The Battle against the Mold

I am really concerned about the mold in my house. I am losing the battle.

The bathroom’s ceiling is made of plastic planks. There are mold “spots”, not a single drop -like the one you see when there is a leak- but rather small “sprouts” all over. I clean it with everything in my arsenal, no luck, it comes back.

Then, in the kitchen, I accidentally left a plate half washed. In a day, maybe two, it was all covered with fuzzy grey growth. It was on top of the counter.

A chopstick that fell under the couch came out fuzzy, too. I notice the smell is getting strong in the apartment.

Seems only one dehumidifier is not enough.

in B&Q you can get a thermometer with a humidity meter on it, they’re worth having so you know when to dehumidify the room.

I’m afraid it’ll break the scale. I think it is more a matter that the spores have taken over rather than just growing in the humid environment. It’s totally unnatural, in unnatural places. :astonished:

Yes, sounds like you need another dehumidifier. But also use the aircon more. Just turn it on for an hour to really dry out the place and then keep the dehumidifier on.

If it’s really bad then you should move. Not everywhere is as humid as that. Really depends on the apartment and how open or closed it is.

:astonished: Time for a thorough cleaning of every surface, lysol, fans and multiple dehumidifiers. (Edit: yeah, and run the AC for a couple hours; it may even have a dehumidifying function on it.) Or move.

Talking about A/C:

Last year, humidity was so bad that the AC water line overflowed -it goes straight into a drain in the front balcony- and the mold then found fertile ground among the stored magazines and stuff -I kept them there so they would be ventilated. Result? Big loss of treasured items.

Yeah, I bout a six pack of Lysol in Costco and I am ready to nuke the closet. Open spaces, though, would be a bit harder.

The floor and the kitchen have me puzzled, as the kitchen has a huge open window -with a strong between buildings draft- and the floor is not tile, but really old vinyll. Hard to know if it is stained or moldy.

It sounds really bad, have you bought yourself a dry cabinet to store valuable equipment in? Think you can get them from carrefour for about 2k

The mold is under the surface, floor or walls. My old house had it bad from a flood and I got bad allergies for a while and still sensitive to dust. The ‘gong-yu’ are rife with mold due to leaky walls and roofs. Even many newer apartments have it too. I’d advise moving to be honest as it’s almost impossible to get rid of. Bad for your health over long-term. BTW mold grows all the time in Taiwan, wherever there is not much air flow, it’s just the level of mold is worse in Northern Taiwan and with the older damp houses.

Is there some way to locate the mold’s ground zero?

Guys, really, it is hard to move, first of all, because of my 5 kids (four cats, one dog) and current job uncertainty.

So, to the mattresses with the mold we go…

how much Lysol is safe to use, I wonder…

Ok, so just get the air cons and dehumidifier going big time. Get rid of old cloth furniture, sofas if you have them, carpets etc.
Open the windows every now and then to push the air through. Mold loves stale air.

HH, what do you mean you got allergies big time? I am wondering if this is what has happened to me these past couple years.


Seems only one dehumidifier is not enough.[/quote]

I have 4 in my place, and still the battle goes on.

I also run floor fans in the bathrooms, and have those plasticky bucket thingies in the closets and the storage under my bed to continue the fight.

[quote=“headhonchoII”]Ok, so just get the air cons and dehumidifier going big time. Get rid of old cloth furniture, sofas if you have them, carpets etc.
Open the windows every now and then to push the air through. Mold loves stale air.[/quote]

But, but, I just bought the cloth covered sofas, and they are so confy. Where are Toto and I going to nap? :cry:

Oh, and air through is not a problem. Keeping air out, that is a problem.

Get vinyl sofas, and cover them with a big comfy throw which you can launder with Dettol or Lysol to kill mold. Get two or more dehumidifiers, plus a big stainless industrial fan ($1400?) for the bathroom. Keep all the windows open, dehumidifiers off, and when it gets particularly humid, or about once a week, close the windows and turn all the dehumidifiers on until the apartment is bone dry. Put a touch of Dettol or Lysol liquid in your wash water and in your mop bucket.

When you mop, don’t use a very wet mop. Keep it barely damp so you aren’t adding a lot of moisture to the apartment.

Mop your bathroom floor dry after each shower, and then turn on the fan.
Seal one back room and keep it well dehumidified. Use that room for storing your food and off-season clothing.

Are you sure leather is better? :eh: The cloth sofas already have a throw on them, for spills. :smiley:

My bathroom is so small, it barely has space for me. I have a small fan, though.

I do not mop. I have one of those dry/wet vaccum cleaners with attachments to clean. No moping required. :wink: Plus a steam gun thinghie for when the going gets tough -and for dissinfecting.

Sealing is problematic but I’ll do my best.

Vinyl is not leather, more plastic I think. In any case, leather sofas aren’t great either.

I used to think Lysol was the way to go, but a friend turned me on to some nasty powerful cleaning acid. This stuff is a little dangerous and needs to be diluted quite a bit, but nothing comes close to matching its cleaning power. Mold be gone.

I buy it at Welcome mart, its usually on the top shelf of the cleaning isle.

Also, open up those windows, get some cross breeze going, get the air moving.

Icon: Coals. Coals, coals and more coals. Lots of coals. Buy some bags of coals, and put them into little sock sized string bags, 5-6 coals per bag. Put these little coal bags in every cupboard, every dark little corner, every room, every place where the mould seems to appear. Don’t let them get wet, so be careful where you put them in the bathroom.

Don’t believe me? Fine. Get a normal sack of coals, and try it out in the kitchen.

We had a huge mould problem in this house, everything was constantly mouldy, my books were getting mouldy, I had breathing problems and sleeping problems, our new leather sofa was getting mouldy, etc etc. We did a big spring clean in the kitchen and bathroom, where I’d noticed it was coated several millimeters thick on the ceiling, and was convinced the spores room that area were the root of the whole house’s problem. We cleaned regularly with Solumel - an all natural, non-toxic cleaner and mould killer (that mosquitos and ants hate, as an extra bonus), and bought a dehumidifier for Sprog’s room. We got it down to bearable levels, but it was only when my wife started doing the coal thing that we got it really under control.

Vinyl is fake leather; plastic leather, if you will. It doesn’t mold. Of course cloth feels much nicer, but as I say, you can put a big ol’ tapete over it.

The point is the cloth and filling absorbs moisture from the air. Taiwan is so humid things become damp easily. My wife showed me how the duvet would shrivel up on humid days…scary stuf. You have to air out things constantly. If it is new then it should be fine for a few years.

Taipei is especially bad because not much wind, old houses, very humid and also bad air pollution. I developed sensitisation to dust as did my wife, probably due to the mold and air pollution. Now we both sneeze in dusty places or on days with high air pollution. I had a slight allergy to dust previously but she had NO symtoms until moving into that apartment. Not that we have moved away to a new place and new city the symptoms have mostly cleared but we both still sneeze more than other people. Weird but true. Cockroaches are supposed to be bad for allergies too. It didn’t help that I also drove a scooter in Zhonghe/Yonghe but when I gave that up things improved also. I went to loads of allergy doctors, did the tests, didn’t have any conclusions. All the doc said was that the incidence of allergies in Taipei is extremely high, especially among kids, mostly due to the apartments. Maybe the adults are immune somehow :slight_smile:

Most of the mold is in the walls and under the floors…but certainly you can use methods described above to limit it’s growth and sporing. Icon, since you have cats and dogs you’ll need more air purifying power to deal with their dander. Cats also pee on things…that’s why I was thinking cloth might not be such a great idea.

You don’t want to put yourself in this kind of toxic environment for too long as allergies can become asthma over long-term.