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Mold in Vehicles

“Stinky” and “embarrassing” are only two adjectives to describe the unfortunate presence of mold within a vehicle.  Mold spores are everywhere and they are always waiting for the perfect conditions to arise that will provide them with a place to thrive and grow.  A leaky trunk, condensation within air conditioning vents, windows left down in a rainstorm, or a poorly sealed sunroof are just some of the ways moisture can invade a vehicle and essentially send out formal invitations to mold to join the party.  Simply failing to thoroughly dry a spilled drink can result in mold growth within auto upholstery and carpeting.  Wet carpeting provides near ideal conditions for mold growth, especially during winter months or in rainy climates, where the car interior does not have the opportunity to heat up and dry out that carpeting.

Mold needs food and moisture to grow.  The best way to prevent mold within a vehicle is to eliminate the conditions that encourage its growth.  As mold spores are ever-present inhabitants of the air, and as the interior of the car provides plenty of food for mold in the form of dirt, dust, fibers, leather, and other materials, it is easier to tackle the most controllable elements of the mold equation: water and dirt.

Keeping a clean interior (don’t forget the trunk) can go a long way in eliminating the dust and dirt food sources enjoyed by mold.  It will also eliminate some of the mold spores that have entered the vehicle while attached to that dirt and dust.  Vacuuming regularly can go a long way in controlling mold growth, but as a weapon against the war on vehicle mold, it pales in comparison to keeping the interior areas of the auto dry.

Use floor mats.  Better yet, use inexpensive throw rugs beneath the floor mats as these provide an additional barrier against moisture reaching the manufacturers carpeting.  These throw rugs can also be laundered regularly and fully dried, particularly after having become wet due to spills or wet or snowy feet.

If there’s damage within or around the windshield, have it repaired.

After a heavy rain, inspect the trunk.  Check for any leaks and if water is found within the trunk, repair any seals that have been compromised.  Mold growing in the trunk can make the interior of the car smell.  It will also send mold spores into the interior of the car, which can spread and compound the problem.

Solutions of distilled white vinegar followed by a good scrubbing can eliminate mold from many surfaces.  There are also products made especially for killing mold within upholstery, and these can be purchased at most auto stores.

Don’t let mold ruin your investment.  If extensive mold growth is discovered, contact a professional mold removal contractor for further assistance.

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