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Old 06-10-2006, 08:29 PM   #1
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Help with mold (mildew?)

I think our Bambi has a mold problem. We bought a 2001 Bambi Safari in February and are loving it! (We've already travelled 3500 miles and put in 22 days of camping.) When the weather here in Maine warmed up, we decided to give it a thorough cleaning--but as I was vacuuming the fabric-covered walls and ceiling, some black stuff that looks to me like mold or mildew started to appear along a line about where the curbside wall stops curving and flattens out at the roof. A similar black stain appeared on the opposite side, just inside the wardrobe. There are minor signs of mildew on the backs of some of the curtains we tok out to wash as well, but no other signs of leaks.

Does anyond know how to kill this mold? And does anyond have any advice for cleaning the fabric that covers the walls? Your help is most appreciated.

David
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Old 06-10-2006, 08:38 PM   #2
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Mold has become quit the talked about issue here in South Mississippi post Katrina. Of course here it is mainly to do about houses that were flooded. But some advice applies to your issue in the Bambi.

#1 - Stop the water from getting into the trailer, find the leak. In a house, the stud walls retain the moisture so they have to be clean and DRY before reconstruction or the mold will take over in the walls and come through the sheetrock. You have aluminum which will not retain water so you must have a constant water source to dampen the inside. Condensation can be the cause but more than likely a seem leak, light fixture, or vent/AC issue.

#2 - Bleach will kill the mold - bot you only need a 10-15% mix. Wipe it down and then let it dry on its own. Protect fabric from the bleach.

#3 - General house cleaners will do the rest.

What's in the walls between the inside and outside skins - insulation - and that will need to be DRY.

Good luck
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:33 PM   #3
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RE: mold

Thank you for the info. What do you suggest to clean the fabric-covered walls in the 2001 units? Can you use the bleach sloution on them?

I'm still looking to find out if there is a leak. It's been raining here for about two weeks, and nothing feels wet, but there certainly was condensation when we were camping in the late winter/early spring. Also, our Bambi came from Florida, so it's possible that it took on water in one of the storms down there--though I don't find any overt sighs of that.
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Old 06-10-2006, 11:41 PM   #4
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Could be aluminum dust
This may actually be aluminum dust being pulled out to the surface of your interior fabric by vacuuming! See 2air’s comments of 05-15-06 on this in the following message thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/cleaning-fuzzy-interior-walls-22750.html
He states: "often those long black streaks are exactly as you've suggested, aluminum oxidation. the surest way to bring the black streaks to surface is by vacumning the walls.....a real no no.

i suspect steam would only weaken the adhesive and any vacumn device will make this discoloration worse over panel seams and rivets...

it is virtually impossible to remove this aluminum oxide...." .

Check with others on this forum for suggestions regarding cleaning interior fabric walls.
Hope this helps!
Bill
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Old 06-11-2006, 06:59 AM   #5
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It sounds like aluminum dust. If you have not used any chemical products on the black areas ,using an air compressor and nozzle you may be able to blow the dust off the wall covering.
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Old 06-11-2006, 07:41 AM   #6
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Thanks. I'll try that.

I think I'm comforted to think it may not be mold that I'm dealing with, but if vacuuming is a no-no, how do people recommend cleaning the fabric wall covering?
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:35 PM   #7
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I'd like to know that also.

If it does turn out to be mold, the solution the remediators recommend to kill both the spore and the mycilia is a solution of:

4 Parts hydrogen peroxide
1 Part white vinegar
1 Tbsp of Borax

Be sure to wear gloves. You can put yours hands in it, no problem.
But a couple hours later your fingernails will turn white-white and start to ache. I know that sounds weird, but trust me, it's true.

On the other hand, it worked on fabrics and did not discolor them. It also works on hard surfaces.

Also, if you are washing curtains, wash them twice with soap and borax.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:04 PM   #8
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David -- This makes me think of the old equestrian warning about being "rode hard and put away wet." Unless you saw actual leakage I wouldn't expect sealant failure in a unit this new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAFuller
.... some black stuff that looks to me like mold or mildew started to appear along a line about where the curbside wall stops curving and flattens out at the roof.
A non-mold source has been suggested. If you are storing your unit closed up tight, the weather you describe might suggest placing Damp Rid inside before closing it up. Search the forums on Damp Rid.

Do you see a lot of condensation on the windows in the morning when you are using your trailer? This is likely moisture exhaled by people inside. Run the furnace if you need to but I would suggest unlatching a couple windows away from the sleeping area at night to allow a bit of circulation -- that usually isn't enough opening for rain to come in. Even with the fuzzy wall covering, the shell is cooler than heated air inside and could be a condensation trigger the same as you see on a glass of iced tea in warm weather.
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Old 06-13-2006, 09:48 PM   #9
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hi dafuller and others.....

take a picture or 2 and post 'em.....a visual is sooooo helpful.

now that i've got a foot print or 2 (don't ask) on the fuzz in my new trailer,

i'm gonna explore some cleaning options....

25 years after the big vacumn' fiasco of my youth.

-brush lightly with a natural hair brush.....
-dab with a wet sponge.....
-dab with a wet sponge with soap solution......
-dab with a wet sponge with a carpet cleaning foam....
-dab with a sponge wet with a solvent (for non water soluable stains).....
-use vac on the 'blower' setting....then vacumn the dust from every thing else....

here's a really wild idea...
get a thick paint roller tube on a stick thingie...
wet it with water and 'roll' the walls...
wet it with a weak soap solution..
and roll the walls again...
repeat the rinse step....
(i have not done this so who wants to try!)

so really cleaning the fuzz depends on what the problem is....dirt, grime, oil or grease based stains, pet hair...and so on.

objectives should be....
1. don't make it worse,
2. start with the simplest cleaning approach,
3. think water based or oil based cleaning,
4. if vacumning use very low suction,
5. keep the bypass vent open
6. use a soft vac tool that 'leaks' at the sides....
7. try a lint roller for just removing loose fuzz and.....lint.

really the fuzzy walls
should have been replaced by airstream
with a better, more robust product
they have been using the fuzz for 2ooooooo long.

if you do manage 2 vacumn aluminum oxide up to the surface
and make a big o'black stain.....
think of it as as an aluminum hickie!

just say no 2 fuzz
ban the fuzz
make love not fuzz
if fuzz were outlawed,
only outlaws would have fuzz
then it'd be cool again.....

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-13-2006, 09:53 PM   #10
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Glad I have Zolatone! All this fuzzy talk is making me dizzy!

Shari
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Old 06-14-2006, 12:08 PM   #11
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Well, I have to ask. What causes aluminum oxidation? And why would it be black, rather than the more common silver/white powder I see on many areas of my older trailer? Why is this happening in such a new trailer?

I guess I just assumed (I know, you don't need to say it) any "corrosion" of the aluminum skin would result in the silver/white powder. Somebody straighten me out.

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Old 06-14-2006, 04:15 PM   #12
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I don't think it's actually true oxidation, but rather a fine dust of aluminum where two componants are rubbing together. Kinda like hinges in houses...they can create a very fine dust that can be seen on the carpet or floor beneath them.

Vacuuming draws the dust through the seams and catching the dust in the fuzzy stuff. Like around diffusers in office buildings, the dirt & dust gets caught on the tiles.

Shari
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:42 PM   #13
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Mold

In reviewing the posts in this thread I thought I might provide some additional information on removing mold/mildew. Moisture is indeed the key ingrediant in mold formation. A mixture of moisture caused by a water leak of high humidity coupled with stagnant air will cause mold growth. Mold has to have a food source. Dust is one of many things mold feeds on.

The single best thing to use to remove mold and prevent it's return is Tea Tree Oil. This is available in the pharmacy section at Walmart, health food stores and larger grocery stores. Mix two teaspoons to two cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray it on the mold and wipe clean. Then respray as a preventative. Test all fabrics before spraying. Spray a small amount in an inconspicuous place and blot with a tissue to see if the fabric is colorfast.

On large areas you can use vinegar and water or borax and water to clean the area. Recent literature shows that Borax and water is a very effective cleaner. 20 Mule Team borax is available in Grocery Stors for less than $3 for a 4 pound 12 oz. box. Mix two cups of borax to a gallon of water to clean. Then reapply as a preventative.

Go to Mold Basics | "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home" | Mold | Indoor Air | U. S. EPA or About Australian Tea Tree Oil

Good Luck

dale
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Well, I have to ask. What causes aluminum oxidation? And why would it be black, rather than the more common silver/white powder I see on many areas of my older trailer? Why is this happening in such a new trailer?

I guess I just assumed (I know, you don't need to say it) any "corrosion" of the aluminum skin would result in the silver/white powder. Somebody straighten me out.

Jim
It's the same stuff that turns your polishing cloths black when polishing the exterior.
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