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Old 29-07-2009, 09:16   #1
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How to Eliminate Mold?

Now, I realize that the subject of mold is by no means as exciting and glorious as, say, falling overboard or refloating a sunken boat, but it is a challenge. Please, no wise comments!

All was well until we headed South for the winter. While on the way from Canada to Florida, we noticed condensation on the ceiling (gelcoat coated fibreglass) every morning, assumingly due to the fact that it was cold outside and warm inside. The moisture was wiped every time with a cloth. By the time we got to Florida, however, we noticed a couple of small stains on the hull liner (carpet-like liner, not vinyl) in the V berth. Removed the stains with warm water and baking soda, but they came back a few weeks later.

Being now back in Canada, I emptied the boat, washed all cushions, ripped out all hull liners, washed every nook and cranny from ceiling to bilge with a chlorine solution, including ALL wood (do not cringe, all wood is coated with resin, which makes it washable), then installed new liners, but the boat somehow still has that (faint, but noticeable) moldy smell.

What to do next, besides Febreeze?
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Old 29-07-2009, 09:28   #2
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back in Toronto eh, You probably still have mold where you cant see it i.e. behind panels and headliners . We use bathroom mildew remover cleaner in spray bottels start in bow use lots of ventilation we use a fan in hatch , rinse with lots of fresh water keep on ventilating till dry you will win
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Old 29-07-2009, 09:32   #3
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Bomb it again with bleach, getting into all the inaccessible cracks and crannies. Or, put an ozone generator on board and let that cook for a while. The ozone will get into places that you can't reach with bleach.

A couple of solar powered fans to ensure good airflow are the permanent solution, odds are it will keep coming back unless you ensure there's airflow.
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Old 29-07-2009, 14:01   #4
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Most of our surfaces below are teak, so bleach is out of the question. We wipe down the surfaces with white vinegar once or twice a year, and have very little mold show up. As hellosailor suggests, the solar powered fan in the head's overhead hatch helps, too.
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Old 29-07-2009, 14:20   #5
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the good stuff

3M makes a product called "Marine Mildew Block." They advertise that it "creates an invisible film where mold and mildew will not grow."

It's expensive. It works. I use it on materials that I would never touch with chlorine.
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Old 29-07-2009, 14:36   #6
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I had the same situation and found that Lysol mold and mildew cleaner in the aerisol can works like a charm. It will not bleach your fabrics and cushions too. I used it liberally through out the boat from carpet hull liners to hanging lockers and cushions. No more smell or mold coming back. Every time I wipe down anything now, I use it. Might want to crack a port or two, emptying a can of Lysol in the confies of a boat can be a bit strong.

Goodluck
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Old 29-07-2009, 15:30   #7
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Rent a commercial ozone generator open all internal accesses close the doors and leave it run for a few days , Don't go in there!!. The commercial generators are used in building floods to kill mold spores.
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Old 29-07-2009, 15:31   #8
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an accidental propane explosion comes to mind...... if it burns long enough....
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Old 29-07-2009, 15:40   #9
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You have two very different problems here. Both of which need to be addressed.

1. You have to get rid of the mold.

2. You have to stop the mold from coming back.

The best way I have found of getting rid of mold are the commercial products for getting rid of mold in showers. Imagine that, you don't have to use an really nasty chemicals or home remedies.

The best way to stop mold is to create a dry environment that keeps the relative humidity at a minimum. To lower the relative humidity, the air must be heated and adequate ventilation must also be provided. There are also dehumidifiers. Desiccants are usually not enough and do not last long enough even if you had enough.
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Old 29-07-2009, 16:03   #10
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Air with moisture makes mold. Mold comes through the air. Changing air over many times aids to prevents the dew point from dropping too quickly and thus causing condensation. If you want to stop mold you need to stop condensation or deal with it.

You can't make the boat air tight. You can insulate the boat hull from the outside air if the water is colder than the air. These are situations that come from higher latitudes. If you can not stop the condensation then treating for mold is the only solution left. It would need to be done regularly as noted above to stay ahead of the game.
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Old 29-07-2009, 16:23   #11
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Run the A/C on a regular basis; cooling in hot climates and reverse heat in cold climates. Basically, remove water. A dehumidifier is just as good with only a little exytra heat coming from it.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 29-07-2009, 16:30   #12
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1) don't leave an ozone generator running for extended periods of time. They work, but they will also destroy plastics and rubber.

2) a dehumidifier is a GREAT investment. Run the hose into a sink drain.
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Old 30-07-2009, 03:20   #13
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Available scientific evidence shows that, at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution.

The concentration of ozone would have to greatly exceed health standards to be effective in removing most indoor air contaminants. In the process of reacting with chemicals indoors, ozone can produce other chemicals that themselves can be irritating and corrosive.

The four steps to mold remediation are:
(1) CONTAIN the mold from spreading into uncontaminated areas
(2) KILL the mold
(3) REMOVE the dead mold
(4) PROTECT the cleaned out area against future mold infestations (moisture control & ventilation).

Mildew Wars: a fight you can't win ~ by Bob Wood
”You may not be able to win the war, but you can win occasional battles. Regardless of the odds, you must fight! Now's the time to meet your opponent...”
Goto: Good Old Boat magazine: Volume 2, Number 3, May/June 1999
Good Old Boat: Mildew Wars - a fight you can't win By Bob Wood
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:39   #14
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When we bought our boat it has a lot of mold in it. We sprayed every nook and cranny with Simple Green, soaked ropes in buckets with simple green. It worked really great. We have also been using those dehumidifier buckets that absorb moisture...you can get them at West Marine. We are planning on getting a solar fan to run all the time because mold is always going to be a problem in Florida.
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Old 06-08-2009, 14:41   #15
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I can't remember where I read the tip, but I will pass it along.

Remove all mold with a good cleaner of your choice, then wipe the area with a mixture of borax and water. Let the area air dry, do not wipe the area dry.

I treated the locker under the sink in the head with this borax mixture several month ago and no mold has returned "yet".

I was told that mold finds the alkaline surface difficult to grow on.

I dissolved borax and poured the clear portion into a spray bottle so that I could reach hard to get at areas.
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