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Old 25-11-2017, 11:51   #16
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

This is probably mildew rather than mold - mildew is white/grey. Mold is often black or green. Mildew isn't dangerous like black mold but can still give you the minor respiratory problems you've experienced. Some people have no effects from mildew others more.

But a mildew smell certainly isn't pleasant to live with in a boat. Mildew is also a fact of life in a boat. There's just too much moisture and humidity onboard. You have to keep after it.

Once mildew gets deep into foam cushions and carpet it's almost impossible to get rid of. That's one reason many boats don't have carpet. Cushions in a boat usually should be replaced about every 10 years anyways to start fresh. You could try putting the covers through a washing machine and dryer a few times with a bit of bleach and then just replace the foam. I buy foam from here: https://www.foambymail.com

If you have soft headliners pull back a corner and see if there's any smell on the back. If so, it's got to be replaced if you want to get rid of the smell. Some people just choose to live with it.

Be careful with bleach in a closed up boat. Open the hatches and rig a fan. Breathing bleach fumes can easily scar your bronchial tubes causing chronic bronchitis and asthma symptoms.

Here is a really good no-bleach mildew/mold killer that you can make yourself for pennies. I like it better than the commercial ones as it doesn't have a strong smell and works as well - or better. It's also a good general purpose surface cleaner. Use an old spray bottle. Wipe down the surface and then let some of it dry on the surface. It will slow the mildew from coming back. The chemicals are all available from Amazon in 1lb bags which will last a long time. The chemicals are low toxicity - so safe that they are all approved for use in food and/or pools.

1 tablespoon sodium bicarbonate
2 tablespoons sodium carbonate
2 tablespoons trisodium phosphate (TSP)
Mix into 1 Quart hot water.
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Old 25-11-2017, 13:13   #17
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
This is probably mildew rather than mold - mildew is white/grey. Mold is often black or green. Mildew isn't dangerous like black mold but can still give you the minor respiratory problems you've experienced. Some people have no effects from mildew others more.

But a mildew smell certainly isn't pleasant to live with in a boat. Mildew is also a fact of life in a boat. There's just too much moisture and humidity onboard. You have to keep after it.

Once mildew gets deep into foam cushions and carpet it's almost impossible to get rid of. That's one reason many boats don't have carpet. Cushions in a boat usually should be replaced about every 10 years anyways to start fresh. You could try putting the covers through a washing machine and dryer a few times with a bit of bleach and then just replace the foam. I buy foam from here: https://www.foambymail.com

If you have soft headliners pull back a corner and see if there's any smell on the back. If so, it's got to be replaced if you want to get rid of the smell. Some people just choose to live with it.

Be careful with bleach in a closed up boat. Open the hatches and rig a fan. Breathing bleach fumes can easily scar your bronchial tubes causing chronic bronchitis and asthma symptoms.

Here is a really good no-bleach mildew/mold killer that you can make yourself for pennies. I like it better than the commercial ones as it doesn't have a strong smell and works as well - or better. It's also a good general purpose surface cleaner. Use an old spray bottle. Wipe down the surface and then let some of it dry on the surface. It will slow the mildew from coming back. The chemicals are all available from Amazon in 1lb bags which will last a long time. The chemicals are low toxicity - so safe that they are all approved for use in food and/or pools.

1 tablespoon sodium bicarbonate
2 tablespoons sodium carbonate
2 tablespoons trisodium phosphate (TSP)
Mix into 1 Quart hot water.
A few drops of iodine in a spray bottle of water will dissolve mildew right in front of your eyes.
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Old 25-11-2017, 15:30   #18
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

There is some really good advice here about treating mold and mildew problems. I would recommend avoiding them in the future by 1) ventilating the boat continuously, 2) tipping up the cushions every day so that they dry out on the bottom, and try to provide air flow underneath with a layer of material for purpose or slats or whatever, 3) in the winter put in an oil-filled radiant heater - the 1200W DeLonghi would be perfect for you, and when you are not on the boat run a proper dehumidifier if there is room, or the chemical ones otherwise. Also, as others have noted, keep the interior clean everywhere you can reach and consider treating with tea tree oil or bleach.

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Old 25-11-2017, 16:03   #19
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

Electric heaters are fine on a boat as long as they are the fan type. Any type of combustion heater inside a vessel has the potential to kill you. It is better to have fuel burning heaters outside and to pump heated water through radiators inside--impractical on a small vessel.

On my vessel with marina power I used a portable air conditioner set to dehumidify. That heated the air as well as drying it out. It was very inefficient as a cooler though--but it was inexpensive and filtered the air as well. It was amazing how much dust the filters trapped--all the skin cells and bits that fungi on which nasty molds love to feed..

I use benzalkonium chloride solution sprayed (I use a cheap plastic garden pressure sprayer) over the entire interior of the vessel and in the bilges to kill mold. Cockroaches dislike it too, they may suddenly seem prevalent as they abandon the bilges and other hiding places. I use baits to get rid of them. One can buy BC from most swimming pool suppliers. I get it in Oz as "Wet and Forget" where it is used as a moss, mold and lichen cleaner. It is also used as a topical antiseptic in some first aid kits--so it is not really dangerous to handle--unlike some of the chlorine shower cleaners. You apply it to kill the stuff--then get in there with cloths scrubbing brush and wash the entire vessel down, then re-coat and allow it to dry. You only need to do it once every six months or so.

Those cheap portable air conditioners set to dehumidify (not the sort that work by evaporation, the compressor type) also heat the outlet air while filtering it and removing most of the moisture from the cabin air. So--if you have mains power you will be both warm and dry.

They are not much good as an air conditioner though--very inefficient for that job. But as a heater/dryer, great!

Electric fan heaters will not harm you. They are the safest, as they will shut off if they overheat or fall over. Buy the air conditioner/dehumidifier and you will filter, dry and heat the air all at the same time--but you will have a little noise. Not too much though. Beats shivering and stops condensation.
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Old 25-11-2017, 18:57   #20
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

I have found "Vital Oxide" to be very effective at killing mold.

https://ecologyworks.com/product-cat...-disinfectant/

My brother used Vital Oxide on a house for sale that no one else would buy due to mold. After buying the moldy house, he used the electrostatic sprayer (which gets the Vital Oxide mist into all the nooks and crannies) and killed all the mold. Good stuff.
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Old 26-11-2017, 00:53   #21
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

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Originally Posted by tbodine88 View Post
I am not as lucky as you, but live in a house ashore. During the last hurricane session It rained hard and I left the windows open in my bedroom.

I came home to find a moldy smell in my room. When I tried sleeping there I woke up with a headache and flu like symptoms.

I took EVERYTHING out of the room and cleaned the walls and floors with oil based cleaners since the floor is hard wood, but I used bleach on the walls. This was probably too much, since once all the cloth and soft stuff was out of the room it smelled a lot better. I threw a pallet on the floor and slept over night with no ill effects.

Later I noticed that it was my mattress that was mildewed. I threw that out, bought a new one and now all is good.

So removing all the soft stuff first, may be a good start. Good luck.
FYI: If you have a considerable amount of the highly unhealthy and dangerous mold in a house or flat in Germany the authorities will close it and you have to move out. Mold is very bad poisonous stuff for your lungs at least.

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Old 26-11-2017, 01:11   #22
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

A fan heater is perfectly safe if treated correctly. I like my Caframo one. It's wide and low, so can't topple over, and has overheat protection.

It might help to get one of these for when you're away :

https://www.caframolifestylesolution...rine/stor-dry/

With mold, prevention is better than cure.
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Old 26-11-2017, 01:49   #23
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

One thing I didn't see mentioned is mold detection. There are simple kits that help detect if it's in an area, but limited in their capabilities. Then there is equipment professionals have to help find it. If you haven't identified it all, you may work a lot and accomplish little.
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Old 26-11-2017, 04:11   #24
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

Hi all ,,, I have a trick a old guy showed me 40 years back ,,, the green antifreeze I know dont drink it but as its an alcaline MOLD wont grow ,,, I get a few litres and pour into my bilge ,, (stopps rot in its track also)

PS: dont use the new pink stuff it don`t work as good

Happy sailing
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Old 26-11-2017, 04:41   #25
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

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Mold makes me sick

You need to clean and then treat the whole boat with ozone or chlorine dioxide bombs!.
I am struggling to find these on Amazon, is there a trade name?


https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...lorine+dioxide
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Old 26-11-2017, 06:49   #26
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

Pull up that carpet already! See what's underneath. You can always put a new, cheap carpet down...but get rid of the old one asap! I've never met a boat carpet that wasn't disgusting underneath. I'll take wobbly boards instead of carpet every time!

As people get older, snoring starts. Sleeping with your mouth open, snoring, or just sleeping in a cold place can often leave you with a sore throat in the morning. And the bad sleep that goes along with it could explain your other aches and fatigue. A good night's sleep is vital to good health. So maybe its not mold after all. Or maybe it is.

So, tear up that carpet. And use the sound recording app on your phone to see if you are snoring.
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Old 26-11-2017, 11:21   #27
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
I am struggling to find these on Amazon, is there a trade name?


https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...lorine+dioxide
Thereís a couple makers of the Chlorine dioxide bombs. I think Starbright has some and I know Iíve gotten from both west marine and defender. Try going to one of those and searching odor or mold and I bet you get a hit
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Old 26-11-2017, 11:25   #28
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

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I am struggling to find these on Amazon, is there a trade name?


https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...lorine+dioxide
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Old 26-11-2017, 11:58   #29
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

I have access to an ozone machine. Quite an expensive one from Canada. Took out the food and stuff and used in the boat, the apartment and the house...

Unbelievably good.

I think I might either have to give it back one day or buy it...
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Old 26-11-2017, 12:12   #30
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Thereís a couple makers of the Chlorine dioxide bombs. I think Starbright has some and I know Iíve gotten from both west marine and defender. Try going to one of those and searching odor or mold and I bet you get a hit
Bit tricky, they are 3000 miles away so the cost of import duties likely to be high.

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