Dark, damp and dreaded by many. Often smelly and always unhealthy. You may have guessed that this dastardly nemesis is MOLD and it's equally unwelcome cousin, MILDEW. While mold can be an enemy anywhere from house to boat to garage, RVs have a propensity to produce this stuff of our nightmares.
In addition to being bad for the RV or home, causing rotting and decay of the building materials, mold is particularly damaging to our respiratory systems. My husband is highly allergic to this fuzzy growth and it throws him for a loop even when it's in the outside air.
So, that begs the question, how can it be prevented, especially in our RVs?
Run a Dehumidifier
There are many electric air purifiers and dehumidifiers available through Amazon, hardware and big box stores that can pull moisture, that causes mold to form, out of the air. These do a decent job but only when your RV is plugged in to shore power not when it's in storage.
Use Damp Rid Crystals
|Available from Amazon|
This is a pretty neat device that requires no electricity. All you do is put the crystals in the cup and leave it out to do its job. When all of the crystals have dissolved, it is time to replace them.You'll be surprised at the amount of moisture it pulls out of the air and into the cup.
Air Condition the Old Fashioned Way
Open the windows and roof vents and let fresh air clean the damp RV air for you. When condensation collects and never has a chance to dry out, that is when mold occurs. Open a vent and a window, or a couple of windows to get the air flowing through your rig. This may not work well in very humid areas though.
Use Fans or Heaters or both
Fans keep the air moving and can help to keep moisture from settling. Depending on how large your RV is, you may want to use two or three fans in order to cover the entire area. Using both fans and a heater works quickly ot move out and dry out an RV. Small electric heater are generally fine but your propane RV heater can be used as well if propane is readily available where you are and not priced sky high.
Window Insulation will create a barrier that keeps condensation that has formed on the window from reaching your living area. It also helps to keep heat from escaping. I've seen products at Walmart and even some DIY projects using bubble wrap that both claim to prevent condensation on windows and around the sills.
Dry Wet Surfaces With a Cloth
When you see condensation forming on hard surfaces in your RV, wipe them up. Don’t leave your windows, counters, walls, and vents holding moisture. When you see it, wipe it up.
Use a Digital Humidity Meter
Ideally, you want to try to keep your humidity level inside between 30% and 50%. A hygrometer, or digital Humidity Meter can help. Some dehumidifiers come with hygrometers installed, but you can also purchase them separately from Amazon and elsewhere.
Inspect Your Pipes Regularly
Pipes can crack or leak, allowing moisture to collect in your walls and compartments. Check those areas regularly to make sure they aren’t any leaks or moisture and if there is, tend to it immediately.
Make Sure Your Bathroom Is Properly Ventilated
make a perfect mold habitat. Most people keep the door closed so it is
essentially shut tight with no real air movement. The moisture can build
and lead to some nasty mold. Open the vent regularly and let the fan
run, especially after someone has taken a shower. Also, leave the door
open. A heater at the doorway, run until the air is dry can be helpful. Keep wet towels and bathmats elsewhere till they are dry.
Run Your Oven/Stove Fan While Cooking
Cooking generates a lot of moisture. Turn on the range fan while you are cooking and keep the lids on the pots as much as possible. If it is dry outside, open some windows. If it isn’t dry, consider turning on the central heat or a fan for a while. Heat dries up the moisture while cooler temperatures encourage it. Keep that in mind when you are fighting mold. If you need to get rid of moisture in your RV, turn up the heat.
This Water Damage and Mold Remediation Link has some tips to get rid of persistent mold.
What about y'all? Do you have any mold busting tips? Tell us about them below in the comments.
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Team member Rae B, is a long-time part of the Hidden Valley family. Born and raised right in the park, she has a unique perspective to share Hidden Valley and San Antonio inside info.