Mold, mildew, and the odor they create can be an issue even on vessels that appear clean and well-ventilated. This is because, apart from the visible areas in a boat’s cabin, many areas offer the dark, moist environment these fungi crave. And when you add exposure to moisture, humidity, and temperature differentials, you have the ideal conditions for mold to take hold.
Besides the foul odors and unsightly stains, mold and mildew can cause allergic reactions and severe illness to those exposed. Not to mention, mold damage can be a costly expense. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize the risk of mold growth on your vessel.
Once you get a handle on it, your cabin will smell a whole lot fresher––and those itchy eyes and runny nose that you may have been experiencing might just go away too.
Preventing Mold Growth on Boats
Is there anything more aggravating than showing up to the dock for a day out on the water only to be greeted by a funky-smelling cabin? We can help. Here are a few tips on preventing mold and mildew on your vessel.
PSA: Don’t Use Bleach on Your Boat
Cleaning regularly will help ensure that any mold spores that do find their way onto your boat are removed before they can spread and grow into full-blown colonies. When cleaning your vessel, avoid harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach, which over time can damage or deteriorate gel coats, degrade the stitching on marine vinyl, discolor and fade paint, and corrode fittings and fixtures. Bleach and its harmful byproducts also hurt our marine life once it ends up in our waters.
Alcohol-based cleaners should also be avoided, as these can cause dryness and cracking on boating materials.
There is a better way. Vital Oxide is ideal for use by personal boat owners who maintain their own vessels, as well as professional boat and yacht detailing services, marine restoration companies, marine mold remediators, and more. It’s non-corrosive, non-abrasive, and can be used on most surfaces. Vital Oxide is effective on even the harshest, most offensive smells (including mold and smoke odors) and works by oxidation, not by masking odors.
Plus, using a gentler product such as Vital Oxide also helps protect against any harsh chemicals from entering our waters.
Keep Your Vessel Clean and Dry
One of the most effective ways to prevent mold and mildew from growing is to keep your boat clean and dry when not in use. Wipe down all surfaces with a dry cloth after being out on the water, especially in areas prone to moisture, such as the galley, head, and bilge. Ensure all storage compartments are waterproof and keep them closed when possible. Also, dry out any wet gear or clothing before stowing them away.
Mold and mildew thrive in areas with poor ventilation. Increasing airflow in your boat is essential to prevent them from growing. This can be easy by opening hatches or portholes to create cross ventilation. When you’re away from your boat, it’s a good idea to leave doors to enclosed spaces open to allow air to circulate and reduce moisture.
Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier will help remove excess moisture from the air inside your boat, making it less hospitable for mold spores.
Inspect and Repair Leaks
Water leaks can lead to mold and mildew growth. Inspect your vessel regularly for any signs of leaks, such as water stains, damp spots, or musty odors. If you find a leak, fix it as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Clean and Maintain Marine Carpets
Marine carpet is perhaps the dirtiest component on the entire vessel. Maintaining the carpet is critical to keep your boat looking (and smelling) its best.
The best way to clean lightly soiled marine carpet is to vacuum any loose soil first, then follow up with Vital Oxide, a good scrub down via stiff-bristle brush, and water. While cleaning the carpet, look out for any telltale signs of mold (that musty odor isn’t hard to miss) and treat with Vital Oxide.
Vital Oxide is carpet mill tested and approved and leaves carpets smelling fresh. It’s safe for stain-protected carpet and fabric finishes and can be used as a pre-spray or in a tank with hot water vacuum -extraction units. Vital Oxide is highly effective against mold, as well as urine stains and odors, smoke odors, pet dander, and dust mite allergens found in carpets.
Related: The Best Ways to Treat and Prevent Carpet Mold
Use A Mold Inhibitor
Vital Oxide stops mold growth on hard and soft surfaces by penetrating and destroying tough mold at its source. It can be used on water-safe surfaces without damaging the surfaces or fabrics treated.
Inspect boat surfaces and interiors regularly for signs of mold or mildew growth. If you see anything suspicious, treat the area immediately with Vital Oxide.
Mold Prevention is Vital
It's so important to prevent mold and mildew growth on your vessel. The best way to do this is by regularly cleaning all surfaces with a quality EPA-registered disinfectant cleaner, mold killer, and odor eliminator, like Vital Oxide.
Vital Oxide stops mold growth by penetrating and destroying tough mold, mildew, and bacteria at its source. It can be used on hard or soft surfaces and is ideal for use on boats, yachts, and other marine vessels.
Want to learn more about using Vital Oxide to maintain your vessel or as a part of your marine business? We’d love to hear from you. CONTACT US TODAY.