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Old 24-11-2017, 21:13   #1
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Is my boat making me sick?

So Iíve got a 27ft Coronado that I live-aboard part-time. Think Iím dealing with some mold related air quality issues. There is often a unpleasant funky smell when I first come onboard that goes away once I get the fan going. Six or so months ago I moved from the v-birth to the bench adjacent to the table, partially for this reason but recently moved back to sleeping in the v-birth. Iíve also stopped using the electric space heater under any circumstances because Iíve been advised they are dangerous. Opting for extra blankets instead.

Anyway I slept in the v-birth last night and woke up with a sore throat. I could well be coming down with something as I have other muscle aches and such. But the fact remains that I often wake up with some respiratory stuff going on. The boat does have carpet that Iíve been advised to remove but there are multiple loose boards underneath that I donít wish to deal with.

What can be done to make my living situation more bearable and safe?

Thanks.
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Old 24-11-2017, 22:00   #2
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

A few questions, please, mr Aviator:

1) have you determined by allergy testing that you are allergic to mold? If so, you will need to be really aggressive about getting rid of it, perhaps hiring it done to save your body the grief.

2) Where is the boat located? If is is in a humid area, there is likely to be all kinds of dirt and molds in the carpet, and if you're allergic, the carpet should go, or you'll never be as comfortable as you might be on the boat.

3) You wouldn't fly an aircraft you didn't do the flight checks on; so, why the reluctance to deal with the floor boards and whatever's under them? Mold can be there, too, and if you're allergic, it isn't going to do much good to only deal with the easy parts of it.

Ann
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Old 24-11-2017, 22:02   #3
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

What we find is that mold grows in every place you let it. We open up every space and let as much air in as possible..... our new boat had a vinyl with foam backing headliner along the hull hiding stanchion bolts and wiring..... you could only see up there if you were on your back on the floor. We removed this and noted tons of mold. Made a big difference in breathing. The foam is horrible stuff.
Just start in the front and work your way back cleaning and opening up as much as possible. And yes the carpet.... replace / deep clean every year or so
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Old 25-11-2017, 00:07   #4
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

We always keep Lysol wipes handy for various reasons and when thereís a spill or something needs wiping up we use those and clean 2-3 times the area that needs cleaning and wipe down as much as possible when doing this. When I notice any mildew Iíll grab a couple and wipe out a locker or wherever needs cleaning. This makes it easy, which means it gets done and keeps new growth at bay. Only downside is the waste.
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Old 25-11-2017, 00:07   #5
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

I had the same or similar problem. Here are some suggestions I tried and worked very well to minimize the hazard.
It might help to shoot some bleach with a garden sprayer to reach under the floor boards way across the whole width underneath and then in a couple of hours, flush with a garden hose with a pressure nozzle and drain the bilge. You will get lots of wood chips, saw dust, sand and dirty water floating in the bilge, then put a fan blowing into the floor openings to dry the moisture.
Also can use the bleach solution with the garden sprayer to kill any mold in the overhead where the deck to hull joint never gets cleaned. Check for leaks on a rainy day, mark them with a pencil and fix them on a dry day, clean the shower sump from soap scum, repaint the inside of the hull and cabinets, the bilge and engine room, add ventilators, make a way for the forward hatch and the main hatch to stay partially open but not allow rain to come in.
Before I did these things I mentioned, I had to clean the whole interior with bleach every month or so, to get the black growth from the overhead and everything else. Now, all I do is leave an open container with a 1/4 cup mixture of bleach and a shot of dish soap to let out fumes when I'm not there and leave the floor boards uncovered, then when I get back onboard the next week or so, I use that soap/bleach mixture to scrub and clean the bird droppings from deck. Clean, sweet smelling boat now with less upkeep!.
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Old 25-11-2017, 06:50   #6
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

You could also try some 'Tea Tree oil' such as Kanberra gel or Safe T Air on Amazon. Try to get rid of the mold first and use the above to keep it at bay. The Kanberra is pricey and I found the other to be almost the same at half the price.
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Old 25-11-2017, 06:54   #7
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougTheAviator View Post
So Iíve got a 27ft Coronado that I live-aboard part-time. There is often a unpleasant funky smell when I first come onboard that goes away once I get the fan going. Opting for extra blankets instead.

...a sore throat.
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.
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Old 25-11-2017, 07:05   #8
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

I am 100% convinced mold and otherwise boat factors (smells, solvents, etc.) can make you sick.

Rip all musty stuff away. Sane the area. Apply new liners.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 25-11-2017, 07:12   #9
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

Mold makes me sick

You need to clean and then treat the whole boat with ozone or chlorine dioxide bombs! Then get some mold stop spay and use it in areas that are shut up and which tend to stay cool and damp.
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Old 25-11-2017, 07:13   #10
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

A good friend of mine ran into some really nasty mold issues a few years ago. Long story short, she now has major issues in dealing with air quality, and any type of mold, at any level. Her health is now just terrible, all the time. She even moved to the high desert to get away from moisture, and any mold that may occur, and still she continues to have nearly debilitating health issues.

Take mold issues to be very serious to be safe.

This is a quote from her facebook page last month:
"My condo had toxic mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, growing in the walls (where I couldn't see it.) I became seriously ill and had to leave my home and all my possessions. I went from having my own successful freelance web development business to being legally disabled. I lost 25% of my IQ points to brain damage.

I am one of the rare and fortunate mold victims who now has safe housing, thanks to my family. Many symptoms are better, but I'm still pretty sick and science does not know how to cure me, so I will likely be sick for the rest of my life.

If you know someone who has a multi-system, multi-symptom illness that doctors don't really know what to do with, this could be their problem. Common misdisagnoses are lupus, fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and MS."
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Old 25-11-2017, 07:46   #11
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

The foam in your cushions would be another good thing to take a look at.
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Old 25-11-2017, 09:38   #12
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

Also check for mold growing within teak louvers on doors and shelving. Bleach and clean, bleach and clean; then paint.
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Old 25-11-2017, 10:08   #13
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

-Remove the old carpet. remnants are cheap.
-Spray and wipe all surfaces you can with a dilute bleach/water solution in a spray bottle. Too much bleach can cause you breathing problems too , so dont over do it. Maybe a 1/2 teaspoon in a bottle.
-SPray the underside of the floor panels and all the bilge also.
-Cushions and fabric can hold the mold also though.
-You can run a small electric heater fine, just not on high mode is best. The drier you can make the boat the better. Run at high all winter will destroy your shore power cord eventually.
-an oxone generator does very well for mold, but run it when you are out of the boat.
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Old 25-11-2017, 10:45   #14
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

apart from a possible mold issue ...

you might also want to look into the possibility of a formaldehyde issue ...


hope you'll find and can resolve the problem soon.
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Old 25-11-2017, 10:46   #15
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Re: Is my boat making me sick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
A few questions, please, mr Aviator:

1) have you determined by allergy testing that you are allergic to mold? If so, you will need to be really aggressive about getting rid of it, perhaps hiring it done to save your body the grief.

2) Where is the boat located? If is is in a humid area, there is likely to be all kinds of dirt and molds in the carpet, and if you're allergic, the carpet should go, or you'll never be as comfortable as you might be on the boat.

3) You wouldn't fly an aircraft you didn't do the flight checks on; so, why the reluctance to deal with the floor boards and whatever's under them? Mold can be there, too, and if you're allergic, it isn't going to do much good to only deal with the easy parts of it.

Ann
And what might be growing under those loose boards. I am assuming cabin sole.
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