean, will my stuff/clothes go smelly/damp/rotten if there wont be any AC working?

Clothes: Leave the closet doors open. Make sure clothes (esp. white shirts or blouses) avoid contact with the side walls of the closet. There all kinds of nasty stuff may linger. Leave closet doors open if stuff is inside that might get moldy. That includes CDs and DVDs, they can catch some fungus in the fingerprints and even the top coating (especially if it is the cheaper grainy kind) can attract fungus. Books may get moldy but they will anyway.
I guess your absence will not change that much as stuff, without the actions described above, would become moldy anyway. And very likely will get moldy even with those actions. Though I found it to be much better in Taipei compared to Taiyuan-Zhongli.

I would suggest to place those humidity-absorbing grains in every closet or cabinet that might get damp. You can buy them in any supermarket. They come in buckets or in bags to refill the bucket.

Make sure to leave some window open, if possible and if it won’t let rainwater inside. A constant airflow will help keeping the humidity a little lower.

Thank you for advice, people!

and hey Novaspes, do u know how do they call those grains in chinese?

[quote=“Novaspes”]I would suggest to place those humidity-absorbing grains in every closet or cabinet that might get damp. You can buy them in any supermarket. They come in buckets or in bags to refill the bucket.

Make sure to leave some window open, if possible and if it won’t let rainwater inside. A constant airflow will help keeping the humidity a little lower.[/quote]
I agree. Airflow is the most important thing to remember. If possible, find someone you can trust who will open your windows every now and then for a couple of hours. Otherwise you might experience what we did when we came back from a two-week vacation in June 2010 and all windows shut tight: green mold everywhere, particularly the sofa, cushions, beds, etc. The worst was that I must have had an allergic reaction to the dust because I developed a cough then that lasted for months.

The lesson learned was to leave some windows opened before you go on your vacation. But there’s always the risk of heavy rains or even typhoons, especially in the summer. Therefore, better find someone who can help air the apartment.

[quote=“scherbatsky”]Thank you for advice, people!

and hey Novaspes, do u know how do they call those grains in chinese?[/quote]

I believe it’s 乾燥劑 or “gan1zao4 ji4”

get all your humidity sensitive stuff, put it into a small room, and run a dehumidifier there. Chemical packs will barely last a few days because there are so much humidity here that its effectiveness is limited. Think about how much water a dehumidifier squeezes out and you’ll need at least that much (in box volume) of chemical packs a day… The electricity you spend on dehumidification will be a lot less than the money you’ll spend on chemical packs…

make sure your dehumidifier has a thermal cutoff (check against the list of defective dehumidifiers) otherwise you may come back to a burnt apartment!

As for airing out humidity is so high most the time that it’s often counterproductive.

The problem with a small dehumidifier is that it has to be emptied of water every day. It cuts off when the water collection box gets full. I guess you could jury-rig a bypass and place the unit in the bathroom near a drain. We have one small one that does the job for our unit. We empty at least once a a day and is kept in a spare room with the door open. It does the job but as has been mentioned, leave your wardrobe door open. My leather stuff gets moldy without the box of beads mentioned earlier.

[quote=“Taiwan Luthiers”]get all your humidity sensitive stuff, put it into a small room, and run a dehumidifier there. Chemical packs will barely last a few days because there are so much humidity here that its effectiveness is limited. Think about how much water a dehumidifier squeezes out and you’ll need at least that much (in box volume) of chemical packs a day… The electricity you spend on dehumidification will be a lot less than the money you’ll spend on chemical packs…

make sure your dehumidifier has a thermal cutoff (check against the list of defective dehumidifiers) otherwise you may come back to a burnt apartment!

As for airing out humidity is so high most the time that it’s often counterproductive.[/quote]

Sorry, but no. Big NO. Leaving an electrical appliance running unchecked for two months is reckless. Even more so for one that is known for causing fires (the thermal sensor just lowers that risk and it can malfunction). Also, one would need to connect the dehumifier to a drain with a pipe to have it run continously for more than a day. Not sure that is possible for the OP (e.g. it would be really difficult in my apartment).

As for the packs, I am not sure what levels of humidity you guys are talking about, but one medium size bucket of water-absorbing beads is enough to keep a closet mold-free for a couple of months in my apartment (Taipei Xinyi, next to Tiger Mountain). They won’t lower the humidity to the 50% you can get out of a dehumidifier, but they’ll keep it below moldapalooza levels. A thorough scrub with bleach or similar products of the closet inner surfaces before leaving (remember to dry it!) will help, too.

I have a room with a dehumidifier set to turn on at 45%… requires careful calibration with a humidity meter but it works… I hooked it up to a drain so I don’t have to empty it. Maintaining a 45% humidity level is a lot of work in Taiwan, and the unit runs almost all the time. There is no way any chemical packs can maintain that level for more than a few days.

I agree and I said so in my post. I believe “mold-free closet for two months” and “constant 45% humidity in a room” are two very different goals.

[quote=“Novaspes”]

As for the packs, I am not sure what levels of humidity you guys are talking about, but one medium size bucket of water-absorbing beads is enough to keep a closet mold-free for a couple of months in my apartment (Taipei Xinyi, next to Tiger Mountain). They won’t lower the humidity to the 50% you can get out of a dehumidifier, but they’ll keep it below moldapalooza levels. A thorough scrub with bleach or similar products of the closet inner surfaces before leaving (remember to dry it!) will help, too.[/quote]

I think these things work, but the space to be dehumidified needs to be taped shut. If the closet or whatever is not sealed, damp air is going to get in and the crystals will get waterlogged in a day or two. Wood and particleboard “breathes” so you won’t ever get a 100% hermetically sealed space, but taping up those door cracks gives you at least a fighting chance of keeping the interior humidity low for periods of weeks or months.

thank u for replies, people! really appreciate it!
so i learn that somehow i can save my clothes inside the closet.
but as GC Rider says that sofa and bed (other furnitures/wall/ceiling) can get molded too… ok if they get green and gross, does it go off??

One way to deal with mold is soak it in bleach solution… but that only works for nonporous surface or materials that don’t get damaged by bleach.

Funny that no one is mentioning vacuum bags (you know - the one you use with a vacuum cleaner) filled those new kind of dry-grains inside and you should be good at least for the clothes.

[quote=“scherbatsky”]thank u for replies, people! really appreciate it!
so i learn that somehow i can save my clothes inside the closet.
but as GC Rider says that sofa and bed (other furnitures/wall/ceiling) can get molded too… ok if they get green and gross, does it go off??[/quote]

From personal experience… no. Sofa will remain with a green patch. That is, if it is cloth. Notice most people have leather -fake leather, actually- or wood/rattan sofas. Humidity is a killer!