Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mold Wars

I've gone around and around our apartment wiping the windows.  I have sprayed mold killer repeatedly.  I am literally at my wit's end trying to figure out how to abate the mold in our apartment.

We don't have bad windows.  The windows are double-paned vinyl storm windows.  No aluminum or crappy glass in sight.  We don't have bad air flow inside our apartment.  We both run the ceiling fan when we shower, and I run the closet fan while I'm doing laundry.  I open the windows every possible chance, but that really only leaves about two months of the year in Oregon.  I've placed DampRid containers in two of the four windows, but that doesn't seem to help very much.

We keep the humidity as low as possible.  We don't warm our apartment as much, but my experience tells me that warmer air holds more moisture, therefore causing more condensation, so a colder apartment should have less mold.  By not heating, I'm saying we keep inside temps between 63° and 72°.  We were down under 60° a couple times, but that's just not reasonable.

From what I understand, double-pane windows only condense if there is a leak around the sill.  Since I'm not a homeowner, there's nothing I can do about the sills.  I seriously doubt our apartment managers are going to do anything about poor construction.

The walls are dry, and there are no signs of mold in the bathroom or kitchen (thankfully!).  When I enter our apartment, I don't smell mold or musty odors--usually just whatever I've cooked most recently.  And I haven't been itching nearly as bad this winter as last, so I feel like I'm staying on top of it.  Talk about frustrating, though, having to paper-towel every window every day.

What are your experiences with apartment windows?  How do you keep condensation to a minimum?

1 comment:

`Adrielne said...

In my old apartment, we kept having horrible window problems. It wasn't mold, but an odd musky smell around the windows. What happened? The bricks and cement that was around the windows were old and water would get in when ice thawed or after it rained and after staying in the wall for a few weeks, it'd start smelling like old socks. Or dead plants. We could do nothing but ask the landlord to do something. Of course, he didn't do a thing, and we just had to live with it.
In this apartment, our walls were a bit moldy, so we took a can of anti-mold paint undercoat to them. Apart from smelling like hell and a half, it did nothing to help - but changing the windows (we own the place, so we can do that) fixed the problem.
Good luck with your mold - or rather, with seeing it go away! :)