High humidty in House 72% Rh, creating mold to leather shoes in closet.

Anybody ever dealt with this situation?

House and closet from my senses were stuffy.

There was not a water leak problem…no water intrusion.

The temperature of the closet was 68 degrees and the Rh was 72%

The outside temperature was 90 degress with a RH of 33%.

A pair of leather shoes had mold growth. I took a sample and

Im waiting for the results…

Is the solution as simple as opening the windows of the house?

David

I would say best idea is an auto dehumidifier set at 50 % RH with a hose to drain the water away .
Who would close the windows when it rains .
A larger gap under closet door would not hurt.

My parents bedroom closet was like that for years. It backed up to a bathroom with a vent stack in the wall. Turned out the vent had a small leak every time it rained. After years, mold inside the bathroom cabinets revealed itself and there was also extensive damage to the sub-floor.

Caution Will Robinson!

In my neck of the woods this problem is almost always related to very high infiltration levels in the home and a too moist crawl.

The stack effect is drawing in air from the flooded crawlspace (leaky ductwork, poor grading, clogged gutters, inoperable sump, and no vapor barrier) 24-7.

I can almost diagnose it over the phone. Of course the problem is not the mold on clothes. The problem is the subfloor and Rim joist that is rotting to the ground.

Now if you tell me that don’t have a basement or a crawl, then you need to look elsewhere to track down the high humidity levels. Low natural leakage with no ventilation in humid rooms? Not running the AC? Running the fan constantly even when the ACs not on?

I never thought of taking a sample; Hmm?

What would I do with the results? If the sample results will not change my course of action, I don’t take a sample.

FWIW,

Mark

I got involved last year with a case between a builder and a new home owner. One of the so called experts hired by the builder said the mold was being caused by the fan on the air handler running all the time. I remember reading a study that actually concluded differently and after a few hours of looking I found it. If I ever run across the study again I will post it. Actually the constant air movement reduces the humidity levels. That is why you will find more mold in closets or under stair wells and such, because the air is stagnant. Other than that Mark has it about right.
Dehumidification will need to be performed such as Roy says but the dehumidifier should be set about 35% instead of 50. During the hot time of the year, the cold air of the inside meets with the hot air from outside and will create higher humidity inside the outer walls or along the inside surface of the outer walls. So to keep mold from growing the inside humidity needs to be kept below 40%.

Thanks for the info.

Great info…

I run into this from time to time, installing a louvered door helps, tell clients not to pack the closet wall to wall and leave an air space around the walls.

Quite simple actually…

Both the 68 degree air and the 90 degree air have the same heat and moisture.
(+/- 4 btu/lb and 3 grns/lb) (I’m sure your measurement error factor covers this).

Closet air is just not getting to the HVAC equipment.

Actually it does not. But seeing running the fan helps in other ways, we’ll just leave it at that.

Basements Are An Invitation For Mold
Damp Basements Are An Invitation For Mold

Basement Mold Will Grow Even If There Have Never Been Flooding or Leaks.

http://www.basementdehumidifiers.net/articles/wp-content/uploads/mold_everywhere.jpg

Many people associate mold in basements with flooding. Although flooding, leaky pipes, leaky roofs and clogged gutters are certainly contributors to mold growth, many times the main culprit is excessive basement humidity. Regardless the air temperature, there will always be cold concrete floors and wall materials that take on the ground temperature of the soil around your home. A damp basement can provide an inviting environment for mold growth. Mold grows the fastest in your basement when there is lots of moisture. It can grow on many surfaces, including walls, floors, carpets, ceiling tile, wallpaper and insulation.

  • Have you ever opened the basement door and noticed the musty smell of your basement even though it looks completely clean?
  • No matter how much you vacuum floors and clean surfaces, do you find that the odor is still there?

The most common place for mold growth is beneath carpet, behind drywall and behind insulation. Basement mold grows directly on the concrete floor, cinder block, brick or concrete walls and beneath pipe insulation.

Molds are microscopic organisms that are a type of fungi. There are over 100,00 species of mold and mold spores are so minute that as many as 250,000 can fit onto the head of a pin! Besides negatively affecting your health, molds can damage your home. They can eat through basement insulation, wood framing, carpeting and other organic matter. When molds eat this organic matter they emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that contribute to poor air quality.
You can usually detect mold in your basement by smell or sight. Spots on walls, floors and carpets are indications of mold infestation. Molds produce a highly noticeable damp, musty odor that in extreme cases can be overpowering. Peeling paint and stained wallpaper are other indicators of mold growth. Many homeowners make the mistake of painting over mold. Out of site out of mind doesn’t apply here. Painting over mold is a poor mold remediation solution because mold will feed on the paint itself.
If you do have mold in your basement don’t feel alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 60% of U.S. homes have wet basements. Even well built and sealed basements that would not have mold under normal circumstances can develop mold growth from high humidity. Many basements feature concrete walls and floors. Unfortunately, concrete is a porous substance that can trap moisture and provide a home for mold growth. Wet basement walls and floors are usually signs of condensation caused by high humidity.
The optimal humidity level in your basement should be below 50%. You can check the humidity level in your basement with a humidistat. The best way to accomplish 50% or less humidity is with a good quality basement dehumidifier. The Dri-Basement dehumidifier can handle the heavy moisture loads in large, damp basements. By removing the moisture from the air in your basement, you deprive mold a suitable environment to live in. This commercial grade basement dehumidifier can keep your basement dry and mold free.
When you install the Dri-Basement dehumidifier there are things you can do to help its performance. Make sure all windows and doors to your basement are tightly sealed to stop outside air from entering. Remove any wet or damp items from your basement. It is also very important to vent your clothes dryer. Unvented dryers create a warm, humid environment conducive to mold growth.
Use a Dri-Basement dehumidifier to make your basement a more clean and comfortable area. Remember, a dry, clean smelling basement not only provides additional living and storage space, but it can increase the value of your home.

I wouldn’t run a dehumidifier I would find the source of the water. If I had to bet there is either moisture in the crawl space or a leak some place near the closet. There is to far of a difference between inside and outside in my opinion.

There is only a 0.509 grain/cu ft of moisture difference between the indoor and outdoor air.

I hope you don’t think that a 33% to 72% RH difference has anything significant to do with the differential of moisture in the air!?

If you can’t get the air into the air conditioner, a dehumidifier (same as an a/c excepts it heats up the house) is your only choice.

David,
At 68 degrees at 72% humidity that would defiantly create enough moisture to cause mold to grow.

“Show me” ; you are from MO… ! :wink:

Do you think I make this stuff up?

I never said it wouldn’t. I said that the source of the moisture is from the outdoor air, not a catastrophic water leak somewhere that no one found…

I also said the HVAC is not performing in the closet.
Someone said to change the door…

I said you need a source of dehumidification because of this problem.

Can you read one of these?

That didn’t print right; AW is Grains/cu ft.

Why? It has nothing to do with the quantity of moisture in the air. It is about the capacity of the air to hold moisture.

Would it not be simple to condition the area if a walk in or vent the door. Should be the first thing i would think .

I not arguing with most of what you are saying just you are looking at it the wrong way. Mold can grow with that much moisture in the air.

When warm air and cool moisture meet that is when you get most of your moisture. This is how rain is formed in the atmosphere. A home is no different. When the air gets full and cannot carry any more water or when the air flow is slowed down, restricted or stopped, that is when the air releases the moisture.

This is a greater problem than just the closet. He stated in the first post that the house was musty. This is due to moisture. Especially if it’s an older house the natural air changes per hour should have cleared out some of the musty odors and the interior moisture. The issue is the moisture in the house is coming in faster than it can get out. I would bet the closet was close to the same moisture level as other parts of the home, the fact is that if it’s over 60% humidity your giving the mold the moisture it needs. The closet happens to be dark and a better condition to grow the mold. This issue is likely from one or more problems. The people are adding the moisture into the home with showers or dryer not vented outside. Large number of plants in the home or the house is just to tight. I would bet it’s more of a issue with moisture under the home. To much moisture and not enough ventilation or no plastic. Possibly add poor site drainage even if it’s a slab can cause issues inside the home. More info needs to be gathered before a conclusion is made.

Again, I said: "I never said it wouldn’t."


**How do you figure I’m looking at it the wrong way when I never said it wouldn’t cause mold. Do I have to spell this Canadian? **

Your the one looking at it the wrong way! You don’t “get” moisture, it’s already there. It doesn’t have to change state for the mold to grow. The same amount of moisture is there no matter what state it is in, liquid or vapor. The # of Btu’s change, the moisture does not. Water vapor diffuses into the shoes and building materials depending on how hygroscopic they are.

Air releases moisture when it stops? So fast moving air can hold more water than slow moving air? I don’t see no air flow factors on the psychrometric chart! In all actuality, the higher the air flow the greater amounts of moisture will be absorbed by the shoes in the closet. It’s about vapor pressure. Higher vapor pressure in the air moves to lower pressures in the shoes. The more air movement, the more vapor at a higher pressure will contact the shoes.

It doesn’t have to rain for mold to grow.

This is a greater problem than just the closet.
Yes it is, but we have no further “factual” information to base any other “assumptions”.
 
Especially if it’s an older house the natural air changes per hour should have cleared out some of the musty odors and the interior moisture.
How can you clear out moisture with moisture laden air of the same volume?

The issue is the moisture in the house is coming in faster than it can get out.
How can you have moisture coming in at a greater rate when the moisture level is the same inside and out?

I would bet the closet was close to the same moisture level as other parts of the home,
you’re probably right.

the fact is that if it’s over 60% humidity your giving the mold the moisture it needs.
Absolutely.

The people are adding the moisture into the home with showers or dryer not vented outside. Large number of plants in the home or the house is just to tight. I would bet it’s more of a issue with moisture under the home.
 
To much moisture and not enough ventilation or no plastic.
 
Possibly add poor site drainage even if it’s a slab can cause issues inside the home.
Are you saying that the inspector did not inspect plastic vapor barriers, site drainage, water intrusion under the house, inadequate shower ventilation.

More info needs to be gathered before a conclusion is made.
Seems that a lot of conclusions are being made here without any supporting information.

We provide you with more information that can be factually proven and you want to make up stuff instead.
This is what the psychrometric chart is supposed to look like if it’s 90° outside and the air conditioner is running.

](*,)

This is what it would look like if you were dumping steam from the shower, had a dryer vent leak, had a massive roof leak, ran the whirlpool tub 24/7 , had a marijuana grow operation in progress etc.