Appropriate Technology in the Ozarks, Arkansas – Mold Treatment

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At our home here in the Ozarks, we’ve been talking a lot about appropriate technology. So often we talk about wind generation, solar, water catchment, etc, etc. Really standard topics in the realm of appropriate technology, no?

Well, I’ve had a few opportunities to delve deeper into this concept with the onset of a wet, rainy spring.

In what other ways can we embrace appropriate technology and therefor practices? In my own life out here, it came down to the carpets, and specifically the mold.


It has been a constant, but dwindling battle with the persistent mold of the valley at Meadowcreek and I felt it worthwhile to share my appropriate tech to deal with it.

My recipe for success is simple, cheap, and highly effective. Moreover I don’t use bleach, a common solution for mold. My main reason for avoiding bleach is because it  simply removes mold from the outermost layer, never reaching the inner most infections within the wood. We used it on our floors and I ended up returning with my own concoction later on.

So, the recipe!

I use a standard 20 oz spray bottle, a recycled orange glow bottle, and my measurements depend in large part of the severity of the issue. If you’re dealing with a high concentration of mold, I would use a higher ratio of vinegar to water and up the cedar oil content. The recipe below is the base line, use for everyday cleaning concentrations.

Approximately 1/2 oz of cedar oil (about a cap full from most concentrates)
1/2 the bottle of vinegar 
1/2 the bottle of water

*Do not mix vinegar and bleach. This will create chlorine gas, a toxic and potentially deadly mixture*

So, whats the most effective method to use this recipe? I found saturation to be the best. Most of the mold in my home is in the rafters and this required me to take the spray bottle up a ladder (or chair in desperation) and spray directly onto the expose wood. What you want is for the mixture, a milky white color, to be about to drip off the of the wood, or material you’re treating. When those beads begin to form, have a small towel on hand to dab the droplets, still alowing the majority to sit on the wood, saturating the surface.

Mind you, I’ve been at this for a year now. I would say that my house was at roughly %100 mold when I got here, we’re at about %10 now, assuming there is some I’m simply not aware of.

If you’re willing to treat the mold as you see it rather than approaching it from a “one time treatment” this will be VERY effective for you.

Even places that were saturated with water, and mold, when I arrived are now stable and showing no signs of return.

Lastly on the subject for appropriate technology for mold- I’ve realized that if I am to live in the Ozarks, I must conform and work with the land I’m on. We could purchase an a/c unit and hoist it into our window to dehydrate the space, or use a dehumidifier, but both of them require more power and our house already stays cool most of the summer without aid.

So, we’ve removed all our carpets and taken down the drapes.

Is this irrational? Don’t I as a human have the right to live however I want because of the comforts technology affords me?

Well, maybe. In the long run though, what are lasting and true solutions to the persistent issues of a place? Living in New Mexico, or Arizona do I learn to love the scrub brush, sage, and cactus or do I insist upon a manicured, green lawn?

Appropriate technology is dependent on the individual, though I truly believe that there is great value in examining our ecosystems, our land and our lives in the same lens.

I hope you find practical use from this recipe, and I will endeavor to show you come before and afters of mold treatments in the home. Have a fantastic life!

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