Mold issue in camp.... - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Mold issue in camp....

Arrived at camp Thursday night after not being up for a little over 60 days. When I opened the door I noticed a strong musty odor. It is always a little musty when I first open it, but this time I could practically taste it. I got the power turned on to find that the loveseat in the living room had grown a good bit of greenish white mold on the arms and head rest. one of my deer mounts had mold all the way around the muzzle, my European mount was moldy, and there was white mold on the bottom of the wood paneling within 1 foot from the floor in different areas of just about every room.
I spent pretty much the whole weekend scrubbing everything with bleach/water, burned the loveseat, scrubbing floors/furniture, etc.. I know black mold is the bad kind, this was like a whitish/greenish musty mold, but i'm still not taking any chances. I keep the place tightly shut when I leave, and windows are covered making it awfully dark even in daytime. Its a block building built over a crawl space there are 2 vents on the crawl space on all four sides, and the attic is vented at both ends.
My place is surrounded by trees, and gets hardly any sunlight on it at all. I know it was a wet summer, but is that enough to cause mold growth? I bought a dehumidifier with a hose to run into the shower when i'm not there for now on. Anybody have any ideas or suggestions On how to remedy this problem?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 03:22 PM
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

Wow, lots of different answers (not that I got the right ones at all) to that question. Since it is a block building is there a vapor barrier on the inside and is the outside sealed well enough (painted and such)? Is it possible to cut a couple of trees to let in a little light and heat? Seems that a dehumidifier with an powered attic vent would help to change the air and move the stagnant air.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 08:08 PM
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

Leave windows open a crack on each side of the house for cross ventilation.........
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:16 PM
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

be careful with this problem, some molds can be deadly like you said " the black kind"!! I would get some professional help or suggestions and go from there. How do the floor joists look on the under side in the crawl space?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 11:16 PM
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

I have the same type of camp-block with a crawl space. We had the same problems. Sometimes some mold and always damp and musty smelling.
One of the best things you can do is get a big, wide spreadout of the heaviest grade plastic you can find. Go under your crawlspace and spread it wall to wall under there. Put some cinder blocks on top to keep it wall to wall. That made a world of difference for us.
We also have a cutout in our ceiling-in the summer we have a screened frame that we put in that cutout to circulate air. In the winter, it is a solid plywood piece.
Since putting that plastic down though, it is not damp or musty inside. Good luck.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 11:33 PM
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

Wash archer, any changes in water movement?
Gutters? Hill side drainage? Roof leaking? The water has to be coming from somewhere. The plastic will help. Air movement is just as important.
Dehumidifier with a fan to move air from other rooms will help a lot.
Could a pipe have a slow leak?
Please keep us posted.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 11:45 PM
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

Did you ever think about growing mushrooms? Sounds like the perfect evironment.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:46 AM
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

Where is your camp? You can get it tested let me know if you need information. My wife's company does it they hav an office in dubois and main office in altoona. Mountain research good luck could be bad or nothing.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

Appreciate all the responses.. I think the first thing i'll do on my next trip is put down a heavy vapor barrier, and assess the underside of the camp. I'll probably have at least one tree a year cut as well. I have 3 or 4 that would open the camp up to adequate sunlight. Trees are 50+ foot tall and a couple within 10-15 from camp, so I'll need a pro to take them down. All the block are painted and sealed up. the small amount of plumbing is located in one central area there aren't any leaks. There is 1 inch Styrofoam insulation on the walls behind the paneling in between the furring strips. do you think I shoud put a vapor barrier on the walls as well behind the paneling? I plan on putting knotty pine on the walls within the next few years.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 09:51 PM
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Re: Mold issue in camp....

We have a similar problem at our camp. We need to remove some trees too. We are also on the north side of the mt. in the bottom of the valley (less direct sunlight most of the year), with a hollow and stream running down the mt. right next to us.

With your foam in the walls, it is obvious that your camp is not "breathing" sufficiently - I'm not against your foam, but you can't move air thru foam, hence it's superiority as an insulator. But you need to move air to move moisture - air carries moisture, but heat doesn't - but heat can make air move to carry moisture. You can also move air mechanically. do you have any roof vents?? Air can't get out the walls with the foam, but do you allow it to move up and out the roof?? Do you have soffit vents/gable vents to assist in air movement??

I am considering rooftop wind-driven ventilators for our camp - we have some wind there (not like higher up), and we also have a crawl space (which needs the plastic film put down also to block moisture up take thru the flooring). I'm thinking about some of the ventilators being connected to pipes running down to the crawl space to move more air there and removing moisture at the source, while having some ventilators pulling/pushing air thru the living space to move moisture.

just my thoughts right now.
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