Campervan guides

Campervan mould and mildew: What you need to do

Damp in campervan

Campervan mould and mildew is not only bad for your vehicle, but bad for you and your family too. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your campervan and loved-ones safe.

A musty odour, black marks and damp patches along seams and joints in your walls and ceilings, which also feel spongy to touch, are all common signs of mould and mildew.

If left untreated, mould and mildew can be hard to eliminate and costly to rectify.

As always, make sure that you have good campervan insurance so that, if you find yourself with a hefty repair bill, you’ll be covered.

What causes campervan mould?

Mould lives off any organic matter and loves warm, humid environments like bathroom walls, window sills and ceilings.

Mildew, which is a form of mould or fungus, grows in living spaces where there is a high level of moisture.

Condensation, water ingress and spillages can all cause high levels of moisture inside a campervan, increasing the risk of mould and mildew.

NEED TO KNOW: A small amount of mould and mildew won’t harm you. However, when mould spores start to increase, it can cause respiratory problems, common allergic reaction symptoms and even nervous system disorders.

How to prevent campervan mould

1.Check regularly:

Regularly check for signs of mould and mildew, particularly around areas that do not get good air flow, such as in cupboards and under-seat storage areas. Check furnishings, stored clothes and bedding material, especially if they have been left in storage while without use.

2. Ventilation:

Reduce indoor humidity by ensuring good ventilation; always open vents, use skylights and any extractors, and open windows while cooking and showering, and keep them open for as long as you can.

3. Reduce moisture levels:

Clean up any spills, condensation and other sources of moisture as soon as possible. Avoid leaving wet surfaces, and ensure clothes and towels are thoroughly dried.

4. Check for water ingress

Inspect for campervan leaks on a regular basis. Look for discolouration or wet spots and repair leaks promptly.

5. Clean your fridge:

Inspect your fridge for mould and take notice of musty smells. After use, dry out the fridge thoroughly and leave the door open to allow ventilation and prevent mould growth.

How to avoid campervan mould while in storage

Mould and mildew often takes hold over the winter period, when many lock-up and store their campervan.

Campervans should be thoroughly cleaned inside (and out) before being put into storage and disinfected, once again, before being reinstated.

While in storage, owners are best advised to open rooflights and windows as often as is possible.

A dehumidifier is also recommended for campervans while being stored.

How to rectify campervan mould

If you discover mould or mildew in your campervan, thoroughly clean the affected area with a specialist mould and mildew remover, testing first to see if safe to use on the material or surface.

Depending on the severity of the problem, other mould-removing solutions include watered-down bleach, washing-up liquid and vinegar (one part vinegar to one part water).

Moisture absorbing crystals are a good idea to capture excess water in the air if you have ambient humidity, ensuring you regularly change the crystals for optimum performance.

Campervan damp check

If the mould or mildew is severe in your campervan, you should consider calling in a professional.

A campervan damp check, which can also be undertaken by yourself with the right tool, will reveal the extent of dampness in your campervan.

Damp meter readings:
- 0 - 15 per cent – no cause for concern.
- 15 - 20 per cent – professional investigation required.
- 21- 30 per cent – remedial action possibly required. Campervan may show signs of damp or water ingress.
- More than 30 per cent – severe structural damage may be occurring.

Some campervan habitation checks include a damp check during the inspection – the inspector should give you a separate damp report on completion.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Van Life Matters newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest UK Van Life news, tips and advice.

Van Life Matters newsletter

1 comment

elaine October 6, 2023 at 8:13 pm

So many different ideas .Some say empty cupboards and leave open ..Others have found doing that the doors warp and wont fit .I have packed betting in an underbed storage area in sealed bags that you can remove the air from .this and moisture collecting blocks seem to work with the doors all closed .Any information would help thankyou .


Leave a Comment

Van Life Matters