My daughter heats her little trailer with a gas heater on the wall. This causes moisture to form on walls and windows and is causing mold or mildew. She can't afford another heater right now. What can we do to fix this problem. Just want you to know this is my favorite site to visit. Thank you.
By Ruthie from OK
I live in a mobile home, too, and we sometimes get condensation on the windows...but it's not from the heater. It's caused by windows that aren't completely shut. Double-check to make sure all the windows are tightly closed. If this doesn't work, there is an air leak somewhere.
There's a great forum for mobile home questions:
I found out about that site right here on ThriftyFun.com, and it's been an invaluable resource for me. I hope it will help you out, as well!
Condensation in your daughters trailer has nothing to do with windows that are not completely shut or leaking somewhere.
The trailer is very tight, which is good because it saves heating fuel. But it is also bad because water vapor is building up in the house with no place to escape, so it condenses on the cool windows. There is nothing wrong with the windows, either. A humidifier? That will make everything worse.
What you can do: Open the windows for five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the afternoon to release that water vapor. Install a dehumidifier.
I've gotten rid of condensation on the window by covering them with shrink wrap plastic made for windows. You can buy it at the dollar store. I agree that a dehumidifier will help, but if you can't afford one, you could try running your vents in the bathroom and kitchen several times a day. Mold is a hazard and can cause many health problems. Make sure she cleans it with a good mold killer, and have her wear latex gloves and some kind of face covering or mask while she's cleaning it.
The is dessicant (drying material) that you can get from the hardware store. It's used in basements - You can spray the mold with disinfectant spray to kill it.
Your heater is probably not the problem.
It is the lack of insulation. To avoid tearing up your little trailer, the best insulation is blown in. Check your hardware store they may rent the necessary equipment very inexpensively. A dry form( use cellulose will fireproof also) or expanding type (use soy) Both will work about the same so check around and get the best price for the insulation.
If you don't want to do it yourself, have an insulation company do it for you. It should not be very expensive.
After you have insulated use a drying agent to remove the old moisture. To remove any mold wipe the area with a cloth soaked in white vinegar. Let it air dry.
Now open all your windows and give your trailer a good dose of fresh air. In about 2 hours your trailer will smell like 'new'.
To be sure you now have no leaks check with a candle near any opening. If the light moves, you have an air leak....mostly at windows or doors. Seal with caulk any windows or door that still leak.
Add storm windows or plastic storm windows to all your windows. When you have it all sealed I think you will find you no longer need a new heater. As with any gas heater, be sure it is vented.
It sounds like a lot of work, but should take just a couple of days over a weekend.
You should check to see if she is heating the trailer safely. Perhaps the gas heater needs to be vented to the outside. Best to be safe.
I used a unvented kerosene heater one winter and left a window half open and until I quit using the unvented heater I started having green mold in all my shoes in my closets. HUD says never use an vented heater in a mobile home, it will cause one gallon of water (moisture in walls for every gallon of fuel used. A electrician said a lady had purchased a double wide, called complaining. Her lights were flickering. When checked she had unvented kerosene heater burning. Th e electric panel was dripping with water when checked. She was told never to use any type of unvented heater in a mobile home, because it builds condensation in the walls. Also told she was lucky it had not caused a fire.
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