Boat Mold Removal Guide

by | May 18, 2022 | Mold Removal Tips

This guide is everything you need to know about mold removal and prevention for boats, yachts, and other marine vehicles with environmentally safe cleaning and restorative products.

We have spent years making boats sparkle. So if you want to keep your watercraft relatively mold-free, maintain its value and also the safety of you and your passengers in an eco-friendly manner, we have you covered.

Not only do we offer free how-to guides and sell the safest product for boats in the U.S., Mold Safe Inspections offers state of the art mold removal, inspection, and testing services for boat owners, yachts, charter ships, and many other marine vessels.

If you need help today in San Diego or the Southern California area, you can call us at 760-818-6830.

The facts are all marine vehicles are very susceptible to molds (fungi/mildew) due to their frequent exposure to water, moisture, and the high humidity which creates the perfect breeding ground for it to grow. It is an ongoing problem that almost every boater will suffer from.

“All molds (fungi) have four basic elements for growth: suitable temperature, oxygen, food, and moisture. Eliminating one of these elements can prevent fungal growth” (Scheffer, 1940, 1973).

But on the water, controlling the water, temperature, and oxygen is typically not practical. Therefore minimizing molds ability to acquire food and water while also maintaining the environment is paramount at keeping these toxic critters at bay.

The higher the humidity like in areas such as in the Carribean or the Florida Keys, the more prevalent mold will grow but it also thrives in drier places like here on the West Coast in San Diego and Orange County.

On the East Coast, the growth will normally be much more intensive and ongoing because even after you remove any existing mold, it will keep coming back the next month and or year after year due to the extremely high humidity. Also, on the East Coast, there is a lot more algae (sea mold) to contend with which exasperates mold growth on boats so boaters here need to be a lot more proactive in its prevention.

One of the best ways to do this is by maintaining moisture and its food source with extra cleanliness which will reduce fungal growth. But be careful because if you use the wrong cleaning products, you can cause severe damage to your boat and our waterways.

For example, the most popular products available on the market are chlorine bleach-based which really should never be used on seats or fabrics with nylon fabric or stitching because it will weaken and eventually eat through the material. In addition, chlorine is a poison that will pollute our oceans and lakes thus ruining the environment.

Many of these products claim to be environmentally friendly but they are not.

Prevention and Cleaning

If you do not take the necessary steps to prevent microbial growth and or you leave this nasty mess untreated, it will not only reduce the value of your property, it can easily ruin your marine vessel and create an extremely unsafe environment for both you, your crew and passengers. Here are some prevention protocols you can use today.

* Dry All Items – In order to prevent and remove mold and mildew on marine vessels (both commercial and recreational), you need to pay close attention to all the things that get wet, damp and or extra humid such as ropes, life jackets, gear, storage containers, seats, etc. which left ignored can begin to harbor large amounts of mold.

If you do not want mold, DO NOT let these types of items wet in your marine vessel. Quickly drying your frequently wet items in the sun such as hanging your towels, rags, and life jackets out whenever possible is imperative.

* Keep Humidity Low – Keeping the humidity below 55% is ideal at preventing mold growth, but to do so is almost impossible given the fact that many coastal areas are well above this level throughout the year. Having a dehumidifier constantly run is a good option and keeping wet items out of the cabin and or drying them properly will help keep the humidity down.

* Proper Ventilation & Temperature – Proper ventilation of cabins and compartments, and internal temperature control are the best methods to help mitigate the spread of molds. You can improve the ventilation by allowing hatches and portholes to remain open and also by utilizing active or passive ventilators, fans, and wind scoops for proper air flow.

West Marine offers the following advice for ventilation your boat;

“To prevent mold and mildew, you need to ensure that your boat is well ventilated. This can be as easy as opening hatches or portholes to create cross ventilation. But for times when you are away, you will need to rely on either active or passive ventilators to keep the moisture level down.

Passive ventilators, such as cowl vents, clamshell vents, louvered vents, ventilating sails, ports, and hatches provide an access path for air to enter or leave the interior of the boat. As long as either the boat or the air itself are moving, they work just fine.”

* Wet and Stagnate Items – Also, do not allow things to sit in the same place for prolonged periods of time. They will get damp and grow mold fast from the unrestricted air movement and humid conditions so do not let items like clothes, towels, seats, bedding, etc. to sit for too long. You need to consistently move these things around and clean them often.

* Frequently Clean – It is extremely important to pay extra attention to the dark, and damp areas such as storage containers, underneath seats, upholstery, and glue down carpet because these areas are often virtually untouched during regular cleaning, and is the perfect environment for toxic spores to grow.

Be extremely careful about the type of cleaner that you use because many on the market are toxic to humans, animals, and the waterways. Also, some surfaces on boats are especially susceptible to scratching and many products are gritty so you need to trap the dirt with something that has a lubricant like simple eco-friendly soap and water and then remove the lubricant.

How to Clean Your Boat

You will want to make sure that you use the right towels and cleaners while you clean because boats have different materials, plastics, and chemicals that require specific products so they do not get damaged from the cleaning process. If you use the wrong towels with the wrong product, it may cause premature scratches, cracking, and cloudiness.

Our cleaner, Mold Safe Boats is an ecologically friendly and equally effective, substitutes.You can spray Mold Safe Boats liberally on fabric, wood, and fiberglass and as it dries, it kills the spores and will continue for days as a preventive. But since you cannot control the humidity, the mold will eventually come back so you will need to retreat various areas on your boat about once every 30 days.

Wherever you use it, we recommend you spray it twice. But take your time.

Once you apply our product onto any surface it’s important to let it sit for a while to allow the cleanser to work. The bigger the job the longer the time.

You can use a soft-bristled brush to scrub certain areas on your boat and the vinyl. Scrub lightly to avoid damaging your boat.

You can use a toothbrush or nailbrush for the stitching and to reach in hard to reach places and crevices.

After the first spray, you will want to rinse the areas well that you can and or wipe it off with a soft microfiber cloth. You need to remove any mold spores and residue.

For the second spray, you are going to spray it minimally and then just leave it – NO need to wipe it off.

Its microbial fighting crystals in our product will remain on the surface for weeks in order to combat the toxic critters

Proper cleaning and mold removal will pay off in the long run.

Not only will you create a safe environment for your passengers, but you will also ensure your boat remains in top shape if you decide to sell it.

What’s more, regular maintenance will cut down on expensive resurfacing jobs and help preserve the value of your boat for years to come.

Professional Services in Southern California

As I mentioned above, not only do we offer free how-to guides and sell the safest product for boats in the U.S., Mold Safe Solutions Marine Division offers state of the art mold removal and professional cleaning services for boat owners, yachts, charter ships, and many other marine vessels.

We have spent years making boats sparkle. So if you want to keep your watercraft relatively mold-free, maintain its value and also the safety of you and your passengers in an eco-friendly manner, we have you covered.

Mold Safe Solutions can protect your boat with the right eco-friendly products that we use every day during the boating season.

Having your watercraft professionally cleaned by a company like ours is often the best way to stop and prevent mold growth over the long term.

Please call us today for a free quote at 760-818-6830


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