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Dampness and Mildew in a Closet

November 22, 2011

A crowded clothes closet.I have been away for a week. I came home to find that when I opened my closet, there were little beads of water puddles by the hundreds of the floor. My shoes were not wet. This closet is normally the coldest place in my apartment, even without an air vent. What caused this?

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By Tam E.

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November 23, 20110 found this helpful
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What I believe is happening is warm moist air in getting into the closet and coming in contact with the cold walls and other cold areas and forming water droplets. You can see the same effect when you have a glass filled with a liquid and ice cubes on a warm summer day. Water droplets form on the cold exterior of the glass. You could leave the closet door open or maybe turned on light bulb in the closet would have enough heat to warm the air to prevent the condensation from forming.

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4 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 10, 2011

I have a small child in the house, so this is very scary. I looked in my closet and I saw that there was mildew everywhere. There is a vent beside the closet that has cold air blowing out of it so I guess the moisture from that caused it, but I'm not sure how to get rid of the mildew for good. I bleached everything, but I'm not sure that is good enough! What should I do?

By britt21nicole from Paduxah, KY

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August 12, 20110 found this helpful
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Finding and fixing the root cause of the moisture is the only real way to stop it. Temporarily, you can mix a cleaning solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of hot water, and wearing gloves, apply the mixture to the closet surface with a sponge, and allow to dry.

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This should help fade the mildew, although you may have to do it several times. Be sure to keep the solution away from your child, and keep the child away from the midew---it can cause many illnesses and allergies.

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October 29, 2010

How do I get rid of mildew in closets?

By joe poleo from Louisburg, NC

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October 30, 20100 found this helpful
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I had the same problem years ago. I discovered the moisture was coming from under the house. I didn't have any leaks, just dampness from the dirt. I did two things; 1) insulated the floors under the house, and 2) laid down a vapor barrier (strong thick plastic sheeting). The problem went away almost immediately.

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This is a project you can do yourself (contractors will charge a fortune). I was in my 40's and single and was able to do it myself with no outside help. The only recommendation I would give you is to wear a bicycle helmet. I can't count the number of times I banged my head on the floor joists!

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 29, 2010

I have found mildew on shoes and a leather jacket in 2 of my closets. Many of our coats smell of mildew too. Our house is very humid as well. Any suggestions to get rid of the mildew and humidity?

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October 27, 2009

When I opened my closet today, there is a strong smell of musty mildew. This has not been there before, although two times this winter, the sleeve on my sweater was damp when I took it out of the closet.

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