Ask a Question forum: Questions on how to dehumidify a bedroom

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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Mar 4, 2015 8:56 AM CST
Last winter I tried to have a humidifer in my small centrally heated bedroom. its an old house I live in.... so it would have if left the way it was....... led to muilitiple issues such as paint/ceiling damage on the ceiling, mold on the blankets/ the door to my room making noises when I shut it/ other issues.


staff basically took down the humitifer to help.

as it was maitmence had to come in and fix the gaping hole in the ceiling- wood planks showed it was so bad- we later found out it was from the upstairs bathroom pipes not the humidifier but still.

my question is if I run it by staff and they say yes is there any ways to humidify damage proof a room so you can have higher humidity levels in winter without theses bad things happening such as above posted.

maybe do the bedding more often so mold never grows or applying water proof paint to the walls/ ceiling/ surfaces.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 4, 2015 11:59 AM CST
I think it would be a lot easier to have/maintain a terrarium, maybe in a decent-size aquarium. Or focus on the many other plants that aren't divas about humidity.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 4, 2015 12:21 PM CST
You could try to just humidify the area right around your plants, and keep the rest of the room dry. To do this, stand your plants on trays (old cookie sheets work great) of pebbles and keep the trays filled with water. The bottom of the pots should not touch the water. (the pebbles hold the pots up)

Just run the humidifier on especially cold and dry days when the heat in the house is on to circulate the air, and keep it near the plants and the window. (assuming your plants are near the window) I also hang damp towels around my plants in cold weather when I bring them into the house. A damp t-shirt or two on clothes hangers would work, too. Just don't let them drip on carpet, or the carpet will get moldy.

But if there was a plumbing leak that caused the damage, it also probably caused your moldy bedding and all that stuff as well. You weren't helping the situation with the humidifier, but all by itself, you couldn't possibly cause that kind of damage with a humidifier.
Elaine

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Mar 5, 2015 6:22 AM CST
I'm not sure there's a plant question here, anyway, If the pipes were wrapped with insulation that will stop the sweating of the pipes, unless it was a leak. Not sure where you live, but in the winter here the air is very dry just because cold air can't hold as much moisture. When heated it becomes even dryer. There are paints that contain a mildew retardant that can be used. I'd wash the bedding with a bit of bleach each time, and do it often. If there are plants involved and you want a humid area for them I'd find a different room. You can always spray them with water from a spray bottle a couple of times a day in the winter. I don't think any room that is so damp that mildew grows would need any further humidity for plants or people. Smiling
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 5, 2015 8:47 AM CST
The words I picked up on are: "if I run it by staff"; to me this indicates that your living situation is not a single family, owner-occupied building.

Humidifiers (properly used) counteract the dry air in a building during the winter months when the heat can cause dryness to the air, furniture, woodwork, doors, etc. The purpose of the humidifier is to balance the humidity in the room, not to saturate the air with moisture.

Using the humidifier to the extent that there is mold forming can be a danger to your health and to the health of others living in the building. I agree with purpleinopp that it may be better to confine the plants to a terrarium; controlling the humidity in the terrarium would help the plants and not harm the building or the health of the occupants.

(Sorry to be so passionate about the subject. My father was a painter and wallpaper hanger and he hated Grumbling excess humidity.)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Mar 5, 2015 9:14 AM CST
The plants are too big for a terrrauim.

Bird of paradise

ginger, coffee, Money tree. ect.
Name: Rick Corey
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RickCorey
Mar 5, 2015 10:41 AM CST
The plants plus pebble-saucers would keep each other a little more humid if moved closer together and drafts were blocked.

If it were me, I might drape a clear plastic drop-cloth around the grouping of plants, hanging from the ceiling, to hold some more humidity in. But that would look very uncivilized!

If the pipe leak upstairs let mold take hold in the walls and ceilings, you might have mold "forever". I hope the staff arrange for a "mold remediation" company to come in and strip the walls and bleach things, or whatever they do to reduce the amount of mold remaining.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Mar 5, 2015 11:44 AM CST
If you have had damage to your room to the extent you described-it would not be caused by running a humidifier. I think 'staff' is trying to convince you that it was that so there will be an excuse to oust your plants? If you are running a humidifier moderately so that your plants are happy-it should not cause any physical damage to your room, paint or furnishings. I think you could even keep a spray bottle on hand and lightly mist your plants two or three times a day, along with keeping some water in the saucer. That would probably be enough to make your plants happy. If not, just find plants that are happy without the extra moisture and grow those-succulants, cactus, violets ect.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 6, 2015 11:58 AM CST
Agree with the above. It sounds like a plumbing issue. No need to make your plants suffer, however. Seems like hand -misting is the simplest answer as well as pebbled trays below the play to hold a bit of water. I like the mini greenhouse being indoors idea. Erecting a piece of plastic sheeting over the top of your plants so that it doesn't touch them using a frame of sorts. ...pvc, an old umbrella, perhaps? would help keep the plants happy. Keep us posted.
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 6, 2015 1:03 PM CST
Have you considered one of the mini-zippy plastic greenhouses? They don't cost much and using the pebble trays along with misting would confine the moisture better. The shelves can be removed or adjusted to accommodate larger plants. I think they cost about $30 or less.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Mar 6, 2015 3:40 PM CST
It just occurred to me: dry cleaning bags. One hung over each large plant. They're light enough that they could be hung from a thin stake.

And you could see the plants right through them.

If you put a small light bulb just under each plant and then turned out any other lights in the room, you would have a pretty weird lighting effect.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Mar 6, 2015 8:33 PM CST
Rick, she would have an awesome lighting effect if the whole thing caught fire!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Mar 6, 2015 11:58 PM CST
I'm not really clear on what is going on here, despite having re-read the original post several times...

I do know that we need to run a DE-humidifier in the winter, because we have so much moisture coming from our crawl space. If there is so much moisture that it's wrecking the ceiling and molding the blankets, your house does NOT need a humidifier!! Sorry, but living in an indoor rain forest is just not reasonable. Blinking
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 7, 2015 8:53 AM CST
Sandy, I think there was a plumbing leak in the bathroom upstairs that caused the ceiling damage. Probably caused the moldy bedding as well. I'm sure that has been fixed now, and indoors with heat on all winter in Minnesota will again be dry, dry air.

We've been telling Pml that those tropical plants need humidity . . . but now we're trying to help 'contain' the humidity to around the plants so the whole room doesn't get moldy again.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Mar 7, 2015 10:51 AM CST
OKay...... I will have most of thjese plants outside anyay after mamoral day so it shouldnt be an issue until next winter.
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
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Esperanza
Mar 7, 2015 2:20 PM CST
Please do be careful with the mold growing. Black mold can be deadly and is a very serious threat to your health. The staff in your household needs to take this issue seriously if it has not already been resolved. If this is still happening you need to call in a mold remediation service in now. A friend of mine worked in this field and has shared heart breaking stories of what happens when these spores go unchecked in the household.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Mar 7, 2015 2:23 PM CST
okay got it.

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