As spring comes around and the temperature starts to rise, millions of Americans will slowly emerge from their winter bunkers for their favorite season of them all – Boating Season! We have a location in Central Missouri Lake of the Ozarks and we hear about boat mold from our neighbors all the time. If you’re a boat person you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s estimated that there are over 25 million recreational boats in the US. And with about 180,000 of them being in the Central Missouri Lake of the Ozarks area, along with 25,000 docks, the Lake of the Ozarks is one of the busiest waterways for recreational boating in the entire USA.
Unfortunately, many of those 100,000+ Central Missouri Lake of the Ozarks boat owners will discover an unpleasant surprise waiting for them when they pull their boat out of storage – Mold. That’s right, mold is not only a homeowner problem, it’s also a boat owner problem.
But why does mold thrive on boats, and what can be done about it? Should you get a mold inspection? Mold testing? Or should you focus on mold cleaning / mold remediation / mold removal? We will answer those questions below.
Why Does Mold Grow on Boats?
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp and humid environments. Boats, especially those that are stored in wet or humid environments, are particularly susceptible to mold growth. There are several reasons why mold can occur in a boat:
1. Moisture: Boats are exposed to moisture from various sources, including water splashing onto the deck, rain and high humidity. Moisture can accumulate in enclosed area, such as the bilge or cabins, providing the ideal environment for mold growth.
2. Poor Ventilation: Poor ventilation can trap moisture in enclosed areas, making it easier for mold to grow. Without proper ventilation, air circulation is limited, and moisture can build up, creating the ideal environment for mold.
3. Leaks: Water leaks in the hull or through windows and hatches can also contribute to mold growth. Leaks can create a damp environment that promotes mold growth.
4. Lack of Cleaning: Boats that are not regularly cleaned can accumulate dirt, grime and other organic matter, providing a food source for mold to grow.
5. Storage: Boats that are stored in wet or humid environments, such as in a damp garage or covered with a tarp, are more likely to develop mold.
What Should I Do If I Have Mold in My Boat?
Ah yes, how should I spend my time and money remedying the situation? Should I get a mold inspection? Mold Testing? Or go straight to mold cleaning / mold remediation / mold removal?
The good news is that with boat mold you usually do NOT need to spend money on a formal mold inspection or mold testing. Mold inspections with mold testing often cost $300-$500 and are performed by a certified mold professional. They tell you the type of mold and also the quantity/intensity of the problem. Since mold recreational boat owners do not spend more than a few hours on their boat, and often while the fresh air is whipping through their hair, they do not need to worry about mold allergies.
However, there is one major exception to the above statement that boat owners do not usually need mold inspections or mold testing. And that exception is houseboats! If you live on a houseboat or spend many days/weeks/months on a boat, then your boat should be treated as a home, in which case a professional mold inspection with mold testing would be advisable, especially if you’re going to invest your hard-earned money in the purchase of a houseboat with a suspected mold problem.
So for most boat owners, that $300-$500 that you don’t need for a mold inspection or mold testing can be redeployed towards fixing the problem through mold remediation / mold removal.
Mold cleaning / mold remediation / mold removal is the process of specialized cleaning that’s required to properly remove mold. It usually involves scrubbing mold with some specialized cleaning agents, as well as HEPA vacuuming and ventilation of dirty air if you’re cleaning an enclosed space such as a cabin. Carpets can usually be cleaned but might sometimes need removal. A handy boat owner can do all of these things themselves and keep their hard-earned money in their pocket. (Just make sure to wear the proper safety equipment such as gloves, respirators and eye protection.)
But for those of you who aren’t very handy, or simply find the process of mold removal as not something you want to spend your time doing, you can call a certified mold professional to take care of the problem. They will know exactly how to tackle the problem so you can focus on more important things – like maximizing Boating Season in beautiful Lake of the Ozarks!
Got boat mold in Lake of the Ozarks?