Excess moisture can lead to mould growth. One of the first indicators is a musty smell in certain rooms or areas of the cottage. Untreated, mold can damage building materials and cause asthma attacks or other respiratory issues.
When warm, moist air bumps up against cold windows, the liquid condenses into water droplets on the inside of the glass, eventually pooling on the windowsills and causing mold. If you leave your blinds closed all the time the lack of airflow can exacerbate the problem.
Soggy wood or drywall offers food and drink for a variety of insects you don’t want making home in your cottage. A trail of ants could indicate someone’s left open food laying around — or lead you to some water damage.
The short-term solution is to use a dehumidifier to remove some of the moisture from the air. Portable dehumidifiers collect water in a bucket that you periodically empty, or you can run a hose from the unit directly to a drain.
To avoid long-term problems, you’ll need to find and fix the source of the leak. It could be seeping in through missing shingles, gaps in the exterior cladding or around the window frames, a bathroom exhaust fan that isn’t working, or a slowly leaking pipe behind the walls.
Treat the mould by scrubbing it with a mix of a ½ cup of bleach, 1 quart of water, and some dish soap. Wear gloves and an N-95 mask when cleaning it up.