How to Prepare the Cellar for Winter: One Ingredient to Protect the Walls and Shelves From Mold

Cellar owners should start preparing the room for winter as early as November, so that fruits, vegetables, and preserves will be well preserved until spring. It would be a shame if mold or worms caused the loss of a part of the good harvest.

Preparing the cellar includes cleaning, removing mold, and treating the shelves and walls. Our tips will also work for the basement if you store food and canned goods there.

Cleaning the cellar before winter

First of all, you need to make audit the cellar. Take out everything on shelves and in drawers. Examine the cans and leftovers from last year’s harvest. Decide what can be left in the cellar for another winter and what should be thrown out or eaten immediately.

Inspect fruits and vegetables for mouse teeth marks. If there are, buy rodent baits so they don’t ruin your new crop.

Racks, drawers, and shelves are cleaned with a brush and then washed with water and disinfectant or laundry soap. If the shelves can be removed, it is advisable to take them outside in sunny weather for a couple of days to let them dry. If the shelves are not removable, they can be varnished – then they will not be afraid of moisture and rodents.

How to dry the cellar or basement

If a lot of condensation has accumulated on the walls of the cellar and mold has formed, then the room is too humid. You can get rid of dampness in the cellar with the help of a roaster. First open all the hatches, doors, and pipes that lead into the cellar, then put a roaster in the center of the cellar and ignite it, let the sawdust burn completely. The roaster will not only dry the air, but it will also treat the walls against mold with smoke. The cellar should be empty during drying.

If you don’t want to bother with a roaster or are afraid of fire, you can dry the cellar with an ordinary candle. Place a large candle under a chimney or open hatch, and light it. For fire safety, place the candle in a jar. It will take 3-4 days and several candles to dry out the cellar.

The easiest and safest way to dry the cellar is to spread sawdust or old newspapers on the floor and leave them there for a few days. They will absorb excess moisture. Then repeat the procedure 2-3 times, if the room is very humid.

What to treat the cellar for the winter

When the cellar is dry, you can treat the basement against mold and mildew. To do this, you can whitewash the walls and ceiling, if the old whitewash is already crumbling. As a whitewash suit common lime can be added with a little copper sulfate.

Another good remedy against mold is a 10% solution of copper or iron sulfate. This remedy is used to treat the floor and walls, as well as wooden surfaces.

If you have manganese at hand – this is a good option, to treat the cellar for the winter. After treatment, ventilate the room.

Of home remedies with mold, fungus, and other microorganisms, vodka copes well. There is no need to dilute it with water. Just wipe the shelves with vodka, and treat the walls with a sprayer.

What to put in the cellar against mold

To mold did not spoil the shelves and products, on the shelves should be placed bunches of red rowan. Many cellar owners assure that these berries repel fungus. To protect walls from mold, hang rowan bunches on the wall or tape them to the walls.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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