Motorhome guides

Motorhome mould and mildew: What you need to do

Motorhome mould

Motorhome 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 motorhome 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 motorhome insurance so that, if you find yourself with a hefty repair bill, you’ll be covered.

What causes motorhome 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 motorhome, 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 motorhome 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 motorhome 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 motorhome mould while in storage

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

Motorhomes 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 motorhomes while being stored.

How to rectify motorhome mould

If you discover mould or mildew in your motorhome, 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.

Motorhome damp check

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

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

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. Motorhome may show signs of damp or water ingress.
- More than 30 per cent – severe structural damage may be occurring.

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

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