Returning to Panama in the Rainy Season

The rainy season finally arrived in Panama. We were told that it rained almost every day while we were away. Everything looks so green, and the previously neat yard is a bit overgrown.

But, with rain comes humidity, and mold. The house had been closed and we smelled a problem as soon as we opened the door. My mouse pad was the most impressive! There was also mold on other odd places – the office chairs, the front of the fridge, the bicycles, a few of the clothes, and the frying pans.

lots of mold, yuck!

lots of mold, yuck!

the clean mousepad

the clean mousepad

My first couple days home were spent scrubbing the house. It was probably due for a good cleaning anyway but it got the full treatment, especially in the kitchen. Windows and doors were opened, fans were turned back on, and things quickly smelled a lot better.

Humidity control measures are back in effect too –

  • The shower walls are squeegeed after use, and wet towels are put out in the laundry room.
  • Any previously worn clothes are not allowed back in the closet area – which is a part of the bathroom. (that sounds convenient, but it’s not so good for keeping clothes dry)
  • There is a light and heat bar in the closet area, and a fan in the bathroom/closet.
  • My husband also bought a dehumidifier and it’s making the rounds from room to room.  It seems to heat up a room, but it sure dries it out!

We first arrived here in the rainy season and had mold problems before. These measures seemed to take care of it (even without the dehumidifier) so we shall see how it goes from here. I’m liking the change of season though. Summer was interesting but we’d had enough of hot and dry. I love the balmy moist air, the cooler temperatures, and the green everywhere. It looks especially lovely now down by the river.

greenRiver61

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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14 Responses to Returning to Panama in the Rainy Season

  1. joeltc1 says:

    Hard to tell that it was a mousepad in the first photo!

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      • roaed says:

        Here in South LA we too have a problem with humidity, mold, mildew. We leave the A/C on to 85 degrees so it will cycle on some to remove the humidity, even when we are away.
        We will be scouting Panama in August, David, Boquette, Chirique Provence, hope to meat you in person ,Robert and Edna Smiley

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        • Kris says:

          It was humid in Florida too, but we also had A/C. Here we don’t so we have to come up with other ideas.
          Yes, please let us know when you are in the area. I’ll send you an email so you’ll have my info.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kris, we have a boat and use a dehumidifier because the boat is closed up a lot. You know how Humid it is in Florida… Next time you go away, attached a hose to the machine with it emptying into a sink or shower. You can leave it on low, and there will be a world of difference when you get home. The machine needs to have an automatic off and on, so when there’s moisture it drains to the sink, and shuts when it’s dry. And you won’t worry about leaving something on while away. Something to try maybe???

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    • Kris says:

      Thank you, that sounds like an excellent idea! My husband says our humidifier can work like this, and it would sure make for a more pleasant house to come back to.

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  3. indacampo says:

    Wet season, so nice and green and lovely and wet and smelly and funky. I am loving it also but not so much the extra cleaning that goes with it! 🙂

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    • Kris says:

      I’m in the yard more, so I tend to track in more stuff. Do you find that too, or is the extra cleaning related to the dampness?

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      • indacampo says:

        Yes, sawdust from the front garden bed. Grass from el patio after Eric has mowed. More insects laying dead on the windowsills and more funky towels and bedding to wash now that we don’t have those winds to dry everything out. On the other had my dusting time has been cut waaaayyy back! 🙂

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Yes, we here in LA. ( near Baton Rouge ) know all about damp, humidity, mold, etc. ) the only solution for us is to air condition to remove the humidity. Even when we are away the thermostat is set to 85 or so just to come on some to take care of the dampness. without this we too would return to mold and mildew. I see you will be away when we make our scouting trip to Chirique Provence in August. We have not finalized the date yet , but looks like the end of the month. Robert and Edna Smiley.

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    • Kris says:

      Ah, not Los Angeles, but Louisiana! Yep, humidity there for sure.
      Schedules might work out so we can meet! We should be back towards the end of the month. I sent you an email so we can keep in touch.

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  5. Boy, can I identify with your post and some of the comments. I kept telling myself, when the rains start, I won’t have to dust as often. Now, the rains are here and I have to sweep out the bugs..lots and lots of insects in the rainy season. I never buy anything leather. My leather purse molded so badly, it was unidentifiable. The last time I was in the states, I brought back several large jars from a boat supply place that helps with the mold and dampness. I think it’s called Dampaway. I haven’t used it ,yet, but I am getting ready. We are having an all day rain today…so I think the time to try it is at hand. The first sunny day we get, I air out my clothes on the clothesline so they don’t smell so moldy. I guess I’ve just learned to live with the dust in the dry season, and then the mold in the rainy season. It’s part of life in the tropics. 🙂

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    • Kris says:

      Yep, any leather here didn’t do well either. We found some devices (called Eva-Dry) that are filled with some moisture absorbing substance, and when they are waterlogged you plug them in, they heat up and release the moisture, and are ready for use again. My husband said according to his research they do a good job without cords or batteries. But, we’re mostly using the dehumidifier and it’s definitely filling up with water, and in a closed room you can tell it’s much drier. Personally I like the humidity. My skin is happy. And yes, wherever you live there is something to deal with. I’ll take mold over ice and snow any day.

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