My Portland, OR area condo has condensation inside the windows that causes recurring mold growth. Please help me remedy this. Pic and many details inside.
Just to get it out of the way, here's a picture
. After a very long period of neglect, I gave the sill/window/runner a thorough cleaning about a month ago with hot water, Soft Scrub spray
, and Mold Armor Spray
. Within about two weeks, the mold was returning. It's now as bad as it ever was, with patches of fuzzy mold in pink, grey, and black varieties. I know more frequent cleaning is going to be step one, but I want to know what else I can do to eradicate it.
- That picture was taken at about 10:30 AM this morning. I opened the blinds after getting out of bed at 7am, when the condensation extended about a foot up the window. By the end of the afternoon the it will have evaporated except for about 1cm above the seal at the bottom of the window.
- It's about 50 degrees outside, and about 66 degrees in the room. According to a cheap humidity meter, the condo in general is about 70% humidity, the bedroom is nearly 80%, and within a couple inches of the window it's 90%.
- It's a small bedroom (~120 sq ft) with 7'8" ceilings. It's occupied by two sleeping humans from about 11pm to 7am daily. Mini blinds are lowered while sleeping. The bedroom door is open to the rest of the condo.
- We're on the first floor, above a crawlspace. The condo was build in the late 70's. The windows were installed about 10 years ago and are double-paned, but this doesn't seem to provide all that much insulation. Windows in the kitchen and living room have similar issues, but not as bad. So does the sliding glass door to the back porch.
- The condo is owned by my fiancee's parents, so we're pretty much in charge of upkeep (no landlord to call in to deal with this).
So, all that detail out of the way:
1. What's the best way to clean and kill as much mold as possible? There are two cats in the condo, if it affects what sort of cleaning products could be used. I'd like to know as much about specific products and techniques as possible.
2. Aside from continuous cleaning, what can I do to prevent re-growth?
3. How can I minimize condensation on the windows? I've considered a dehumidifier, but I have a feeling that the humidity of the condo as a whole would need to be reduced drastically to keep this from happening. This is the Portland metro area; how dry would I need to keep the house to prevent condensation in typical cold weather (~40F) conditions?
4. The mold likes to re-grow in the corner of the sill, mostly because that's where water pools. How much should I worry about mold having done permanent damage to the window frame (or, god forbid, wall)? Is there anything I can do about this, or would that require hiring a professional?
5. How much of a health risk is this (or might it be)? The condo doesn't smell moldy, but it's definitely scary looking stuff.
Thanks for any tips.