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Keeping Mold And Moisture Out of An Unheated Cabin

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now I’ve got Marcia in Missouri who’s got a moisture question.

    MARCIA: Right. Yes. What the problem is – oh, a couple of years ago we – we have 80 acres in the country around Curryville, Missouri. And it’s basically an oversized, two-car garage that we made into a cabin. Concrete floor, OBS walls, painted ceiling, OBS material painted with a little vent. But it’s still – the furniture sometimes gets this white, little, powdery, moldy substance on it and gets a moldy smell. And sometimes, the concrete floor sweats and we were trying to figure out what can we put on that to eliminate that problem.

    TOM: Do you have a heating system in this cabin?

    MARCIA: No, no. There’s no electric, no water.

    TOM: Well, you chose very organic materials, of course, that are going to be attractive to mold when it’s moist and damp like that.

    What can you put on it? Well, let’s see. You could probably put mold control on it – Concrobium Mold Control. And that’s a product that’s available from Concrobium. And it basically absorbs into the wood and into those building materials and it will prevent mold from growing.

    But what you should also do is to try to take steps to minimize the moisture that’s collecting around the outside of this slab, because it’s probably drawing into the slab that way. So if you could do something as simple as install gutters on this cabin and keep the water away from that perimeter as much as you can, so it doesn’t just dump there, that will slow down the draw of moisture into the slab and reduce some of that humidity.

    MARCIA: Is there any type of, oh, concrete paint we could put on it?

    TOM: Well, you can still – you could put a – certainly, you could paint the concrete and that will stop some of the evaporation. But when you have an unheated building like this and you have all of those, like you said, OSB materials that you used in it, you’re going to get some mold.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And I think it’s important, Marcia, if you’re storing items in there, you don’t want anything in cardboard boxes sitting directly on the floor. You want to put them in plastic bins or you want to have metal shelving that you can sort of pick things up off of the floor.

    Same thing with your furniture. Even if you have a piece of wood furniture or a chair that has wooden legs, those are going to absorb up the moisture and then you’ll see mold and you’ll see cracking and splitting. So you want to get the stuff up off the floor.

    MARCIA: OK. Well, thank you so much for your time. I love your program. I listen to it every Saturday when we’re up there at the country and I’ll be up there Saturday.

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