Preventing Mildew on Boats
Written by: The Foam Factory
Fungus is everywhere. There are as many variations of fungus as there are species of bugs and bacteria, and the largest living organisms are actually fungus due to the way their spores spread and form connected colonies over expansive areas. Some fungus is helpful, but many cause unpleasant smells and some can even turn into mold that will cause serious health issues if you don’t make good use of dryfast foam.
Fungus spores thrive in dark and damp environments– just like those found on your boat or yacht. It’s literally impossible to escape from spores, because they’re floating all throughout the air wherever you go. Inevitably, even if you’re diligent enough in cleaning your water craft to prevent true mold from growing, everyone who enjoys sailing will have to deal with mildew. It may start out as a slight sour smell in your cabin or on the seats of your yacht cushions, or maybe you’ve noticed damp spots that never seem to go away that slowly turn darker or more yellow compared to the fabric surrounding them.
There are a number of ways you can prevent or get rid of mildew. There are a range of cleaners that, if you spray your cushions down with them, will take care of the spores for the most part. But depending on your sailing environment, especially if it’s a warm one, the spores may get deep into the cushions and soon you’ll smell that sour odor again. A thorough washing is probably the only way to combat that, and even then you may not completely eliminate the smell.
The best way to avoid significant investment in boat mattress replacements is to do one of two things. First, you can take steps to decrease the humidity in your boat. For smaller craft, a heating bulb in the right spot will do the trick. Larger boats can use household dehumidifiers. However, if you sail in hotter and naturally more humid environments, you had better buy spore prevention treatments and make regular use of these. You’ll have to spray down all the fabrics on your boat regularly. This presents a problem if you’re a seasonal sailor– you’ll probably leave your boat sealed during the off-season. Your best bet then is to purchase special foam cushions that dry quickly and prevent microbial growth; this way, spores won’t have the chance to take hold in the first place.