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Help from those with basements: mildew/mold prevention(13 posts)

Help from those with basements: mildew/mold preventionBergMann
Aug 8, 2003 3:56 PM
Any one have any experience with moist basements?

I'm looking for some sort of product I can safely treat nylon fabrics with to clean up and prevent mold/mildew from growing on items stored in a rather humid basement.

I put a baby jogger I received from a friend down there about a month ago, and yesterday I discovered that the cordura nylon material of the seat, canopy, etc. were totally covered in mildew. There's nothing growing on the walls or anywhere else down there, but this did happen to me last year with an padded ski bag -- that time around I assumed the bag hadn't dried completely after the last use, but that jogger was dry as a bone when I put it down there.

We have other items down there in sealed plastic bins to protect them against the humid summer months but with a large item like a baby jogger, this isn't really an option. (We've had a lot of rain recently, and although we don't have any noticeable leaks down there, it sure hasn't helped the moisture level).

Any tips or suggestions?

I really don't have any other storage options, and I've got a brand new Chariot baby trailer down there as well that hasn't grown anything yet, but if theres something I can treat nylon fabrics with that would keep mildew from growing, I'd be glad for the ounce of prevention.
re: Help from those with basements: mildew/mold preventionCarbonJoe
Aug 8, 2003 4:08 PM
One word - Dehumidifier. A good one will set you back about $140 - $160, but it's well worth it. If you get the Whirlpool one (also sold as the Sears model), you can either empty the bucket daily, or punch the plug out of the bucket, hook a hose to it, and run the hose to a drain. I don't have any water problems, but the basement gets humid, too. One unit handles my 1200 sq ft basement, no problem.

Then you don't have to mess with mildew.
carbon joe is correct...bicycle268
Aug 8, 2003 4:33 PM
we had horrible mildew problems till we got that humidifier!! we originally used those chemical moisture sopping buckets from k-mart but what a waste of money!!

Now does anyone know how to get rid of those HUGE 'meaty' crickets? They're so big they look like they could eat my ksyriums!!
Thanks guys ... how often will I be emptying if no drain?BergMann
Aug 8, 2003 5:34 PM
Just hit the sears website. Looks like even their basic model has an automatic "humidistat" control which is important -- I'd want the unit to pretty much run itself.

A question for both of you: my basement is about the size of Joes: how much water does one of these machines harvest in a 24 hour period? Since I suspect we don't have a drain down there, bucket size on a given unit may well be a decisive factor.

Will the 18 pint bucket capacity (30 pt./24 hr. dehumidif. capacity) of the small Sears unit let me run it for a couple of days at a time?
Thanks guys ... how often will I be emptying if no drain?CarbonJoe
Aug 8, 2003 5:43 PM
I have the 40 pint model (that's 40 pints pulled from the air in 24 hours). Obviously it depends on how humid the air is, and what setting you set the humidistat on. I set mine a little below half way, and it takes about 24 hours to fill the bucket (it has a level sensor). This is in the Cleveland area. Never had a mildew problem since I got it.
Dehumidifier to Condensate Pumpjamesau
Aug 8, 2003 7:14 PM
If you have central A/C you probably have a small condensate pump in the basement to pump out condensate that collects on the coils. Run hose from dehumidifier to condensate pump and all will be right. If you don't have any other obvious drain solution, I'd rig up a condensate pump to a new drain (tap into existing plumbing) just for the convenience of not having to empty it manually every (other) day.
Use sump pump well for drainMisJG
Aug 9, 2003 5:41 AM
If you don't have a drain in the basement, use the sump pump well. That's how my parents have their's set up. The dehumidifier helps keep the basement nice and cool also.
re: Help from those with basements: mildew/mold preventionAkirasho
Aug 8, 2003 6:41 PM
... agree, I use a 40 pint dehumidifier... connected to drain (same as washer and tub sink) via a section of garden hose... thus, no emptying.

As a testament to it's "effectiveness", it runs continuously on it's medium setting and I no longer have a "black mold" growing on a couple of walls (don't know if it's the infamous black mold... cuz I ain't dead yet)... and I feel it's money well spent for an old (70+ years) basement (all of my cycling toys are stored there... as well as my shop, HVAC, water heater, washer/dryer and my "workout" room, along with backup 'pooter and 27" TV).

Also, the central air helps dry the atmosphere down there a bit.

Be the bike.
Parting shot: additional monthly E-bill?BergMann
Aug 8, 2003 8:45 PM
Anyone want to venture a guess how much running a 30-40 pint dehumidifier on auto-humidistat mode costs on a monthly basis?

I know, for example, that running two Kenmore AC units with auto-thermostat features costs me about an additional $25 / mo.

Think it will be comparable to my smaller 4000 BTU air conditioner?
... try deferring part of the cost...Akirasho
Aug 9, 2003 3:50 AM
I couldn't even begin to hazard a guess (the usage literature may be stuffed in the basement somewhere... but since we rely so heavily on electicity, it's hard to seperate usage to individual (especially the smaller ones) appliances and such. I'd also imagine that it varies according to make and size (many now come with an Energy Star rating so you can at least compare) as well as your ambient humidity...

I try to offset some of the cost by going to Edison base flourescent lighting virtually everywhere in the house (there are only 3 or 4 spots where incandescents are needed). If you haven't done so already, this may help offset the cost.

Be the bike.
Sure it's not the A/C?MisJG
Aug 9, 2003 5:43 AM
Are you sure that the extra $$ isn't at least partly due to running the A/C? We don't have a basement (thus no dehumidifier) and our electric bill shoots up in the summer just from running the A/C.
re: Help from those with basements: mildew/mold preventionPicshooter
Aug 9, 2003 8:16 AM
In addition to prevention, There are products available to restore waterproofing/prevent mildew stains for boat covers that might be of some use to you.
One more thingMel Erickson
Aug 9, 2003 12:47 PM
Put a fan in the basement to move the air around. Even though you use a dehumidifier the air can be stagnant in a basement and spots can still be humid enough to produce mildew. A large box fan, strategically placed, helps stir up the air and dry out the basement.