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Old 16-08-2019, 02:33   #1
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Location: Quebec (boat currently in Sardinia)
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Moisture ingress in the icebox -- advice?

Two years ago we redid the icebox. Poured 2-part polyurethane inside the previous (cavernous) enclosure, into which a transparent plastic container was sunk, cold plate and thermostat fitted. Overall, very pleased with the result.

Today we discovered mold, growing between the transparent enclosure and the insulation layer, where there is some airspace (we couldn't achieve a perfect fit). Still minimal (a couple of spots 4 mm wide). The cause is obvious -- humidity infiltrates between the enclosure and the insulation, probably through the screw holes (4 screws secure the evaporator). The fix, less so.

1. Other than some "yuck" factor, anything to worry about?

2. The boat will spend close to 2 years on-the-hard starting in a couple of weeks. Anything we can/should do to avoid propagation and possibly kill the spores? (the ice-box lid is kept in an open position, so we assume that everything will progressively dry. But in the meantime mold will probably expand...

3. If I rebuild the enclosure: (1) is there a safe biocide that can be used to line the interface between the insulation and the plastic/epoxy container; (2) we do not believe that the mold creates any health hazard since the container can be cleaned easily. No spoiled food or any indication that something is wrong. Would an opaque container be a "fix"? (i.e. yeah, yeah. There's mold but we don't see it so we don't think about it. After all, our cavernous enclosure was stainless. And unsealed. Probably completely surrounded by mold.)

4. Anything else?
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Old 16-08-2019, 06:06   #2
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Boat: Fiberglas shattering 44' steel trawler
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Re: Moisture ingress in the icebox -- advice?

Just yuck, but it can cause sugar solutions (lemonade) to go bad faster because there is a source of spores.

Dilute bleach kills everything. Everything needs water to live. But, it sounds like you don't have access to the mold - you're seeing it through a liner.

If you can get to it, kill it all with a bleach spray kitchen cleaner (gets the concentration right, convenient), and then dry it out. There may be moisture in the insulation or other hidden places.

Drying out could be complicated, if moisture is a problem thoughout the boat. Can you put a portable baby dehumidifier? I run one of these in the forward cabin to prevent this problem.
Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry.
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Old 16-08-2019, 14:46   #3
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Location: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
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Re: Moisture ingress in the icebox -- advice?

That happened to our boat. What a mess tearing it apart. I think you need to fiberglass the foam.
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