Just Catamarans Presents: Toolbox Talk
Toolbox Talk from Just Catamarans Service is a series of articles to help maintain your yacht to the highest standards. This article focuses on mold and the havoc it can have on your boat if not treated. Protect yourself and your family with the following tips from Just Catamarans and contact our Service team if you need help with this or other issues to your vessel.
Molds are the most common forms of fungi found on earth. They can grow on almost any material, as long as moisture and oxygen are available. Most molds reproduce through the formation of spores. Airborne spores are found both indoors and outdoors. When spores land on a suitable moist surface, they begin to grow and release chemicals that digest and can eventually destroy the surface and underlying materials.
Health Effects of Mold Exposure
The most common health effects associated with mold exposure are allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:
- Runny nose
- Eye irritation
- Aggravation of asthma
- Dermatitis (skin rash)
How to Recognize Mold
Mold may be recognized by:
- Sight – They usually appear as distinctly colored woolly mats (e.g., mildew is black and is one of the most common molds in a household).
- Smell – They often produce a foul odor, such as a musty, earthy smell.
Preventing Mold Growth
The key to mold prevention is moisture control. Mold will not grow if moisture is absent.
- Remove excess moisture with a wet-dry vacuum and dry out the building as quickly as possible (preferably within 24 to 48 hours).
- Use fans to assist in the drying process.
- Discard all water damaged materials.
- Discard all materials visibly contaminated with mold.
- Remove and discard all porous materials that have been wet for more than 48 hours. Porous materials cannot be cleaned and may remain a source of mold growth.
General Cleanup Tips
- Make sure the working area is well ventilated.
- Place mold damaged materials in a plastic bag and discard.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces and other nonporous materials with detergent and water, and dry
- Disinfect these cleaned surfaces with one of the following household bleach solutions:
◆ 1/4 cup household bleach per 1 gallon of clean water for light contamination.
◆ 1 1/2 cups household bleach per 1 gallon of clean water for heavy contamination
Contact the Just Catamarans Service team to help with all your Catamaran needs.