So, I’m back in Vancouver, dealing with the mold.

Apparently mold is present in all life-sustaining environments: there’s no way to keep the spores out of your home (or my van), so the only way to avoid happy mold colonies is to avoid creating a comfortable place for them to breed. I tried, but obviously something went wrong.

Just like people, mold needs food and water. I know mold loves wood, but the puzzle for me was to figure out how moisture got down there. I don’t wet the bed, sooo… ??? I think what happened is, my body warmed up the mattress every night, and whenever that heat finally met up with the cold piano hinge, moisture condensed out of the air molecules, pooling on the metal, eventually soaking into the wood, and then having nowhere to escape to. Presto, happy mold colony. You can see how the black patches are concentrated right beside the hinge. But the hinge is just left of centre, so I think once it was established it started migrating to the right because there’s a little more heat. So what do I do?

1) Kill kill kill!!!!! I found a non-toxic biodegradable mold killer and sprayed it down immediately (that’s why there’s moisture in the photo… before that it had been drying for a week). Boat people know about mold; I bought this stuff at a marine supply store near Granville Island. To be safe I’ll do a second round where I take all the bed pieces apart and spray again, scrubbing at the same time.

2) Control the moisture. The No-Damp stuff above is a really simple dehumidifier: there’s a little plastic basket above a basin, you put these weird chemical pellets in the basket, and they somehow pull moisture out of the air and condense it into liquid that drips into the basin. Every so often you just empty the basin, and replace the pellets when they’re low.

3) Improve airflow. I’m going to drill fairly large (like 1″ diameter) holes in the bed platform so that any moisture that does get under the mattress again can evaporate into the air.

4) Insulate the hinge? I’m not quite sure how to do this… liquid latex? Bathtub caulking? Still pondering that one.

Wish me luck!

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