Mold Control - my discovery and method

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ZooMummzy, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I thought I would share with everyone who might be fighting mold in your coop like I have been for the past few weeks my latest fairly inexpensive discovery and hopefully, cure. Ours grew on the roof (inside) and in the corners near the roost poles mainly. We believe that the wood (new this last summer) probably had some spores in it already and the rest of the conditions - chickens + a wet and humid fall - just helped them along. We do have a fair amount of ventilation already, but we are adding more this weekend as a safeguard and planning to add a roof fan and another window this summer for more air flow. I also clean the roost pans every few days and add Stall Dry and DE almost daily to keep the moisture absorbed.

    After I killed and removed the mold using bleach water, then soapy water and letting it dry completely, I sprayed it down with Concrobium Mold Control we bought at Home Depot to try and prevent further growth, or at least impede it. It contains no bleach, no ammonia and no VOCs, and while still a chemical, it is about as safe as you can get. It is the EPA's recommended product for mold control in your home. I wish I had found it before I used the bleach, but next time...... This is the link if anyone is interested http://www.concrobium.com/atHome_howItWorks.php

    When
    the roof was completely dry, I hung 8 Damprid hanger bags (the kind you put in closets) from the rafters of my coop. They hang just high enough and are close enough together that the girls are not even interested in trying to fly up to them. I also nailed 4 of the sachets bags of Damprid in the corners (not puncturing the bags) to help the trouble spots. It is important not to puncture the bags and to make sure the bags you get do not have holes in them since the crystals are toxic if ingested. We had used these in a car a couple years ago that grew mold after a window was left down for a week, so I figured why not try them again. The only other choice was a dehumidifier and $200 was not in the budget this month plus I wasn't sure how that would really work in the coop. Immediately, the Damprid bags started working. The bags below them fill up with crystals as they start removing moisture from the air and sachets will slowly turn a darker shade of brown. They should continue to work about 60 days.

    The cost for all this - $40.

    Today, the humidity level is way down in the coop and the wood is dry. My plan this summer is to treat the wood again and then paint it using a kitchen and bath paint I use which contains anti mold and mildew agents.

    I hope this helps someone fighting mold this season. It is really bad right now in the Pacific NW and it doesn't seem like it is going to improve anytime soon. I know it was very frustrating for me because I know the health effects on chickens and with them all molting and fighting the mud and muck in the run, mold was the last thing we needed!
     
  2. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OOOOH! Thanks for the pointers we fight mold constantly in our basement. All of these ideas are great! Blessings, Keri
     
  3. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:You're very welcome! These hanger things can be hung anywhere. They suggest closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms, attics, basements....I think they are pretty amazing.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DFW
    thanks for the suggestions! We have a chronic mold problem on our windowsills...mold is now growing on the mold resistant paint. Sigh.
     
  5. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Great information. Printed off and bookmarked...many thanks.
     
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia WA
    We deal with mold a lot as my husband is a contractor that works on houses after inspections. Here's the short of it--if you have mold, you have moisture problems, or water leaks and you need to figure out and SOLVE the problem. It usually is not that hard to do. In the bathroom, people don't turn on the fan after showering, ditto in the kitchen after cooking. Often times the vapor barrier under the house is not in good shape. Downspouts PIPED away from the house, etc.. A tiny leak in the roof can cause huge problems over time.

    In a coop, I don't think having a dirt floor is a good idea in the PNW. Too much moisture in our soil. Raise the floor enough to get airflow underneath it. Make sure all water drains OFF the roof and not down the sides. Enough of an overhang so that rain does not blow in any openings. Keep ventilation up under the overhang, and have plenty of it. Don't overcrowd the coop and keep poo cleaned out.

    If you do all this you will not need to go to drastic measures such as bleach, mildew killing paint, dehumidifiers, etc....We use bleach to kill visible mold, but it will come back very soon if the underlying problems are not addressed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  7. claud

    claud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    PA
    Good pointers. I'll look into the concrobium mold stuff. We get mold in our house sometimes although the chicken coop is dry. A lot of mold issues are from your climate and with what you heat your house - certainly some things your can remedy but not all are in your control.
    I've used damprid hangers for some time in our closets and also the kind you refill in the buckets(a little cheaper I think).
     
  8. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:Oh I totally agree with the moisture problem causing the mold but for us it comes from hot chickens and very humid air right now with lots of rain, not a water leak or standing water under the coop. All of the PNW deals with mold on a yearly basis no matter how much you try to solve the problem and not have it. People at the coast buy bleach by the case load. The heat in our houses to keep out the cold combined with that moisture 9 months out of the year is a ripe environment for mold no doubt.

    The coop is large enough for my flock with space to grow, brand new, no leaks whatsoever....just very moist in there due to the chickens staying in more lately due to the weather the last month. I do not do the deep litter method because I don't feel it is really clean enough for me, so I change the whole coop bedding every two weeks and stir and add DE and more bedding every couple days. I hate a dirty coop and I'd rather clean it more often than have to do a very large cleaning a couple times a year. A few extra ventilation vents will help until we can install the roof vent and fan next summer along with another window for more cross airflow which should hopefully solve the problem. The latter items cannot be done now as I am not going to take any chances in creating a leaky roof or window.

    I don't agree with the no dirt floor here. We had a dirt floor last year and didn't have any problems at all, but we had a much drier year humidity wise. A lot of snow, but it was dry. So far this fall it has been in the high 80-90% everyday, the run is completely muddy despite all the drainage and the rain drives the girls in more than usual. In the new coop we raised it and put it on a gravel foundation with drainage but only because I wanted to have something more solid all around and a dirt floor where we put the new coop wasn't practical. The roof has gutters and our chicken patio keeps the rain from blowing in the most vulnerable side. The window is even double paned [​IMG] Only the best for my girlies lol. All the vents now are up near the roof and we are adding a couple more under the patio area this weekend. It is a very well built and designed coop....we are just dealing with a very moist fall and girls who are little princesses and don't want to go out and get wet [​IMG]
     
  9. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:Very true. Like I just said in my post, you can only control so many things, the rest you have to deal with the best you can. We put a lot of thought and effort into the coop to make it as dry and ventilated as we could but it still wasn't enough for the weather this fall so we are going back to the drawing board and changing some things over the summer to see if we can get it right next year. I'm not liking all this rain and humidity either lol. We had bad humidity this summer too with 100 degree temps which is just insane for us here.

    And yes, we used those little buckets in the car but I was really afraid they would tip over and the granules would fall out. The hangers were more secure, but yes, more pricey. At this point though, I would have paid just about anything to get it all under control.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  10. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia WA
    ZooMummzy--I live in Olympia, Washington. I do believe Olympia is the new rain capital of the NW. We just came through about three straight weeks of rain every day (and I work outside, yay!). So I know what you are dealing with as far as humidity. Good design and prevention will still take care of mold in these conditions--in a coop or in a house. My chickens aren't real happy about going outside when it is raining either--and I've covered most of their run, spoiled little chickens...I give them treats, and greens etc.. and that does get them out a lot more. If you have any pics of your coop, I'd be happy to give you suggestions for keeping humidity down.
     

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