Molds are all around us – even in our cars. The level of mold contamination and the degree to which you want it cleaned varies depending on your particular circumstances. A little spot of mold on your car seat or steering wheel where there are no driver/occupant health issues can easily be taken care of by a local auto detailer. A flooded car, cross-contaminated car where family members are struggling with Mold Illness is best addressed by a mold professional. Here’s a step-by Step guide to how we look at mold cleanup in your car, RV, Boat or Shipping Container.
Moisture Prevention is Always the Best Cure
There’s always a “water trigger” that starts mold and mildew growth. Address the common culprits: leaky door seals, windows, sunroof, trunk and condensate from the air conditioner. If you can’t fix it, bring in a professional. Also, be diligent to clean-up beverage spills when they happen and watch for cargo leaks and “cast-off” when transporting goods. Boats present their own unique challenges and are almost always best addressed by a mold professional.
Proper Gear and Protection
When starting to clean mold, be sure to wear proper safety gear – like gloves, goggles, coveralls and a proper face mask/respirator. This will help prevent illness and keep from cross-contaminating anything outside the vehicle.
That layer of dust that covers the dashboard, console, and gauges is an accumulation of a variety of contaminants: pollen, dirt, insect fragments, dead skin cells, hair, mold spores, and bacteria. A regular wipe with a disinfectant cloth will keep dust to a minimum, reduce allergens and give mold less food to be attracted to.
That Little Moldy Area
If it’s just a small area of mold that’s easy to get to and health issues are not a concern, you can probably take care of it yourself by vacuuming and damp wiping with a mild cleanser or have your local auto detailer address it. But if it keeps coming back or is a larger problem, you will need a mold professional.
Professional Car Mold Cleanup Process
When the mold professional tackles a mold problem in your vehicle, where’s how they do it:
- Take a dust and/or toxin sample to establish a baseline of contaminants
- Address all moisture sources and identify ground zero for mold
- Vacuum out carpet and upholstery with an external HEPA Vacuum
- Cleanse & fog the car with a combination of biocides and botanicals
- Immediately de-water the interior of the vehicle (Dry it out fast)
- Replace the Cabin AC Air Filter
- Run a Hydroxyl Generator to address trapped mold spores and VOCs
- Take a dust and/or toxin sample to confirm clearance
- Hit it all again if labs are not acceptable
The Garage Environment
Where you store your vehicle also plays a big part in managing possible mold contamination. If your garage or the surrounding environment is poorly ventilated and has a mold problem, you can expect your car to experience the same. What makes your vehicle more of a problem is its small space. Once molds and contaminants get into your vehicle, they tend to accumulate and concentrate until the occupants feel discomfort. So when was the last time you opened all the doors/windows of your vehicle and just let it air out?
Not Sure If You Need a Mold Professional
Most of the time, your vehicle can be safely cleaned of molds. Every environment presents its own unique set of challenges. If you aren’t sure if you can handle your car mold remediation yourself, reach out to a mold professional. If they are experienced at doing this and should be able to help clarify how your specific needs will be met.
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