Tuesday, August 9, 2016

humidity. heat. mold. repeat.

Coming from California, a very dry warm place, I never had to deal with any mold problems. It's rarely humid, and if it is, it's cold. The only time you ever deal with mold in California is when you are extremely dirty, so much so that mold grows because you don't clean.

Same goes with cockroaches. Never had to deal with them in California unless you were unfortunate enough to live with someone disgusting enough to have cockroaches manifest.

In Japan however, I've been dealing with mold recently and at first it freaked me out, even if it was just a bit. After some research, I learned it was because I don't air out my house. I keep everything shut, but learned that in Japan, you need to air out your place.

I didn't have to deal with this when I studied abroad, I lived with a roommate and we lived in a smaller space so we never dealt with mold the whole year there. But living in a 2LDK this time around, I learned that it sucks ass to take care of a larger space in humid climate.

I've never liked larger spaces, always preferred smaller and this convinced me even more so. It's not hard, but just tedious.

Prevention. To prevent mold, you must open the windows of your place. I didn't want to due to all the bugs in the inaka but as long as you open it in the day and only open the windows with screens you'll be fine. Another way is to buy fans along with turning on the ventilation fans you already have but if you're cheap like me, you'll just open the windows. 
Of course, the air conditioner also has the dry setting. My boss and friend told me about that before so I just keep it on there because I don't like dealing with the humid feeling in my room and since my bedroom is on the first floor they suggest me not to open the windows due to safety. 
Prevention is actually fairly simple. And there are way more articles that tell you other things you can do but that's the gist of it. Here's the Nagoya International Website that helped me. 
Getting rid of mold.  So this is what freaked me out. I didn't want to go anywhere near it. I wore a mask, gloves, the whole enchilada. I would have worn goggles but didn't know where to get any. I probably didn't need all that, but I still got it just to be safe.  
I used this cleaning chemical called "カビキラー" (Kabi Killer) which was left over by the previous tenant of my boss, not sure. Anyways, I used that for my bathroom but I didn't want to use it in my kitchen. I read up on it has harmful chemicals and I've never been a fan of that. I'll still probably use it in my bathroom till is finished however. 
I read up online that vinegar is also great for killing mold. My mom always said vinegar was good for anything and I guess she was right. White distilled vinegar is apparently the best, but I just went for normal vinegar. 
You can use it on clothes, wood, tile, etc. and of course, it's non-harmful. Perfect! I bought a big bottle of it from Cainz Mart. And though the vinegar smell is not my favorite, it did what it said it would. Also, the vinegar gets rid of the mold smell as well. Vinegar over mold smell any day.

My friend told me he deals with mold in the winter when it's too dry here. I haven't dealt with that yet, but I wouldn't be surprised. He uses a humidifier to help during that time. I haven't decided what I will do yet, but I'll probably Google again when the time comes.

It's times like these when the gross, hot, humid Japanese summers come into play that make me miss my dry, lovely breeze of California. But definitely a learning experience. Hope I can also help someone else who's not use to humid climate.

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