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RNicholson 05-20-2002 08:12 PM

Need Tips on Interior Mold
I''m considering purchasing a 1967 Coronado 25'' sloop, hull #237. The interior has a lot of mold/mildew spots on the walls and joints. Does anyone have any tips on how to get rid of this? The wood is in decent shape, but the interior will need a total refit. Any help would be appreciated.

joub 05-20-2002 09:13 PM

Need Tips on Interior Mold
Soapy water, clorox (1 cup per Gallon), a fairly stiff brush and a lot of elbow grease will usually do the job.

To keep it from coming back, you need a dry bilge, no topside leaks into the cabin and a flow of air through the boat when closed up.

If you are at a dock with power, there are some 110 AC units called Golden Rods (West Marine) that are very effective in controlling mildew.

Welcome to the joys of boat ownership!


RichH 05-21-2002 10:17 AM

Need Tips on Interior Mold
Mildew removal *can* be dangerous as many species are toxic... to skin, lungs, etc. If and where possible, spray on straight Chlorox and let it soak into the mildew then rinse with water ..... this is just to kill it. Cleaning usually involves direct scrubbing (definitely wear a respirator, goggles and rubber gloves - just in case you''re sensitive to it). Only scrub wetted mildew, never dry mildew as you will release spores into the atmosphere if dry (most dangerous form).

Commercial cleaning compounds are available: X-14, Tile-X, etc. I also use full strength Sodium Silicate based detergents - as caustics will dissolve the cellular material - best. To prevent reinfections during the cleaning process consider to use paraformaldehyde crystals: (also toxic, put crystals on top of plastic baggies, etc. close the boat; the gas given off of the paraF will also kill attenuate further growth - MildewGaz, etc. Before entering the boat, open it to ventilate completely and dont breathe the paraF vapors.

Anytime in the future when you long term store the boat.... put in some paraF crystals just before leaving and closing up. Good active ventilation and a dry bilge are the best defense; otherwise, its scrub time!

mikehoyt 05-22-2002 04:34 AM

Need Tips on Interior Mold
Starbrite Mildew remover in spray bottle. Available from any marine store.

Add to all the above advice!

joub 05-22-2002 06:17 PM

Need Tips on Interior Mold
I''d like to correct some bad advice previously offered in this thread.

1 Cup of clorox to 1 gallon of water is probably not enough clorox to do the job below decks. That figure came from my experience with mildew in my non-skid surface on the deck. It seems to clean it up pretty well.

However, I have read subsquent to that posting that it takes a solution of 50% clorox to kill mildew. This could be the case below decks where the sun cannot help do the job.

Sorry for the bad info.


RichH 05-22-2002 07:12 PM

Need Tips on Interior Mold
The concentration of "consumer grade" Chlorox out of the bottle is 5% Sodium hypochlorite. Diluting it down will require LONGER kill (soak) times needed. Chlorox only kills the mildew, caustics (TSP, Sodium Silicate, lye, and other ''harsh" detergents etc. will **dissolve** the cells. Obviously you DO NOT mix any of these chemicals when using or you risk potentially lethal by-products.

MaryBeth 05-24-2002 04:37 PM

Need Tips on Interior Mold

Use Starbrite Mildew remover, much easier to handle than Clorox. Just be sure to rinse well, especially along the seams. This can be used on any vinyl or fiberglass surface. If colored, of course test for color fastness in a corner. If this is a boat that has sat for a while untended, the spots you see may not be just mildew but, I now it''s gross, spider poop. The Starbrite Mildew remover will take care of this, too. From experience, the Starbrite is much easier to use in as big a task as this than Clorox is. Still, you will need lots of ventilation. Do a small spot at a time. Don''t get down there and spray all over, please.

Best of luck,

bderosa 05-28-2002 07:24 AM

Need Tips on Interior Mold

I am very interested in your comments about eleminatin mildew, as I have discovered the same problem on my boat (diffuse allergic reaction). I have few questions:

Where can I get paraformaldehyde crystals?? How long does it take to eliminete the vapors? I gather that it depends on the ventilation, but are we talking in termes of hours, days?? Would it be realistic to leave the crystals on the boat say for a week or so and then be able to sail the next weekend??

Could you give me the names of a couple of detergernts you have tried containing sodium silicate?? Another post suggests the use of TSP, what is your experience??

Also any suggestion on eleminating mildew from pillows and other upholstery on the boat?? Would drycleaning do the job??

Thank you,


RichH 05-28-2002 10:11 AM

Need Tips on Interior Mold
Paraformaldahyde is sold a "Mildew-Gasz", etc. BoatUS, West Marine, etc. Takes a long time for the gas to attentuate and kill the spores, etc. Crystals are used for long term storage - months.
Sodium Silicate based: Tuff-eNuff (Florida Manufacturer) ... go to a hardware store that specializes to the industrial trade and browse.... or a Janitorial supply. What strong caustics do is *dissolve* the mildew cells. If you dont remove the cells (even dead) other lifeforms will use the dead cells as nutrient sources. .... drycleaning will help (to remove mildew edible ''soil'') but if any of the material that is ''infected'' is celulose based - wood, cotton, etc. it will be a nutrient source for the mildew to re-infect (eat).

Starlite 06-18-2002 03:27 AM

Need Tips on Interior Mold
I tried a ''Hints from Helonise" solution for my annual mold problem this year, and found it worked particularly well -- white vinegar. Cut a quart into a gallon of water, and was amazed how quickly things cleaned up.

The difficult part is keeping the mold from coming back. It''s very pervasive, hiding behind everything. The key is after getting as much of it removed, keeping everything dry. Improve ventilation (even when closed up), and put a few containers with ''Damp Rid'' about to keep the humidity down.

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