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The peculiarities of local climate: high humidity, Part 2


The peculiarities of local climate: high humidity, Part 2
The peculiarities of local climate: high humidity, Part 2
The peculiarities of local climate: high humidity, Part 2
The peculiarities of local climate: high humidity, Part 2
The peculiarities of local climate: high humidity, Part 2

In the first part, we spoke about our experience with the increased level of humidity in the house.
After that we virtually painlessly and very quietly has lived here for a year and half, just sticking to the principles which have been listed above, until we experienced the "big water" - that how Thais named the cyclone in November 2010, which became a problem not only for the island of Koh Samui but for the whole south of Thailand.
To those already known to us manifestations of humidity added new ones: on the "leather" furniture appeared black spots, though these are fairly easy to wash off using the usual brush and soap), and the "wooden" (ADI) furniture in the house got covered by “snow flakes”.

Those whites "snowflakes", started to appear on the cabinet doors (inside and outside), on the back of the bed, on the inside of the countertop ....
Here's how it looked like:
The couch:

Альбом: к статье о влажности

Wardrobe, other wooden furniture, and even the bed:


On cabinets and beds, of course, it was not so creepy as on the inner part of the worktop. And the most uncomfortable was that our mattress started to smell musty.

Yes, I was laundering everything regularly (about every other day, sometimes every two or three days), dried with fan, put moisture absorbers, wherever possible, opened windows in the rain as little as possible  ... but it was all in vain. Everyone was trying to apply all kinds of remedies, hoping in heart that this time it will help for sure - and most importantly – will help for a long time.

So, that's what people who live here do:
- Use a quartz lamp (we did not find them on sale), but the total degree of effectiveness is not yet known.
- Turn on air-conditioning and heating to dry air (at night this time of year it can come to 23 Celcium, and therefore you might even need heating), that works if the house has a good air conditioning and windows fitting all the cracks very tightly...
Although, I highly doubt the effectiveness of this method. Electricity bills will be too high - it's a fact. But to get the room rid of the moisture is completely unlikely.
Kate, the heroine of my book, "The Korean geisha. The story of Catherine Bailey " who lived a long time in South Korea and helped me after we moved to Thailand gave me a variety of tips to deal with the humidity. So that is what she did.

In South Korea air dehumidifiers are very popular. In the apartment of a friend in the rainy season they closed all the windows, turned the dehumidifier on and left the apartment. A day later when they came back - the tank of the dehumidifiers that collects water was full (and it was almost five liters). Poured the water, turned the device again and went out (did not open the windows.) A day later there were five liters again. Another day later - the same. In general, the experiment showed that no matter how often you dry it, it will always be humid.
By the way, in Thailand, we have not seen such dehumidifiers. Only moisture scavengers, which I have already told you about.

- Wipe the furniture with all sorts of disinfectants. Because the fungus lives permanently inside the wood and other surfaces, and appears on the surface because of the bacteria. It starts growing rapidly only in a favorable environment - when it is very humid and more or less warm.
Here are the options of available cleaning tools!
Here are only the "proven" means that I have heard about, maybe something will help you:

* Dettol:

My comment: I tried it. Several times, heroically. Never again. A strong smell of pine oil for a short time interrupts all other odors in the house. Including the scent of mildew. However the white coating on cabinets was still there. There are other types Dettol, including softwood and the one without strong smell. All of them are disinfectants, and you can use almost any kind, but to be honest I was not totally satisfied with them.

* A solution of baking soda. I do not know, have not tried it, although some folks say it helps.

* Solution of conventional edible vinegar. The proportions are unknown. According to many – after using it the closet smells like hell. And the mold would still be there. However, with the delay. I tried to "environmentally friendly" (natural apple cider vinegar, 5%) wipe it out- did not help.

* Vodka. Or alcohol.
Fortunately, we both do not drink alcohol at all, and therefore don’t keep it in the house. Buy it on purpose? In general, I can not say anything about this method – since I never tried it.
* A solution of any disinfectant.
Something like this

or this

and even this

The latter product promises a solution even from the H1N1 flu virus, so I guess it will deal with mold easily? Even Mr Muscle with the scent of orange can be used.

* A special solution for the wooden garden furniture.
350 baht for a small canister. Sold in Home Pro, section of garden furniture. These solutions for furniture are divided into four types. We needed the one which shows the wooden slats flooring, and the one which says " type B" . In the end we have not been able to find it in the Home Pro on Koh Samui . If suddenly someone finds it use it as follows: dilute with water in a ratio of 1 to 3 or 1 to 5, spray at the furniture , wait 10 minutes, and then it can be washed off ( but it's best to wipe it with dry with a cloth). This is not a pesticide, but it is best to use gloves and a mask.

* Teak Oil. Our friends living in Bali advised it for a long time. You can buy it in Home Pro.

(there are options: smaller / bigger size and different manufacturers)
We still have not tried it – never had a reason after the purchase, but those who used, would say that it is good.
* A weak solution of a bleach for laundry.
Here it looks like this:

or this

And for colored clothes

Those are rather unpretentious. There are, of course, Vanish and others.

We just need the one for the white linen (which kind of stinks). I used exactly this one, so I can say for sure: the effect remains significantly longer than with the others solutions. Just do not make the mixture too rich and don’t damage the surface of the furniture.
Yes, it is better to wear gloves, otherwise your hands will smell sweet and fragrant for a long time. By the way, there is no smell from the furniture.

As I have said, in addition to the problems with furniture we had a problem with the mattress. And you can not just give it to the laundry, and drying it with the fan would be useless.
The only way to get rid of the smell was to fry the mattress in the sun for a few days.
In addition to the listed methods, I want to specify two more things:

It does not hurt to keep this little deodorizer in the closet and in the bathroom / toilet. I noticed that there will be less the mold with it.
Such a means (available at Home Pro)

can help keep some particularly expensive items either clothing or shoes. Applied as follows: first thing you need to clean and dry you stuff thoroughly (preferably in the sun), and then you can use it. External moisture will not penetrate through a subtle film that will appear on the surface. Alas, the internal moisture wont be able to leave it, which is why it is so important that things were well dry before using this means.

Now about another form of mold the one that appears on the doors. Those made of real wood, not the chipboard that is used to make all types of furniture in houses for rent.
Even on the doors coated with lacquer can still eventually appear light mold. It does not particularly bothering and does not even smell, but aesthetically it is not very nice.

So how do we deal with it?

When we started asking the owner of the houses about what can we use to treat wooden furniture, so that there will be no "White Mushroom, after Big Water" (by the way, "mold" in Thai sounds like "ra") and showed him the photo in an advertising brochure of a supermarket «Home Mart» with the image of the drenching, he understood the problem and went out to find what we were asking him for.

About a month later, after another reminder, he gave us that jar from the booklet and told us to cover with this thing all the surfaces that we are concerned about.
Here it is:

The fact that the fluid is, as you can see, of a buttery texture and when it slightly gets to dry it becomes sticky as varnish is not a problem. "Do not worry - says the owner. - It will be drying for four days, but after that it will not stick anymore. And there won’t be any mold"

We have covered one door in our house (of course there was the smell!) - But on the third day it was not that sticky anymore, and even the smell has gone. The door looked just like it has been lacquered:

So the door of course can be covered.
And what about the furniture - I doubt you can.
Especially because we do not have all the furniture black.
In general, for the furniture made of chipboard, we decided to use teak oil.

Well that's enough about the mold.
I will say, very briefly, on the other manifestations of humidity, which may not manifest themselves clearly, but at the same time would bring enough harm:
- Documents and any important papers. All needs to be stored in special plastic bags with zip-fastener. Passport without such an envelope becomes "fluffy", with warped sheets of just a week of wet weather.
- Photo and video equipment, laptops and mobile phones. Note: anything that can rust will rust. Not only outside but inside. So periodically the equipment fails. You might have to give it to cleaning, change some details, and then the whole device.

In general, most of the things here are deteriorating faster than in mild temperate climates of middle latitudes. This exposure to moisture and high temperature (for example, plastic will much faster turn yellow and crumble), and insects crawling inside various appliances ... So here we are forced to revise our customary principle of "we are not rich enough to buy cheap things." Because there is no particular reason to buy at high prices something that might only serve you 2-3 years on average.

In this, perhaps, the subject of our experience with the humidity on Koh Samui can be considered covered. 

Но это в апреле. Посмотрим, что будет в период дождей...

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