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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to everyone! I am new here, and thinking about a strange survival topic - mold and how to survive it.

So I think most people today know that mold is bad news. In our modern society, we are usually able to easily keep it at bay with conveniences such as a/c and fans, all courtesy of the power grid.

But I am thinking about a hot, southern summer scenario where the humidity is high, the grid is down, and society has turned crazy. With the a/c cranking one could have easily barricaded themselves inside their home (never mind the argument of if that is a good idea or not for other reasons), but without power and a/c, how can you protect yourself in your home if your house is turning into a massive, moldy petri dish? Sure, some people are not bothered by mold, but many are, and ones shelter could easily become the worst place to be.

So my question is, how can you prevent mold from growing inside of a home in a hot, humid southern climate when there is no a/c or power?

The last thing you would want would be to end up sick in the very place that you need to shelter you, and keeping windows open in a survival scenario is unlikely to be a great idea.

Are there any other options to prevent mold, or are there any forms of building techniques where one could build a home that is unlikely to grow mold in a hot, humid climate?

How do you "survive the mold?"

Thank you so much for any advice you can share!
 

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I grew up in South Florida, and in the 50's and 60's there wasn't too very much air conditioned places around.
Not houses, not schools.
Of course, houses and schools were built to take advantage of prevailing breezes.
I don't remember mold as being a big problem.
But, with today's housing being built for "energy efficiency" this could be a problem, if you kept all your windows closed.
 
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Move to a place where there is dry heat and it's one less thing to worry about, or just get digging and live in a earthen berm structure. To this day most structures in Olympic Peninsula in Washington state don't have AC and it gets warm in summer with humidity very high cause it rains, rains, and rains some more there and I forgot to mention it rains a lot. Though they don't have mold problem unless you don't let the house breathe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Like our fore fathers did, open a window.
Thank you for the suggestion - it is a good one, but the only concern that I was trying to explain was that in a survival scenario, leaving windows open might not be such a good idea. That is why I was wondering if there is something someone can do to prevent mold when they are in a situation where they need to keep the windows closed and yet their is no a/c? Maybe some kind of building material that is mold resistant? Not sure, just looking for ideas. Thanks!
 

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The obvious answer is to keep your windows open or have some sort of ventilation. I can tell you from living my whole life in the south, that keeping things shut up tight in the hot humid summers is not a viable option. Not because of mold, but because of the oppressive heat. City dwellers may take issue with leaving windows open. Maybe burgler bars could be an option. You definitely have to rethink security with open windows.
 

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Houses are designed differently now. If you look at any old house that has not been remodeled you will see that the layout allowed for better cross ventilation by opening windows across from each other.
 

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Lerned the hard way fancy shower doors make for a moldy shower. Use a cheap plastic curtain and leave it open when not it use. Being raised at Corpus Christi which has off the charts high humidity and it an era before ACs were commonly available..open windows and oscillating fans will work to cool folks off.
 

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Houses are designed differently now. If you look at any old house that has not been remodeled you will see that the layout allowed for better cross ventilation by opening windows across from each other.
It's not just that, but modern building codes require new homes to be built with less 'leakage' than in days past. Blower door tests, which determine how much air a structure leaks, are common nowadays. We have driven ourselves to become dependent on mechanical air handling.
 

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this is a good discussion... mold is not quick here.So it is not something that has a high place on my time list, what would be a natural predator of mold..to answer your question, you might have to consult with a fungal expert, or learn expert solo...fungoligist?



for -fEnglish
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you to everyone for the replies and suggestions! :)

My main reason for posting the question was because I realized that in a real survival situation, leaving windows open would likely not be a viable option. Not, at least, if anyone is anywhere near some form of civilization.

That is why I was trying to see if there is anything else that can be done when someone is in a situation where they NEED their windows to be closed, as I could not think of anything else besides opening windows or running fans.

I think a lot of people who have lived with a/c their entire life have never been able to discern if they are sensitive to mold, just due to the fact that the a/c made it far less likely they were ever around enough mold to know how it could effect them. Maybe it is the same for those in southern climates who were able to leave their windows open and have the appropriate ventilation.

But mold can make people extremely sick, and without a/c or proper ventilation, it could become one of those unexpected dangers.

I will try to ask an expert and see what he says. Besides building a house out of marble, or some other crazy resource that mold could only grow ON (and therefore be wiped off) and not IN, I doubt there is really much if anything that can be done, but I will try to see.

Thank you again to everyone for your suggestions!
 

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You guys are the "only" generation to grow up in air conditioning. The rest of us were before a/c was invented. No, we did not live in totally different houses. It doesn't matter how tight your house is, when you open a window, it is not tight any more. And if security bothers you with the windows open, all it takes is one brick to get through any window in less than a minute. Maybe some "security bars" would make you feel more secure. I keep my security in the drawer beside my bed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You guys are the "only" generation to grow up in air conditioning. The rest of us were before a/c was invented. No, we did not live in totally different houses. It doesn't matter how tight your house is, when you open a window, it is not tight any more. And if security bothers you with the windows open, all it takes is one brick to get through any window in less than a minute. Maybe some "security bars" would make you feel more secure. I keep my security in the drawer beside my bed.
I spent part of my childhood in a home without a/c, and we kept the windows open in the summer and it was fine. I did not live in a totally different house either.

I have also lived in many different parts of the world where a/c is not common, but mold (from the resulting lack of a/c) can be. I have had a full range of experiences with and without a/c over the years, and I have seen the risks of mold when it appears in a dangerous way. People tend to underestimate it severely.

I would not have thought of this if I had not experienced so many different scenarios. If I had only ever lived in a/c, or one place where there was no a/c but open windows took care of it fine, I would probably have no idea of the potential risks involved. It is because I have had so many varied experiences that I am aware, and I hope that others who might not realize the risks of mold will take those risks into consideration for their own well being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I would like to add one experience I had (out of many) that I think is very relevant, because it shows how easy it is to underestimate mold, and how dangerous mold could be in a survival scenario when there are disasters like flooding, etc.

I went to rent a room at a place that had experienced severe flooding in the past - something that could happen in a survival scenario to anyone's place of residence.

In the open breezeway leading up to the office, I could smell mold strongly - and this was outside.

Inside several of the rooms, I could smell mold. In one in particular it was very strong, and the lady admitted to me that the flooding in that room had been very bad but that she had "cleaned up all of the mold" using regular cleaning supplies (face palm anyone?) and was surprised I could still smell it.

After talking to her a little more, I learned that the person who had lived in that room had recently died. He had been in fine health as she told me, if I remember correctly, but kept getting sicker and sicker and sicker....weaker and weaker and weaker... and no one knew why. (???)

He stayed in the room constantly and hardly ever left, keeping the windows closed and the a/c on.

Finally one day she said she entered the room to clean and he was passed out on the floor. They took him to the hospital where he died. She seemed to think the entire thing was very strange.

Upon talking further, I learned that both she and the other individual who worked together to run the place both had serious health problems. Another person had died I believe.

When I finally pointed out to her that the building was infested with mold, and they were all breathing this all of the time, and this could very easily perhaps explain all of these bizarre illnesses and should therefore be looked into, what was her response?

No interest. None. She liked where she lived and just could not seem to wrap her head around the fact that a building infested with mold could be a problem. In fact, if I questioned her more, she might have said that she had lived with it all this time and had not had a problem (???), so why worry?

Was the mold responsible for all of the issues there? I have no idea ultimately, but you tell me - a man locked in a room breathing mold 24/7, getting unexplainably sicker by the day, until he passed out and died...and all these other people with health issues running around breathing mold left and right.... if anything, it leaves you to wonder how people can refuse to at least consider something as a possibility when it clearly exists as a dangerous risk.

Were these people the proverbial "frog in the pot," happily (sadly?) boiling themselves to death? Who knows.

But would you stay living there? Would you lock yourself in that room 24/7 and breathe the moldy air for months on end? And if you were getting sicker by the day, would you stay?

Just some things to think about and take into consideration when considering what could happen in a survival situation.
 
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