10 Years of Blog Archive

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It’s Rainy Season in Cuenca: Keeping Toxic Mold at Bay

Yes, Cuenca has mold and the homes can harbor mold wherever it is mild, dark, and damp. Our long time followers know all about our horrible mold experience back in 2011 as we posted several articles about it with the photos of the mold that was hiding behind our kitchen drawers and in our cabinets.  
Catching a cold or a virus is not an option for us, we know better than that.  As we are very careful to keep our immune system strong according to the health program we practice and preach.  We are very rarely if ever, “sick”.  So why then did we all start coming down with sinus issues and nasal congestion?  We wondered.   “Uh, why do we feel like this, could it be the altitude, or where is this toxemia coming from, what’s going on in this strange far flung new place, we wondered?

We’re doing everything we know to stay strong. Another month passed and we’re still feeling sinus heaviness and runny nose.  It’s not usual for us to be stumped like this and it was a nagging issue in the back of our mind. Why did we feel like this?

Meanwhile it was in the middle of winter so it was cold in the house with temperatures barely going above 65, 67 degrees. When we lived in the Southern U.S the houses warmed up during the day when the sun came out but here they basically stay cool all the time. So it probably didn’t help matters much that I kept the windows shut tight. I was freezing, and was in fact one of my complaints on the 12 annoying things about Cuenca video.

Oldest Son Became Severely Ill

Brandon, our oldest son came down with an upper bronchial infection and became very sick. I’ve never seen him so ill, tired, and just exhausted – We think the mold growth that was hiding in the back of his closet kicked off the upper respiratory problem that eventually became full-blown pneumonia. Mold can be toxic and deadly for some people.  And understand this house is not old, it was built in 2008 and only three years old when we moved in.  

Just then, a blessing in disguise:

It was truly a blessing that one of the rollers on my kitchen drawer started coming loose. The caster the roller rides on was slightly bent and needed repaired. Ok, no problem, we’re all very handy in this home. So I pull out the drawer for one of my sons or Frank to repair and that’s when I saw it!  Ugh! It was awful! Not only was the mold all over the underside of all my drawers but it was all over the cement behind the drawers.  It was disgusting! 

Since then we have learned that other homes in Cuenca have the dreaded mold growth lurking under carpeting, under sinks and behind cabinets. Sometimes you cannot smell it. I think it depends on what kind of mold it is. The growth we had was mostly green but the walls had some black mold on them.

We told the landlord because we thought he should know his house is full of mold, and he shrugged his shoulders and told us to keep windows cracked. Hahahahaha. Frank told him that his wife was freezing, but he said you NEED to have windows cracked in each room just a half of an inch and when the sun comes out, he said, open them all the way! Hahahahahah

It is now rainy season and fall in Cuenca; The rainier months last from February through May; then the colder winter months come from June through September. This is when we notice more people sick with upper respiratory issues in Cuenca; it is also the months when mold can get out of hand if your house stays chilly and you do not open the windows. It’s just how it is here. In a city where it is cloudy more days than sunny days, you will have more mold issues, especially in cement homes without proper ventilation.  Which is the rule here not the exception that some want you to believe, at least in houses.

Because this was such a big issue for us and something that we have first-hand experience with, Frank decided to do a weather/humidity experiment to help us and our readers understand the kind of climates that are susceptible to mold growth, Cuenca Ecuador being one of them. However, we know it is not isolated to just Cuenca Ecuador; toxic mold can grow anywhere and no home is immune to it, however dryer and sunnier parts of the world are less apt to have mold. 

Even Salinas apartments can get mold if the windows are kept shut.  The problem is the lack of proper ventilation.  We have noticed some are figuring that out and modifying their construction.   Amen to that.

Here’s Frank’s Weather/Climate Experiment in several parts (scroll down to about the middle of the page and you will find the 8 part series)

If you liked this article, we think you will like this one too.
Health Risks of Toxic Mold in Cuenca Ecuador 

We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy in Cuenca Ecuador! Enjoy the Discover Cuenca Ecuador blog!

1 comment:

  1. Heads Up!

    In addition to the mold problems due to the cold damp weather - here's something that should interest the vigilant:
    (be AWARE if the temp. becomes colder over the next two yrs.)



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