Get rid of the dampness and mold at the barn
That musty, moldy smell results from water + spores, which is gross. And, it’s not super healthy for lungs – human, horse, cat, or dog. You can do a few things to get rid of the damp and mold at the barn. The mold spores love humid areas and can live on fabric, leather, walls, and floors. Super, right? They have an active reproductive life (ugh) and need to be eliminated and then prevented.
- Zeolites are the best way to combat mold and mildew smell – and thank goodness zeolites are all safe, from the earth, and non-toxic.
- Zeolites are porous aluminosilicates, and come from the combo of volcanic ash and alkaline water, although now some zeolites are produced industrially.
Tiny and powerful zeolite granules.
Find the source of the mold and mildew in your barn.
- How is water getting in? Was it just from humidity, or was there a rainstorm that flooded part of the barn? In barns, because barns are not climate controlled, it may be hard to overcome humidity.
- You might have a space in the barn that can be closed off to allow a dehumidifier to work (YIPPEE!).
- Alternatively, fresh air circulating is the next best thing. Windows are your friend! If there was a flood event, do you need to do some creative roofing?
- What about landscaping so water runoff goes away from the barn? Is there a plumbing leak somewhere that’s creating a mold-friendly space?
Cleaning mold and mildew
- Squeegee, towel up, and sweep out as much water and moisture as possible. Zeolites can help you soak up the last bits of water, simply sprinkle the damp areas and the zeolites act like a sponge.
- Depending on the surface you need to clean, you have some options. PUH-LEEZE consult your local mold and mildew expert to get advice/help on how to eliminate mold and mildew in your barn – this is influenced by what your barn is made from!
Bleach and water work well, be sure the horses are playing outside and you have lots of fresh air. Same for a Borax and water mix.
- This mix might work well on walls, for wood you could try dish detergent and water to clean up the mold and mildew. Getting the right formula might hinge on the exact surface you are cleaning, so research and ask. ***Bleach plus ammonia (from urine) is BAD, it’s so BAD. No bleach around pee spots.***
- For floors, it depends on what the flooring is, but I’ll go ahead and assume no one has imported marble floors in their barn. Typical barn floors (concrete or wood or something industrial) will likely be able to become de-molded with a bleach or Borax or soap mix.
- Getting back to those zeolites… They work as a desiccant, to take up moisture in the 40-50% range by weight. It would take a lot of those tiny desiccant packs in your vitamin bottles to equal the power of a few scoops of zeolites. This will help you get up every last drop of water from “the incident” area.
You can stash containers of zeolites around the barn. Water bottles with the tops cut off work well.
- Zeolites are also super at drying up and ruining the environment that mold grows in, which is handy in preventing the mold from returning. When it comes to smells, zeolites work in two ways. One, as an absorbent, to sponge up and an adsorbent to stick to damp odors and take moisture and smells away.
How to use zeolites
- You have several ways to use zeolites, one being directly out of the container.
- You can also pop some in an open container to use in the area or make a sock container of zeolites to do the trick.
A lone sock stuffed with zeolites keeps tack trunks and cabinets fresh.
- You don’t have to wait for a flood or a spill, you can have these zeolite containers stashed around the damp areas all the time. If your long-term horse stuff is stored in a questionable area, make some zeolite socks to toss in the cabinet or trunk.
- Keep the fresh air flowing, and you should be good to go!
- Look into Damp Rid packets, hanging or otherwise, to eat those musty smells. They are inexpensive and easy to use.
- Another option is a dehumidifier, which you need to clean and drain regularly. Luckily, most are portable and small.
You can order here if you want to try some zeolite ammonia and mold-smell-eating goodness. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which doesn’t cost you anything extra. I thank you!