Barn / Shop Problem

riverwalker76April 30, 2009

I have a 40' X 80' metal shop that doubles as a barn. On one side I have a concrete pad where I keep all of my equipment, and then, divided by a wall, I have all gravel on the other side of the structure.

My problem is this .....

over the past few weeks I've noticed that the gravel side is very moist. On the surface of the gravel there seems to be a white powdery substance. You cannot rub it off, but it does smell musty in that part of the structure. It almost looks like someone lightly dusted the area with white paint.

Is this mold or mildew? How can I get rid of it without stirring it into the air?

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pris(8B TX)

Get something like the Miracle Grow fertilizer jar that comes filled with fertilizer and you attach to the hose. Fill the jar with bleach and lightly spray the infected area. If it is mold or mildew the bleach will kill it. This probably will not correct the problem which seems to be the moisture not disapating in that area. Do you have a broken water line in there? If there is no obvious water leak then set up a box fan to circulate the air and dry it out.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 11:39AM
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Walmart carries the weed n bug sprayers. Just put straight bleach in it and spray the mold.

Here is a link that might be useful: MY BLOG

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 2:13PM
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dethride(7a / 6b GA)

Efflorescence? I know it affects concrete, but not sure about gravel. But it is whitish.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 9:15AM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

YIKES! Wear a closed sided eye mask and breathing respirator with filters, to protect your eyes and lungs from breathing in the water and bleach droplets in the air!! You can REALLY BURN your eyeballs and lungs internally, with that stuff in the air!!

Things you can more safely do outside in open air, take on great danger when done in enclosed buildings.

White powder does sound like a kind of mold, but maybe just opening up the doors, getting air thru the barn, could help dissapate the moisture and mold conditions. A couple large fans, well placed locations, could help dry the area more quickly. Do you have roof venting? Some barns don't, which holds in heat and cold, moisture, so it takes longer to dry when this happens.

As the weather dries out, you might want to put in drain tile around the barn to carry off your excess water quickly, aids in preventing this wet dirt problem again. Gutters around the barn roof, with tile on downspouts leading water away, might also be helpful.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:45PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Cut a vent and install a fan, air flow is your friend. If its a mildew it should rub off a little. Is it possible that the whiteness and the musty smell are unrelated? Could someone have sprayed some paint and you have a musty smell from the moisture? Could the white be something leeched from the rocks/ground and you have a musty smell? Try some vinegar and see if that takes the white stuff off.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 11:21PM
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