Let's talk about MOLD

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SwissMissMama
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Let's talk about MOLD

Post by SwissMissMama » Fri, 22 Jun 2012 3:38 pm

After some researching on the forum I still have some questions on MOLD.

1) How common is it to find mold in your apartment? If it's a new condo (within 5 years built) do you still need to be concerned?

2) Do your belongings that stay inside your condo really get mold growing on them?

3) If you keep your air/con on all the time, will this prevent moldy things in your condo?

4) Is it common to find some stuff go moldy in your shipping container? If the container was "sea-worthy" with no leakage, would stuff still get moldy perhaps?

5) Are de-humidifiers a very common appliance in every home or just condos that are older and have more moisture issues? Or does everyone have moisture issues in their condos?

6) If you vacuum pack clothes that you don't wear often (winter stuff for mainly travel) will that prevent mold?

What else am I forgetting to ask about mold? Please educate me! :) I grew up in the desert with "dry heat" and never had mold issues!

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Post by nakatago » Fri, 22 Jun 2012 3:50 pm

One of our resident experts (ev-disinfection) in icky things has this to say: http://www.evdisinfection.com/live-mold-free-in-sg.html

NOTE: as of press time, document in link results in error. You can either wait or maybe try emailing them.

Generally,

* spores + humidity + dark places = mold. And there are spores everywhere in Singapore. Gross generalization but you get the idea. As a hobbyist photographer, mold is a very serious and expensive problem for me.
* circulating air helps. opening windows AND turning on fans regularly helps.
* cold air can reduce humidity so turning on the AC can help
* you can buy dehumidfying appliances or those thirsty hippo thingies. You can also buy jars of silica gel. They can be had from photography supply stores (3.50-7 bucks a jar). They're dark blue when new and gradually turn pink as they saturate with moisture. The best thing is, you CAN reuse them! Just put those beads in a microwavable dish you won't use for food anymore or in conventional oven dish. 3 minutes in the microwave boils away all the moisture and they'll turn dark blue again. Several minutes in a conventional oven helps too! Keep away from foodstuff and children who like putting all sorts of things in their mouths.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by SwissMissMama » Fri, 22 Jun 2012 8:26 pm

Wow, that article link is impressive! Thanks so much! I never thought about using different shoes for inside/outside. Do most people do this? Is there a place to keep your shoes outside the home?

If you are in a newer, large condo building, is the aircon unit specific where you can get it serviced/checked out before you sign the lease?

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nakatago
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Post by nakatago » Fri, 22 Jun 2012 8:45 pm

SwissMissMama wrote:Wow, that article link is impressive! Thanks so much! I never thought about using different shoes for inside/outside. Do most people do this? Is there a place to keep your shoes outside the home?
On a personal note, we don't do this even though we're Southeast Asian. For one thing, we have our windows open whenever we're at home. Another, we (well, I) sweep the floors often.

But it is a quite common here in Southeast Asia.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by the lynx » Sat, 23 Jun 2012 10:25 am

nakatago wrote:
SwissMissMama wrote:Wow, that article link is impressive! Thanks so much! I never thought about using different shoes for inside/outside. Do most people do this? Is there a place to keep your shoes outside the home?
On a personal note, we don't do this even though we're Southeast Asian. For one thing, we have our windows open whenever we're at home. Another, we (well, I) sweep the floors often.

But it is a quite common here in Southeast Asia.
And the locals actually go bare footed in the house. They will leave their shoes at the door the moment they step in and wear them back the moment they step out.

Speaking of keeping your shoes outside the home, most people allocate a space near their house's entrance for shoes cabinets where they keep their shoes. You won't see this in HDB because shoe theft is possible (so they have shoe cabinets right next to the door INSIDE) but if you stay in a condominium where there is security, you can place shoe cabinets outside of your door.

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Post by nakatago » Sat, 23 Jun 2012 10:32 am

What puzzles me is why Singapore doesn't do what the Japanese do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genkan
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by x9200 » Sat, 23 Jun 2012 8:16 pm

It's probably a bit impractical. We do the same in my country (Eastern Europe). Older building have typically some entrance corridor where people can take off shoes but some more modern ones not necessarily. It take space (particularly sacred in SG) and requires more difficult floor planning.

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Post by zzm9980 » Sat, 23 Jun 2012 8:33 pm

the lynx wrote:
nakatago wrote:
SwissMissMama wrote:Wow, that article link is impressive! Thanks so much! I never thought about using different shoes for inside/outside. Do most people do this? Is there a place to keep your shoes outside the home?
On a personal note, we don't do this even though we're Southeast Asian. For one thing, we have our windows open whenever we're at home. Another, we (well, I) sweep the floors often.

But it is a quite common here in Southeast Asia.
And the locals actually go bare footed in the house. They will leave their shoes at the door the moment they step in and wear them back the moment they step out.

Speaking of keeping your shoes outside the home, most people allocate a space near their house's entrance for shoes cabinets where they keep their shoes. You won't see this in HDB because shoe theft is possible (so they have shoe cabinets right next to the door INSIDE) but if you stay in a condominium where there is security, you can place shoe cabinets outside of your door.
I have one of those cabinets, and I've had mold grown inside some seldom worn dress shoes :(

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Post by nakatago » Sat, 23 Jun 2012 11:04 pm

x9200 wrote: It take space (particularly sacred in SG) and requires more difficult floor planning.
But they manage to pull it off in Tokyo.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by the lynx » Sat, 23 Jun 2012 11:54 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
the lynx wrote:
nakatago wrote: On a personal note, we don't do this even though we're Southeast Asian. For one thing, we have our windows open whenever we're at home. Another, we (well, I) sweep the floors often.

But it is a quite common here in Southeast Asia.
And the locals actually go bare footed in the house. They will leave their shoes at the door the moment they step in and wear them back the moment they step out.

Speaking of keeping your shoes outside the home, most people allocate a space near their house's entrance for shoes cabinets where they keep their shoes. You won't see this in HDB because shoe theft is possible (so they have shoe cabinets right next to the door INSIDE) but if you stay in a condominium where there is security, you can place shoe cabinets outside of your door.
I have one of those cabinets, and I've had mold grown inside some seldom worn dress shoes :(
I never have that problem with my leather pumps. I have a habit of keeping seldom-worn shoes in own boxes with silica gel thrown inside to take care of the moisture issue.

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Post by BigSis » Sun, 24 Jun 2012 7:30 am

We don't get much mold in our apartment although it's an older condo (well, old for Singapore - over 30 yeas old). I do get mold on leather shoes though so have to keep an eye on that - they usually just need a polish before wearing if I don't wear them often.

Clothes smell musty after a few months if they're not worn. I used to spend a small fortune on those thirsty hippo things when we first moved here but they didn't work that well so we haven't bothered with them for years. What I do now is just wash the clothes a few days before I want to wear them. If you wear them often it's no problem, but if you have something special and you only wear it for weddings or something you'd need to plan in advance. Likewise I have to wash our warmer clothes before we travel to colder countries as they always smell musty because they only get worn then (vacuum sealed bags never seemed to work that well so I stopped bothering with them)

We always remove shoes before coming into the house which is an easy thing to do here as they're usually sandals or flip-flops and there's a dry place to store them outside the apartment. I don't know what we'll do when we move back to Europe as it's a house with no porch or covered area outside, but I'd like people to continue removing their shoes as they come in because we're in the habit of doing it now. It's harder there though as people wear 'trickier' shoes like boots and things.

More than mold, the main problem we have is things perishing or going rusty. Computer parts stop working due to the climate affecting them, bikes go rusty really quickly, things perish because of the heat/humidity - I had a light fitting in the kitchen fall apart in my hands the other week when I went to change the bulb and we had to go and buy a new one. My trainers have just been binned because despite only being 3 years old they were falling apart (the plastic and rubber parts had started disintegrating!).

You also get mildew on things like books and photos (don't bring valuable books or precious photos here, leave them in storage). Books which were only bought 5 years ago look like they're 50 years old. Also pictures behind glass (especially photos) - they can stick to the glass and you'll never be able to remove them from the frame.

I don't think I'd bother with a dehumidifier - it'd be like fighting a losing battle (and I'd probably forget to empty it!)

Our stuff didn't go moldy in the container on the way out but we're about to move back again - I'll have to see what condition it is in when it arrives. It will probably be too late to let you know though as you sound like you're coming here soon and our stuff won't arrive until August/September I guess.

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Post by Asian_Geekette » Sun, 24 Jun 2012 5:47 pm

nakatago wrote: * you can buy dehumidfying appliances or those thirsty hippo thingies. You can also buy jars of silica gel. They can be had from photography supply stores (3.50-7 bucks a jar). They're dark blue when new and gradually turn pink as they saturate with moisture. The best thing is, you CAN reuse them! Just put those beads in a microwavable dish you won't use for food anymore or in conventional oven dish. 3 minutes in the microwave boils away all the moisture and they'll turn dark blue again. Several minutes in a conventional oven helps too! Keep away from foodstuff and children who like putting all sorts of things in their mouths.
Thanks for this tip! I've been wondering where to get lots of silica gel for their moisture absorption. :)
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Post by PrimroseHill » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:01 am

Question - I have a lot of sealed boxes of books, ornaments, glassware, tables, chairs, paintings some clothes too & china that were packed back in London and are still sealed in their original boxes.
We have not opened those boxes, there are stacked up in the maid's room and a spare room. I do on a fortnightly open the doors and turn on the fan and sometimes the a/c to air the rooms for an hour or so and I do have some thristy hippos.

Will my boxes and whatever thats inside will it stand the test of time?

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Post by nakatago » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:08 am

PrimroseHill wrote:Question - I have a lot of sealed boxes of books, ornaments, glassware, tables, chairs, paintings some clothes too & china that were packed back in London and are still sealed in their original boxes.
We have not opened those boxes, there are stacked up in the maid's room and a spare room. I do on a fortnightly open the doors and turn on the fan and sometimes the a/c to air the rooms for an hour or so and I do have some thristy hippos.

Will my boxes and whatever thats inside will it stand the test of time?
Hard to say--we can't tell if humid air got into those boxes. How good a seal do you have? That said, dry paper/cardboard is a good dessicant (re: absorbs moisture), aside from the thirsty hippos.

There's a fairly good chance that your stuff is ok although I'm not sure I'm willing to risk the paintings and/or other valuable stuff.
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Post by JayCee » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 7:16 pm

the lynx wrote:You won't see this in HDB because shoe theft is possible (so they have shoe cabinets right next to the door INSIDE) but if you stay in a condominium where there is security, you can place shoe cabinets outside of your door.
Unfortunately living in a condo makes no real difference in this respect.

I have had shoes stolen from outside the door in both of my previous condos (first one a brand spanking new, fancy Dan place in East coast, second one a late 90s built condo near Buona Vista, just moved to a third one and hope to not see the issue again but won't hold my breath).

I think it was the cleaners in the second place as the security found a large stash of shoes (not including mine unfortunately) in the multi-storey car park which no-one had any knowledge of :roll:
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