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Dealing with Summer Humidity

Dealing with Summer Humidity

Korea normally has two periods of heavy rain in the summer – the monsoon ‘season’ in June/July and typhoon season in August/September, which has tended to make summers very wet. When it’s not raining, the weather is usually hot and very humid (muggy). Although, in recent years there have been fewer rainy or muggy days, humidity levels are still quite high, you’ll want to take certain precautions to protect your possessions.

Tips on Protecting your Home
1. If you don’t have air conditioning and/or a dehumidifier running regularly, you’ll want to invest in disposable humidity absorbers stocked by supermarkets and convenience stores. Look for a box with a hippo half full of water. They come in a variety of sizes and can be placed in your shoe cabinet (you’ll want to put them where you have anything made of leather), in kitchen cupboards (prevents the damp from affecting your food), in your closets, dressers, etc. To use, remove the silver foil but keep the white paper one; place the ‘hippo’ where you want. Once your ‘hippo’ box is full of water, you can throw it away and put it in a new one. You may also see charcoal ‘boxes’ next to the hippo on some grocery shelves that accomplish the same purpose – charcoal absorbs moisture, so even a lump of coal can be effective.
2. You’ll want to put moisture absorbing products in cupboard with dry goods as well as in shoe cabinets, dresser drawers and closets. These come in a variety of sizes designed to fit a variety of locations. Since humidity starts to form at low levels, it is best to place charcoal or other moisture absorbers at the bottom of the closet or cabinet.
3. Synthetic fibres, which are more moisture-resistant than natural fabrics should be stored in bottom drawers, with more absorbent fiber such as cotton, silks and wools nearer the top.
4. Wardrobe closets and dresser drawers can attract destructive mildew, moths, etc. in humid conditions. You can put newspaper or lining paper at the bottom of the closet and dresser drawers as well as in between piles of cotton clothing. The paper will absorb moisture instead of your clothing.
5. Mothballs will protect your woolen items.
6. Remove plastic wrap from your dry cleaning and do not store your winter clothing in plastic wrap over the summer.
7. Dried used green teabags or coffee beans, as well as lumps of soap and leftover perfume bottles, are natural deodorizers.

Tips on Protecting Leather
1. There are also rubber and plastic shoes available almost everywhere that will withstand the wet better than most leather shoes. However, if you prefer to wear your regular shoes, you may want to make them water resistant before you venture out.
2. If leather gets wet, let it dry at room temperature. Do not use heat as it will dry out the natural oils in the leather. To help your shoes keep their shape, stuff them with newspapers.
3. If your leather does get fungus, deal with it right away. You can put a tablespoon of Dettol (or another similar anti-bacterial product) in half a litre of tepid water. Wet a cloth with this liquid and rub the fungus-affected leather with it. If it’s a handbag, clean the lining inside the bag as well. Let it dry naturally and rub it with high-quality natural oil cream.

Tips on Protecting your Silver:
1. Wrap your silver jewellery in tissue or cotton and put them in sealed plastic bags (you can use ziploc-style plastic bags, available at most supermarkets – avoid bags with PVC however as they contain chemicals that can speed up the corrosive process). Store the jewellery in a place where they are not exposed to air or light.
2. You can also place chalk or the silica packets that come in pill bottles, etc. in with your sterling silver jewelry to absorb moisture.
3. If you’re too late and the corrosion has begun, you can put lipstick on a cloth or tissue and rub the silver jewellery. The lipstick will help lift off the black. You can repeat the process.

Tips on Protecting Against Mosquitoes:
1. As mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, you want to make sure to empty all buckets, wading pools, etc. often. About 10-14 days of the mosquito’s life cycle are spent in the water. In some areas of Korean, chemicals are regularly sprayed during the summer that create a film on water and prevents them from reaching maturity. We are told that the natural products are used these days, but the smoke can create problems for people with respiratory issues.
2. Make sure door and window screens fit tightly, and repair any holes (often difficult to get property owners to do this in Korea).
3. Many people use mosquito netting around their beds (very easy to find in discount and department stores all over Korea).
4. Various mosquito controlling products are available in supermarkets, convenience stores etc. Up to you to determine which, if any, you find the most effective. Insect light electrocuters (bug zappers) have become very popular, but how effective they are in preventing bug bites is debatable.

Getting Weather Information in English
English KMA*(weather) Telephone weather information service. You can ask about the current weather, the weather forcast, yellow dust (referd by KMA as Asian dust), and even global weather. Call  131 then press 9. You will be connected to a customer service representative who will give you the weather, Asian (yellow) dust update for various areas of Korea. Hours: Hours 9:00 - 18:00 Monday-Friday / Closed 12:00- 13:00 and weekends

Air Korea - real time weather information around the peninsula. Information on the website in English. No need to join or log in on this site. 

For an article on Surviving a Korean summer, click here.

K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at info@korea4expats.com.


Image Source: Korea.net

Last Updated on 2020-09-01

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