Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Winter Update: Crisis Averted

I would like to write the equivalent of a pat-on-the-back blog, where I describe how happy we are, living in tiny house bliss, basically underlining the correctness of our decision and endeavors with the fencl.  Unfortunately, I have chosen to forgo the ego-stroke and tell the truth, giving you an overview of what I like to call the winter crisis of 2012. 
It started with the discovery of mold or mildew (still not sure of the difference) that grew just inside the windows, gray and fuzzy.  Then I noticed it along the walls, and it felt, for a very short time, like we were drowning in it.
A gross picture for your viewing pleasure.
After taking apart sections of the wall, Steve and I were relieved to find very little mold growing behind the removed panels.  It was only over the wheel wells, where the cold metal was creating condensation, which left the boards damp.  This was actually good news, because for a while we were worried that rain was somehow getting through the walls, but no, nothing so serious.   

Behind the wall panels.
Condensation Galore
To remedy the problem we simply used spray foam insulation on the inside of the wheel wells, creating a barrier of sorts.  It looks a little funny, a massive pile of bright yellow, visible behind the tires, but I don't care.  It works.  Any metal that comes in direct contact with our wall boards is no longer exposed to cold air.  An obvious problem with an obvious solution, but in all my reading preparation I never heard the heads-up.  So there it is.
As for the windows, I sprayed them with bleach and let them marinade in it.  Then I rinsed them off, removing all traces of mold, before rubbling them down with tung oil.  I leave them cracked now, the cool air sweeping in just enough to dry out the panes.  The bay window is the worst though, with no opening, it wants to be one giant mold fest.  But I've got things figured out now.  Small houses are more likely to grow mold, Steve warned me of this having lived in a camper, but it doesn't have to be a losing battle.  I am happy to say our house is mold free. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this valuable piece of information. I often check your site to see if you've added anything because I love the simplicity and clean way you've decorated. And you are honest about your experiences. Thanks again.

Halley Evans said...

Thanks so much!

Unknown said...

Good to hear that your house is free from mold. Mold is not a good thing to see at one's home. It’s really wise to get rid of it immediately before things get worst.

Barry @ carsonscleaningandrestoration.com

Marsha Cowan said...

Mold was my first concern when building my tiny house which is only 6x6 on the inside, more like an off grid camper. I put 24" windows on all three sides,, and a screen window in the door, and I keep a crack in one or two windows all the time I am using my propane heater (which produces moisture), and I open two windows at least 3" every time I use the propane cooktop. After a long cold wet winter in NC, I can report no mold problems ever! Good article and thanks for the mold advice.