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Rainy weather brings moisture control issues

We have certainly faired better with rainfall the last couple of weeks. With these recent rains, some people are experiencing excess moisture problems in their homes.

Mildew and musty odors will develop during a period of damp weather. Mildew usually begins to grow where the relative humidity remains at 60 per cent and temperature is 60 degrees or higher.

Typically, mildew appears on the surfaces of bathroom tile or leather or plastic goods stored in closets. Musty odors are often associated with clothes chests, closets, upholstered furniture or carpets. Removal of accessible surface deposits of mildew may clear up the odor. Some deodorizers in pressurized spray cans assist in reducing musty odors in furniture and carpet material.

The type of solution recommended to remove mildew will depend on the particular surface. Test cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous place, first, to avoid embarrassing bleached spots that could occur. Mildew will likely return when the level of dampness approaches 60 percent relative humidity or higher. Thus, homemakers often find themselves in a never-ending cycle of cleaning mildewed surfaces.

In some cases, the solution to an excess moisture problem can be as simple as purchasing a dehumidifier. In other cases the solution is much more complicated. If there is a crawl space under your home, take a look to see if the soil is staying damp. I had this problem under my home, and I put down a layer of plastic which solved the mildew problem. Continued problems with excess moisture could lead to structural damage to your home.

If you are having this problem come by the Extension office at 116 Main Street for a bulletin we have entitled "Moisture Control in Homes."

Web posted on Thursday, July 6, 2006

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