“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mildew, Mold, and Moss

 

Mist again.  Probably this is low clouds, but the effect is the same.  Very heavy rain, then high humidity which causes water to condense out on everything from your roof to the trees. Inside the buildings, it's not a problem as long as I have electricity to run my air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

Outside is a different story.  My walk ways around the house are made of pressure treated boards. I'm getting a kind of green, slimy algae looking substance growing on them.  Slippery as hell, and if you aren't careful, it'll cause you to fall. The same stuff is growing on the surface of my cement parking pads.  I've been sanding the walk ways, and spraying Thompson's water sealant on them. That helps but doesn't eradicate the algae or bacteria, or whatever this is. I am treating the cement by spraying it with a mixture of water and bleach. It turns the green stuff brown, which looks nasty but at least it isn't slippery.

The cedar shake roof is growing moss.  That's a bad thing, as the moss holds moisture on the roof, doesn't let the shakes dry out, and they rot.  I am having to spray the roof with chemicals to kill the moss, something I don't like to do but I'm out of alternatives. Home Depot sells a bottle of moss killer that attaches to a hose, so it isn't hard on the side of the house that is upslope. But on the side that is down slope, you have to use a ladder and that's dangerous, especially when the ground is spongy.


If you go out into the woods, everything is covered with green lichen. The constant high humidity levels are letting this stuff take over. I spray the logs of my house and outbuildings with preservatives but even so, I'm starting to get little specks of this green, fuzzy mold on the outer walls. I have to walk around with a spray tank and "touch up" those places.

Just a week with lower humidity and no rain would solve all this, but there's no break in sight.

The fog at night means I can't see what's going on around the house. Neither can the dogs, so they bark at every strange noise from the forest and wake me up.

First last winter was much colder and there was more snow than normal. Then this Spring was brutally hot and dry. Now the summer, always a wet, dank time , is worse than normal.  Adapting to these different weather issues is a lot of work and costs a lot of money.  There's not much choice about doing it, though.


On a less carping note, the new Survivalist arrived.  It has an article about how to take over and fly a helicopter if the pilot croaks.  Innovative subject, but as one who flew helicopters let me say that should you experience this event, you are going to die.  No one alive can sit in a helicopter and fly it , and land it, with no training or experience. You can get away with that in a fixed wing aircraft but the idea of doing it in a helicopter is , in my humble opinion, fantasy.  So much for that.

There is a good article on sheltering in place, (the trendy term now is bugging in.)  I enjoyed the story on home surveillance systems, and got a few good ideas from that. My own security camera system is not bad but could use some improvement . Just about everything can always stand improvement.

There's a really good article about over the counter medications, and that alone was worth the price of the magazine. Speaking of prices, if you subscribe to a magazine, the per issue cost comes down from about ten dollars to less than half that over a year. It's worth thinking about if they mail the magazines in a protective sleeve, which Survivalist does.

Survivalist is looking for authors. They don't care if you are a first time writer, or someone who has been published before. You can get their writers guide from their web page. I know a lot of bloggers I read who could very easily get published there.  I don't know what they pay, or even if they pay anything at all. But really, when you get published just seeing your article in print is reward enough.There are other benefits too.  If you spend money on your research, the cost is often tax deductible, provided you got a check from the publisher, even if it wasn't much. It's worth thinking about.

Friendly Ferret says " Give it a try. What have you got to lose?"

26 comments:

  1. Yeah I know just enough to be sure if in have to suddenly fly a helicopter it is going to crash! a plane especially a small one and if you can get a pilot on the radio I feel like there is a chance of a survivable crash landing. If nothing else find a big flat spot, gently decrease altitude to it while slowing down and pull up/ level off at the end so it goes belly first not nose first. I'm sure it is a lot more complicated and a long shot but ice heard enough cases of it happening to know at least that it is possible.

    Interesting about the writing thing. I'll look into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flying a helo is nothing like flying a fixed wing aircraft. There's a certain logic to fixed wing machines. Pull up on the yolk or back on the stick, the airspeed drops off, the nose rises, you will probably gain altitude. Push down on the yolk or forward on the stick, the nose goes down, your airspeed increases, you go down.

      A helicopter is controlled by the pedals, the cyclic and the collective. Just learning to hover the damn thing takes a couple of hops. Not for nothing do pilots say that a helicopter is a collection of 300,000 bits and pieces flying in close formation.

      It's perfectly plausible to have a tyro land a fixed wing aircraft if someone can talk them down. But I don't believe that same individual could even keep a helicopter flying straight and level.

      It's always possible I am out of date. I haven't flown a helicopter in more than 30 years. Not long ago, while meandering around a hospital waiting for an appointment, I talked to a "Life Flight" pilot in the cafeteria. He flew the current version of the Bell Jet Ranger, which I flew "back in the day" as the Sea Ranger.

      His aircraft looked similar to what I flew, but that was where the similarity ended. He had a full instrument suite, the old Sea Ranger had only basic flight instruments. He had a powerful turbine and four blades, with which he assured me he could lift an elephant if he could cram it into the aircraft. The Sea Ranger had two blades and an anemic engine that made it hard to get off the ground with two pilots and an observer on board on hot days.

      So maybe today it has changed so much a novice could keep one straight and level. I know in my day you used to come back from a flight soaked in sweat, because you were going like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest with the controls much of the hop.

      You ought to try writing an article for them. If you get one published, you can undoubtedly branch out into the bigger magazines like "Off Grid" or "American Survival Guide" where the pay for an article is reasonable and they like to use the same writers "on assignment" as opposed to unsolicited articles. One bit of advice, adopt a nom de plume, don't use your real name for the by line. The world is full of nuts.

      Delete
  2. The problem with using bleach on mold is that though it appears to kill it causes it to spoor as it recognizes the attack and then it comes back worse than before. Hydrogen peroxide will kill it and prevent spooring. Prestone glycol antifreeze also works but small critters might lick it and get sick as it has a sweet taste and odor. Olympic brand deck wash at Home Depot is about 17 $ for a 4 gallon jug and works well. Apply it according to directions using a garden sprayer, and rinse after 10 minutes with a garden hose. Should be good for a couple years. I have not had much success with the other ones you use the garden hose with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The deck wash sounds like the best bet. I wouldn't want to kill of the cats. I didn't realize mold could adapt to survive bleach. Hydrogen peroxide would be too expensive, because the parking pads are fairly good size. I'll check out the deck wash the next time I go into town, we have a Home Depot now so I have access to a lot of good gear and supplies locally through them.

      Delete
  3. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I get the same problem with algae growing on the north side of my house, mildew under the porch. I used copious amounts of bleach. Same things.

    Out west in the desert where I am from. This is not a problem obviously.

    Depending on the scenario, sheltering in place could work. I see plague, pandemic as a good reason to bug in. Most people will be avoiding other people like the plague (no pun intended) and that would make bugging in safer for me.

    mass civil unrest, riots and what not would be a good idea for myself to go to 'Plan B' and get away from other people. Humans are the greatest threat.

    On the helicopter thing, my understanding its a dance between controlling engine RPM and altitude climb and decent on the collective. The stick controls forward, reverse, left, right and the foot pedals control the tail rotor.

    Too make a left ascent. Pull up on the collective while turning throttle and move the stick to the upper left. Then ease the left foot back causing the tail rotor to swing to the left thereby causing the ship to do a gentle ascent to the left.

    Its easier driving a big rig, over the road truck with an Eaton Fuller ten speed transmission, going down the side of a mountain carrying a 60.000 pound load in a 50 ft. trailer in the rain (just keep your engine RPM low, use your Jake brakes, and go slow) Don't slam on the brakes and Jack knife the trailer.

    I spent many years working in the service end of the big truck world. I don't have a CDL, but I driven many trucks (Peterbuilt 379's are the best)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CC, that's a pretty good description of flying a helicopter. The thing is, you have to do all that in a tightly coordinated manner and it takes a lot of practice to get it right.

      I have never driven a big truck. I thought about becoming a truck driver when I retired, I had visions of driving along and seeing the country again. But everybody told me I wouldn't be able to stop at night at a hotel for a rest, and that I wouldn't get hired because I was too old, so I gave up on that idea.

      I'm going to shelter in place. I've been getting ready to do so for more than thirty years and I'm not changing to the bug out plan at this stage. If I lived in suburbia or an urban setting, I would probably but out. I think the biggest thing you will have to worry about if you stay in place is your neighbors. Over the years, I have gotten the impression that some of them are a pretty unsavory lot, and with the restraints of law enforcement removed, who knows what they would resort to?

      Delete
  4. I'm getting enough moss on my asphalt shingle porch roof that I noticed it from the road. Not good. That part of the house never sees the sun. Time to get the ladder out. In recent years we've have more rain forest conditions.

    As for helicopters, if I'm in one it'll be due to medical evacuation.. Buddy of mine was a certified chopper mechanic but would not fly in them. This same guy had no problem flying stunt planes. I figure if the crazy stunt piolet helicopter mechanic won't fly in one, I've got no business in one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same down here. I never had all these problems in summer before, and this year is the worst. On the one hand, it's good I don't have to worry about forest fires. But everything is made of wood here except the chimney, and this constant rain and high humidity is working me to death trying to deal with all the extra maintenance.

      To be honest with you, if someone offered me a ride in a helicopter, I wouldn't take it. I figure I used up all my luck and then some back when I was flying the things.

      Delete
  5. I've heard it said that one of the theories behind helicopter flight is that it shakes so violently that the earth rejects it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't disagree with that. The thing about fixed wing, is that unless you are on fire, (or flying a big transport) you may be able to set it down in an emergency. But in a helo, odds are it's going to come spinning down and smash all to bits. At my age I plan on staying firmly fixed to the ground.

      Delete
  6. We have trouble with algae too. It grows in my horse arena and it is slippery and then I worry about my horses falling while I ride them.
    I used to occasionally write for a horse magazine freelance. It was not a bad gig.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My daughters rescue horse lay down in his stall at the stables. When he tried to get up, his leg slipped in the hay and got under the side of the stall. He panicked and hurt himself. I am still paying the vet bills. But she loves him. The kind of bond I have with my ferrets, she has with the horse. I've spent small fortunes trying to save my ferrets when they were sick, so I can't begrudge her a little help with her horse.

      I hope your horse never falls with you on him, that could be the end of your running days.

      I'll bet you would do well with survival magazines. For one thing, women writers are at a premium. Lots of women read the magazines today, but the writers are almost all men. They write about guns, vehicles, etc. The editors know there is a huge market for survival articles written by women about subjects that interest women. That's one reason Backwoods Home has done so well over the years. They've always encouraged women writers and had articles on things that interest women. I read those articles myself, you can only handle so many articles about guns and offroad vehicles no matter how much you love them.

      Delete
  7. Today, the weather here is lovely, sunny but cool. I had forgotten how lovely a summer's day can be. Too bad the weather can't even itself out and provide us with just enough rain everywhere, neither too much nor too little.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inger, from what I hear on the news, the West is burning. Even Placerville, up near where I lived as a teenager, seems to be going up in smoke. I hope none of that gets down your way.

      Sunny and cool would be very nice. Today the Blue Ridge was mostly overcast and very humid. We need to dry out some.

      Delete
  8. That moss is the reason I moved back here. I was so allergic to it. I didn't have asthma problems since I was a child. I moved to Savannah, and couldn't breathe. I had headaches that felt like I had a hangover; only I didn't drink a thing the night before. My allergies remained bad, up until this year. They are bad to an outsider, but being me they are great. The only thing I changed was that I eat more greens, and take very little meds. I only take meds when I absolutely need them.

    Mold is so hard to get rid of. I hope your stuff from Home Depot does the job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a bad place for alergies. In Spring the yellow pine pollen comes down so hard that you can write on the hood of your vehicle with your finger.

      I usually don't have such a big issue with all this stuff, it's the extremely high humidity, for long periods of time, and constant drizzle that are doing it.

      Delete
  9. Heck, Harry, I've moss growing in my neither regions....I should try the bleach treatment.
    I should subscribe to Survivor. Haven't read a single copy, yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw on the weather channel it's been wet and humid for you folks down there as well. Maybe we'll get a break soon.

      Survivor has been around a few years, and is constantly improving. It's a small business, they're located down in your part of the country.

      Delete
  10. Some day it will dry out, but the folks in Ca.wish they had your problem. Could you use a salt water mix ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rob, salt would eat the deck planking alive. I use sand to keep from slipping but I think the only way I am going to get rid of this algae or whatever it is, is for us to have a few days of no rain and some low humidity. I know the West is burning right now, and would be glad to have our rain. It's just that we seem to get too much, for too long, then have long hot dry spells.

      Delete
  11. sprinkling epsom salts works on ice so you can walk carefully on your sidewalk. maybe try a sprinkle on your board walkway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, I'm afraid the salt would eat the boards up. They are pressure treated but salt eats wood at an amazing rate. I don't really know what Epson salts are, though I remember hearing of them. Do you think they would be as bad as regular rock salt?

      Delete
    2. no. you give it to tomatoes to stop cat facing when there is too much rain. mix some in the water. no table salt in it. have never used it on wood.
      any chemists out there with the info?

      Delete
    3. I thought it was something you soaked your feet in. I don't know where I got that idea.

      Delete
  12. Thanks for the tip. I have moss growing on the front garage roof where the sun does not shine. We have a 2nd floor porch so we can bring the hose up there and shoot from a flat surface. Other parts of the roof are very steep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That stuff at Home Depot works good. It kills the moss, then it dries up and when the wind and rain get at it, the dead moss flakes off and comes off the roof.

      Be sure to wear eye protection so if any of it comes down off the roof or the wind blows spray on you, it won't get in your eyes.

      Delete