Memorial Day is soon approaching and you are headed up to the lake home to do the annual spring cleaning and air the place out after being closed up for the winter.
You arrive at your beloved vacation home to find that the yard is full of branches and there are enough leafs to fill 100 bags, but thank goodness no physical signs that the home has any exterior damage. Once you open the door to peer inside you are hit with what we like to call the campy smell, really a musty odor. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this?
The campy smell is caused by moisture, which results in a mildew build up. This is common in homes that are closed up for extended periods of time.
- Get the air moving 24/7 even when the camp is closed up. ( ceiling fans maybe)
- Eliminate any sources of moisture, common sources are basements, bathrooms, kitchens, dryer vents and crawl spaces.
- Wash all the walls down will help also.
You might set up some cross ventilation while not at the camp, either open some windows or possible have some vents installed on the living floor and in the basement area. If you have a crawl space under the home ventilate it and put down a vapor barrier to keep the moisture in the ground and not in your camp. Other solutions to prevent mildew are make sure your dryer vents outside properly and you are not dumping moist air into your living space, don't dry cloths or towels indoors on racks or on the back of chairs.
During the summer months set up a dehumidifier that drains into a basin, sink or outdoors so you can keep it running 24 hours a day. If you just have the dehumidifier set up in the basement it will be full in one day leaving the next 6 days for moisture to build up in your home.
If you can start fresh, eliminate all the carpets and put down a solid floor, wood, tile or linoleum that will not hold moisture. Ask your furniture store about mattress and furniture options, maybe there is a cover that can be used. These are another great source to hold the current campy smell. They might suggest some en-casements that may work to keep the mildew from being absorbed into the furniture or mattress material.
When you leave the cottage for the winter you probably unplug the refrigerator, stuff the refrigerator and the dishwasher with newspaper and leave the doors open.
You may have to call in an expert to help you solve the camp smell if it persists. Keep the air moving, ventilate, air conditioning helps and definitely get a dehumidifier going 24/7.
Get your yard cleaned up, the dock and boat in the water and sit back and relax.
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