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Old 02-29-2004, 04:05 PM   #1
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Terrible Mold Everywhere

We left the vents in our airstream open over the course of several weeks -- and during several thunderstorms -- and the interior (hardware, ceiling, upholstery, you name it) of is covered in mold. We feel stupid and heartboken (so please don't rub it in). However, we do need your advice. What's the best way to clean away the mold, and eventually, remove the smell? Are there any particular cleaning products you would recommend? Are there any companies you know of in the San Francisco Bay Area which specialize in this sort of work? The airstream was towed into our yard by the previous owner and the work would have to be done onsite. We are hoping to restore our airstream to what it was before. Can this be done?



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Old 02-29-2004, 05:15 PM   #2
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One of the best products on the market is plain ole clorox. A 10% solution will kill the mold and disinfect as well. I realize you can't use it on the fabric but you can wipe down the cabinets and overhead with it. We live on the coast of North Carolina and mold and mildew is a constant problem, we keep a spray bottle of 10% in the trailer at all times. We even spray the potable water connections at the campground before connecting.
Dehumidify as soon and as best you can.

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Old 02-29-2004, 05:37 PM   #3
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Bleach is a good thing to use where you can. Also there are Tilex type products out there that deal specifically with molds and mildews.

I've also had some good success with Dow Bathroom Cleaner.....those scrubbing bubbles are great!
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Old 02-29-2004, 06:22 PM   #4
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Hi Rob;

Not sure if you get this product where you are but I just cleaned our A/S that had "black mold spots all over the walls, ceiling etc.

It is called "Mean Green" Mildew Destroyer with Bleach. I was so amazed at how it just made the inside of the trailer look like it just rolled of the assembly line.

It is a US product from Chempro Inc. P.O. Box 2708 Spartanburg, SC 29304.

PS watch your fabric though - as it does have bleech and it is in a spray bottle. Once clean I went over the area again with a fresh clean cloth. It also removed the damp mildewy smell too.

Hope this helps.


I Think if it is damp outside you will always get mildew - whether your windows are open or not - air will get in. - Run a little heater in their on a thermostat or timer.
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Old 02-29-2004, 07:54 PM   #5
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Hello Rob -- Welcome aboard. Under the circumstances we could defer that, but no, really -- Welcome aboard!!

Getting the moisture to go away in a closed space should be your first priority. The longer it stays damp, the more you could end up with bigger problems. Get the mattresses & couch cushions to an area with less humidity -- an air conditioned area would be good. I don't know if you have other potential uses for a dehumidifier but I can say there isn't an equal for removing major moisture from closed spaces. I've had one from Sears for my basement and it has been handy for other issues with some regularity. You can start looking online...

Your plywood floors are not the most important issue. Persistent moisture and development of certain molds are a prime cause of 'sick building syndrome.' Do a search in these forums on 'stachybotrys' for a couple other posts I have done. Dealing first with the moisture will help you most. More common would be a concern about black molds of all types. These are significant respiratory irritants and can make your trailer quite inhospitable. First matter -- control the moisture.

Bleach? I seem to recall it comes in lightproof jugs at 4.25% and is stabilized. It has an antiseptic effect diluted with 10 parts water, though you must use that the same day -- it's worthless the next day. Wood and fibers don't react to bleach real well -- while they do provide plenty of nutritive support for molds. GT6921's recommendations for any fair disinfectant is pretty good -- the cleaning aisle at any store would provide any number of possibilities.

Nothing is going to be great until you actually start removing the humidity. Now that I have you doing that anyway -- I will say your floors would take forever to dry out and suffer in some increment. Use the dehumidifier until well after things seem dry. You would be able to tell by the reservoir filling up more slowly (be sure to start closing the windows at some point or you'll just remove moisture from the 'neighborhood'). This season just doesn't have the heat to do the job alone -- whether in the Bay or Minnesota.

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Old 02-29-2004, 08:42 PM   #6
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Having suffered two sump pump failures in our basement, I can give you a few tips.

I agree with getting it dried out as rapidly as possible, and those areas you can disinfect, cleaned as soon as possible to prevent the spread.

If it's in the carpet and padding, they have to go. Unfortunately, that includes the carpet and padding under installed items like credenza, cabinets, wardrobe, etc. Same with any upholstered items (including the padding behind the upholstery), and bedding. You can dry all these out, but unless soaked with bleach water, and dried again, the mold spores will survive to bloom again the next time humidity rises.

You may be able to disinfect and clean the nearly white day/night shades without getting noticable white streaks, or having them fall apart, but I sort of doubt it... or that the black spots will come out.

You have no choice but to TRY to clean and disinfect any of the infected fuzzy wall covering. Replacing it will be difficult.

In the case of our basement, all the baseboard, door frame moldings, and the lower section of drywall was removed to allow it all to dry and to sanitize inside the walls. Hopefully, moisture and mold hasn't gotten into your walls and insulation, but it could be between any cabinets and the wall.

As a start, get it dry quickly, and get as much of the mildew out of the trailer as you can through cleaning or removal of infected items.
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:54 PM   #7
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BTW -- don't overlook simple soaps for cleaning hard surfaces.

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Old 03-01-2004, 06:24 AM   #8
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Scrubbing bubbles orange

I am extremely pleased with the orange-scent Scrubbing Bubbles product. It even came with a free sample of toilet bowl cleaner. In the picture, "before" is at right, "after" at left.

Now if I can just get the toilet back in the Airstream to clean it...
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Old 03-01-2004, 06:33 AM   #9
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If you want someone to do the work for you call a water damage outfit. Here in CT it's Service Master. They are the experts in cleaning. Good luck.
I'm going to go buy a dehymidifier. Prevention sure beats fixing.

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