The last several years mold remediation
in houses has blossomed into a multi-million dollar business and has kept many lawyers
in out of the soup kitchens. We’ve all lived with mold all of our lives, but it
is now an environmental flavor of the month as so you’d better not be caught with
your spores down. Not only does mold smell bad, it can be bad for your health and
degrade the finish of your boat costing you hundred of dollars when you go to sell
Mold remediation need not be a big chore if you catch it early and regularly.
Capt. Pauley’s Report from thevirtualboatyard.com--
So what’s the big deal about mold? Well, mold spores can trigger asthma attacks
or allergic reaction in persons exposed to them, especially the young and the old.
Some mold spores produce toxins that are also dangerous. Long term exposure to mold
spores can cause health problems in healthy people. Mold has even been known to
cause lung infections. In short, it’s not a pleasant thing to live with.
Mold remediation involves killing the active mold colonies, disinfecting and cleaning
the affected surfaces and preventing reoccurrences of the mold infestation. This
of course is after the source of moisture has been eliminated. On a boat, that usually
means sealing the leaks and keeping the interior dry. Once that is done, the mold
colonies are killed, the surfaces cleaned and then sealed or protected from future
You can find mold nearly anywhere if you look hard enough.
Be sure to wear appropriate personal protection while doing this remediation. This
means gloves, eye protection and a respirator rated at N-95 or above.
The 6% Solution
One often used solution for killing the mold is common household
chlorine bleach, mixed with no more than one cup of bleach (8 oz.) to each gallon
of water. Surfaces are wiped down or scrubbed with the bleach solution and then
rinsed with water and dried.
Another solution often used is hydrogen peroxide. This isn’t
the common 3% solution found in most drug stores, rather it is anywhere from a 10%
to 35% strength solution, depending on the source doing the recommending. Hydrogen
peroxide of this strength is harder to find; try beauty supply companies or swimming
pool chemical suppliers.
A third method is to use one of the numerous proprietary chemicals
on the market for mold remediation. Many of these contain chemicals to kill the
mold, additives to aid in stain removal and cleaning and other additives to prevent
mold re-growth. After looking at a number of these products I selected one called
Mold Avenger, largely based on the recommendations of friends who had successfully
used it (http://www.dtep.com/moldavenger.htm
A little mold can go a long way.
Mold Avenger comes as a dry powder in a spray bottle. Just prior to use, water is
added to the bottle to dissolve the powder. After mixing, I sprayed the mixture
on all the interior surfaces of Daydream affected by the mold. After letting it
set for an hour or so, I started scrubbing the surfaces to clean up the mold residue
This is the point I really appreciated the benign character of the solution. Lying
on my back in the v-berth scrubbing the overhead was no place to have a bleach solution
or concentrated hydrogen peroxide running down my arms and dripping on my head.
I did appreciate my goggles, hat and gloves, though.
The Mold Avenger did its job well (although I hate to sound like a commercial for
the product.) It removed the stains and, after a fresh water rinse, left the surfaces
ready for refinishing.
If You Don’t Believe Me…
If you don’t want to take my word for it, why not start your research where I started
my search for mold remediation options -- on the Internet. Thanks largely to hurricanes
Katrina and Rita, there is quite a bit of information about mold remediation available
on the web. While much of it is focused on mold in homes, the information is also
useful in remediating mold in boats. The EPA has the booklets "A Brief Guide to
Mold, Moisture, and Your Home" and "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings"
available for free downloading on their web site at: http://www.epa.gov/mold/
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also has a section of their web site devoted
to mold, its effects and remediation. A section of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
Article courtesy of thevirtualboatyard.com