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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 8:55 pm   #1
19Seventy7
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Default Getting rid of damp?

Hi,

How could someone get rid of damp and mould inside a cabinet for electronics. I did think about one of those dehumidifiers you can get from the pound shop but those say not to be put near electricals.

Has anyone got any tips and tricks that they use?

Thanks
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 8:59 pm   #2
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

I think the question is a bit too general, some details would help!
How big is the cabinet, what is it made of?
Can it simply be moved somewhere warm and dry for starters?

Andy
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 9:02 pm   #3
sortedradio
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

You could try silica gel packets in the enclosure.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 9:04 pm   #4
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Got any more details? Is the 'cabinet' in any way water/airtight? Is it installed in a damp location??

What are the electronics? New, or old? There have been mould-inhibiting coatings available dating back to the days of WWII "Tropicalised" gear.

Damp has to come from somewhere, and needs a way-in.

[In times-past I designed gear that had to survive 90 days of total immersion. No issues with damp or mould, probably due to the multiple Neoprene gaskets and the dry-Nitrogen pressurisation]
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 9:30 pm   #5
19Seventy7
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Hi,

The cabinet is probably around 25" by around 15" (I don't have a tape measure to hand)
It's made of chipboard. It couldn't really be put elsewhere, other than where it is due to size and space.

I did think about silica gel packets but I didn't know if they'd be the same as the dehumidifiers and aren't meant to go near electronics.

The cabinet is for a 1980 TV, so isn't air/water tight due to the ventilation holes. It's in my bedroom so should be fairly warm and dry.

It did have damp when I got it a few weeks back, but it's grown a bit since then, and the set hasn't been on much to help keep it away and dry it out.

Thanks
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 9:49 pm   #6
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Ordinary household bleach, diluted according to the instructions, is very effective against mould.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 10:05 pm   #7
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

I'll give that a shot tomorrow and see how I get on

Thank you for your help
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 10:21 pm   #8
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
Ordinary household bleach, diluted according to the instructions, is very effective against mould.
Absolutely! The cheapest 25p a litre (or whatever it is) will work just fine and kill all mould stone dead. Swab it on CAREFULLY with a small sponge, but take great care not to get it on the outside finish of the cabinet, or your clothes or the carpet as it WILL bleach! Then make sure you let the cabinet dry thoroughly before using the item. It's no good just drying something out without killing the mould first, as it'll just come back when the atmosphere is damp again. If you have to use it on the outside of a cabinet, then wash it off almost immediately with several applications of a wet sponge.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 10:28 pm   #9
19Seventy7
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Hi,

Thank you i'll definitely give it a go. The set wont be in use for a little while anyway as it's under repair so it's the perfect time to do it.

Luckily it's only on the inside so i'll be okay.

Thank you for your help
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 10:33 pm   #10
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Living in the darkest depths of Cornwall I am all to familiar with damp. Do not use bleach, use something like Polycell mould killer. I was told donkeys years ago that bleach actually feeds a mould. I know it can be difficult in the colder months but air movement (ventilation) is the key.

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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 10:52 pm   #11
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

You can kill mould with bleach but mould spores are eveywhere and it will come back if there is damp. You could try multipurpose wood preservative.
Washing chip board is asking for trouble. The best way is to keep dry either by dehumidifiers or warmth. If the cabinet is close to an external wall it could be colder than the rest of the room and attract the moisture.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 11:32 pm   #12
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Hi the dehumidifer that pound land sell will try to dry the whole room this is not a bad thing do not use around electrical things is because you end up with a container full of caustic water, the better idea is a portable dehumidifer that wou can empty the container, they work on a frezer unit you will benifit by the whole aera lowered in humidity but keep doors and windows closed. If i am right in thinking the humidity should be around 50-60 % this is easly mesured
Remove mould first yes bleech will feed mould if conditions are right for it to grow (damp) Mick
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 11:54 pm   #13
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

That's an interesting theory regarding bleach feeding mould, I wonder what the chemistry/biology is around that one? I've always found that bleach is a total cure when I've used it on mould growth.

Just thinking about the above - basic bleach is just diluted sodium hypochlorite and I'm wondering if it's the fancy bleaches which have all sorts of additional additives that tend to have something in them that feeds mould after it's all dried out, but gets damp again later.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 12:29 am   #14
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Last year we spent a few days with a friend whose spare room had terrible mould from a former lodger drying wet washing with the window closed. She had spent 's on special mould killers that were useless. A wash over the walls with cheap bleach solution soaking the wallpaper got rid of it and it didn't return.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 12:53 am   #15
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Here we are again with a slightly strange question 1970 In these somewhat overheated times, can't you just put it in direct, or perhaps indirect, sunlight? Maybe after the bleach treatment? Drying it out too quickly would certainly be a mistake! We can see that with people who overdo the sunbathing!

Dave W

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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 2:33 am   #16
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Hi re feeding mould ? this is the issue, According to scientists, mould is a type of fungi that is neither plant nor animal. This basically means, unlike plants, it cannot derive energy from the sun or actively “hunt” for food like an animal. Therefore, mould must be opportunistic to survive. In order to reproduce, it regularly sends microscopic spores into the air searching for a suitable environment to live. It only needs a few requirements to survive: water, warm temperatures and a food source. Once it has located the perfect environment, it can begin to grow remarkably fast, sometimes within 24 hours! This is why we often see a mould bloom after flooding, water damage and undetected burst pipes etc…

So now that we know how it works, how do we properly treat it? Big bleach labels have promised you that nothing else will do the job like bleach. Chlorine bleach is most well known for it disinfecting properties but that doesn't mean it's the best choice for mould. It’s main function is to disinfect and to, well, bleach or change the colour. But after use, what usually happens? The mouldy colour looks like it’s gone but within a week or two the mould usually comes back and sometimes worse! Most homeowners don’t put together that it’s the bleach causing this reaction and not a really bad case of mould. The fact remains that if the mould is not removed from the material, it will most likely always return. This seems logical to me i had a mould problem that i bleached it always came back until i changed the conditions and made it less humid


Does Bleach kill mould?
Yes, but it comes with a catch. Bleach labels will warn you that chlorine bleach will only be effective on a “hard, non-porous surface.’’ This basically means that chlorine bleach is not made to “soak in.” Therefore, its disinfecting properties are limited to a hard surface like tile or glass. So here’s the problem: To ensure survival, mould spores spread its roots (Mycelia) deep into a porous surface. Mould remediation requires a cleaner to reach deep down into wood and other porous building materials to remove or "pull out" the roots. The properties of bleach prevent it from soaking into these materials. The surface mould looks gone (it's bleached white) but the internal mould always remains to grow back.

Another issue: Bleach contains 90% water and mould LOVES water. When bleach is applied, the chlorine quickly evaporates after use leaving behind A LOT of water. This water often soaks into the porous surface allowing the mould to flourish and re-grow in this moist environment. So in effect, using bleach actually feeds the internal mould spores! Although the surface may look bleached and clean, the remaining spores will root deeper, stronger and will often return worse than before.

Last edited by mickm3for; 3rd Aug 2019 at 2:37 am. Reason: incompleet
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 3:17 am   #17
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Just a quick H&S note to watch out for possible adverse health effects of the mould.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 9:34 am   #18
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

I have used my airing cupboard with it's hot water cylinder for gentle drying operations.

Although the cylinder itself is well insulated, in the cupboard itself I have left the feed and return pipes from the boiler unlagged to provide a warm environment.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 10:28 am   #19
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Damp, Humidity, Dew Point, Condensation, Mould, etc. problems were discussed in great depth last year in a thread about lining a new shed.
The hot humid weather we've all being experiencing in the UK these last few weeks are ideal conditions for mould & fungal growth in enclosed areas. When 1977 mentions damp - is that condensation forming on the TV's metalwork ? Due to the amount of moist exhaled breath in the confines of a bedroom, the problem is likely to be exacerbated. Extra ventilation would help.
From a health point of view, I would recommend removal of any mouldy items from a bedroom. Perhaps into a well ventilated loft, or even better - out to a garden shed or garage until the mould problem is solved. Black rubber "Marigolds" (men's dish-washing gloves) would be advisable for the bleach swabbing methods already advised. Preferably outside, or in a well ventilated garage or shed.
If the item is manky beyond redemption, due to someone else's neglect, then dump it.

Regards, David
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 10:50 am   #20
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Default Re: Getting rid of damp?

Just to reiterate what Dave said- don't force dry the chipboard too hard by leaving it in strong sun, let it dry slowly. I hope this would improve chances of maintaining it's structural integrity (what there is of it)
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