How have you cured mold?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nugget, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel like we've been living in a rain forest this summer. I've never seen such humidity. It's gross. Everything feels wet. The biting insects LOVE it. I hate it.

    I rehomed all my roosters about 2 weeks ago, cutting my number of chickens by half (7 standards and 1 bantam). We emptied the coop, vacuumed it, washed it, washed the floor, the walls, the nest boxes, the window... then filled it with fresh wood chips and set it all back up.

    Tonight I went in to tuck them in for the night and saw MOLD!!!! Mold is growing on the walls! [​IMG]

    The coop is 6x8 feet, with an open screened window, an open hatch, and an exhaust fan (bathroom fan) that is running 24-7. It is fully insulated with vapour barrier and wood paneling on the inside walls. The chips aren't wet, they haven't spilled their water. It's even growing in corners where there is no food or water kept.

    I would be really surprised if ventilation is the problem... I'm going to have to clean it out tomorrow. Has anyone dealt with this sort of thing? What did you do? What works and what doesn't? I could plug the heat lamp back in to dry things out maybe but that's going to be warm in there. Any thoughts appreciated.
     
  2. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Ventilation helps but you said you have that solved.

    Dealing with active mold is not easy. You must remove as much as you can
    with water, bleach, and a towel. Many people just spray it with bleach and
    expect it to die. It makes it worse and the dust then goes airborne.

    Get some Kilz or other sealer and paint the bad areas. Mold loves porous wood.
    You can actually paint right over the mold with Kilz and other sealers.

    Wear a mask when you do it.

    99.9% of molds are harmless but allergic reactions can happen.
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Hope someone can help you out with the mold.
     
  4. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing to keep in mind with an excessively insulated coop is that you are not just trying to keep moisture from coming in from the outside, but also from building up inside as well. The vapor barrier may likely be keeping too much moisture inside rather than allowing the wood to breathe. Where are you located? I am in Western Mass and we have had over 23 inches of rain over the last 9 weeks :eek: and my coop is perfectly dry. The shavings may need replacing a bit more often as the birds track more mud in but the walls, floor and roosts are completely dry. Having too much insulation in the coop can be far worse than not enough. My coop is not insulated at all and our winter temps can go down to -20.

    Richard
     
  5. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, I just looked at your webpage and think I see the problem. The size of the window and chicken door are not nearly large enough to provide enough ventilation in such a closed in coop. Even with the fan running it will still not be able to keep up with the high humidity in the air and all of the moisture being exhaled by the birds at night. As I said in my last post, it is dangerous to have a tightly sealed coop as it causes more problems than solves. Inability of the moisture to evaporate out is only one of them. Another problem is during the cold winter. Moisture will be even more of a problem at that time and frostbite will be a constant risk. The coop is truly beautiful and the craftsmanship is superb. Unfortunately, I think it needs some renovations to make it more practical. Gaps and cracks that allow for a lot of air movement while keeping the wind off the birds is best. Otherwise you will be insulating all of the moisture in.
     
  6. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in Nova Scotia, Canada. We have really cold winters but with the insulation and a heat lamp it never went below freezing in the coop (we have a remote thermometer). It's insulated as a house would be (my father in law is a contractor and I kind of let him do his thing. He got a kick out of helping us with it). Considering this, I can't understand why it would go moldy when our house isn't.

    Could it really be a ventilation problem?? A bathroom vent fan sucking air 24 hours a day and 2 open "windows"? It doesn't feel "wet" in the coop... when I mentioned that above (that things feel wet) I meant the sofa cushions, the pillows... there's this dampness because of the constant rain, fog and humidity that we've had since May. I couldn't imagine there's less air flow than a less insulated coop with no fan [​IMG]

    Thanks for your thoughts. I will be careful cleaning it out tomorrow. The mold is on the walls, not in the wood chips or perches

    Wait... I'm putting a thought together. It's fibreglass insulation. I would suppose that within the insulation itself there would be a delay in how long it takes for the core of the insulation itself to adjust to temperature changes (cool off at night, warm up in the day). If the insulation cooled down at night, then as the air warmed up maybe there could be condensation from the warmer air inside the coop (sucked in by the fan) and the cooler insulation in the walls? Maybe the fan should be off at night... I should probably talk to a builder or my father in law. Hmmm...
     
  7. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could be right MaransGuy. I'll talk to my father in law about putting in more ventilation. The coop has been lived in since last August. This is the first time there's been a problem, but this summer has been ridiculous for moisture. There's definitely a problem... We'll look at improving ventilation. And maybe turning on a lower wattage bulb (instead of the heat lamp) to try and dry things out without heating it up too badly

    (thanks for the compliments by the way [​IMG] )
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  8. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    What if you went to home depot or lowes and got mold away spray and then closed it up and put in a DEhumidier. Just a thought. The kilz might be good after the mold away spray.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could put in a dehumidifier... there are outlets in there [​IMG]
    Man, I thought my chickens were spoiled before lol
    My husband found one at a yard sale for $2... wonder if I could find another.
     
  10. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You bring up some very important points. First, there is really no reason at all to try to keep the coop above freezing during the winter. It actually makes it more difficult for the birds to adjust to the cold outside when it is kept too warm inside. Cold does not cause frostbite, moisture does. Birds are far more insulated than we are and do not have the problems with cold temps that we imagine they do. My coop may drop down in the single digits during really cold nights and the birds are just fine. Insulating a coop as well as a house is not actually a good idea. The reason is because of the exact problem you are having.

    The reason you are not having the same problems in your house is that the volume of space inside your home is much, much larger in relation the the surface area of the walls than what you have in that coop. Every time a bird defecates it releases a great deal of moisture in the droppings. Each time the bird exhales it also adds more moisture to the air. As all of that moisture hits the relative cooler walls the moisture will condense. Additionally, moisture is probably already built up between the outer wall and inner wall compounding the problem. Coops are simply not like a house as they are exposed to completely different conditions than a home is. While the intention was certainly good the result is not a very good design for areas that are prone to moisture. Your design might be better for the dry desert southwest.

    I certainly would not shut that fan off at night. If it were my coop I would enlarge the window by at least 3-4 times, install soffet vents and even a ridge vent. If possible I would add a second window of at least 4 square feet on the other side of the building as well. I am afraid that all of that insulation is really the root of the problem and I would remove it as well, going down to a single thickness wall. In my opinion, it would be far healthier for the brids. Right now they are running a very high risk of aspergillosis. This is just my opinion of what I would do and I recommend asking other poultry breeders in your area, not someone that builds homes for people, for more advice. This is nothing against your obviously talented family but simply based on the fact that they are two very different structures.

    Richard
     

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