Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mold War II

They're back...

While we were away having a jolly good time in NY, our unwanted guests decided to squat in our home again. Upon opening our hatches, Frank immediately had a respiratory attack that forced him to stay in the car for 2 nights. His symptoms came on so suddenly that it lead us to believe that there was some serious mold growing in the nooks and crannies of Moitessier.   Since living in the car for a week while I remedied the situation was not an option, we decided that we needed to get a hotel room. I immediately went on to wage an all out war on the hobos.  I began to feel like I was on the losing team since I didn't have Frank, who was sick as a dog, as my usual ally. Research on the net was sparse with many people claiming that bleach and water would do the trick, but after more extensive reading, I discovered that bleach only kills mold on the surface. I needed to find a solution that gets  to the root and destroys them permanently.  With the interior of our boat made mostly of wood, Lysol was also not going to cut it. Lysol only kills mold on nonporous surfaces (i.e. tile, ceramic, blah, blah, blah).  To destroy mold in wood, you have to get to the core and penetrate the pores.   The next weapon to try was tea tree oil. I had spent a couple of days taking everything out of drawers and cabinets, and treating the moldy surfaces with a mixture of tea tree oil and water.  After spending days with a dinky ass spray bottle, I had been about ready to give up. Though I admit I enjoyed the smell of the oil, an aromatherapy spa session was not what I was after.  

On my way to the bathroom one morning, I bumped into Nancy who works at the yard. She had asked where Frank was and after telling her our predicament, she told me about this stuff from Home Depot called Concrobium. I guess someone else had had this problem a few years back and the yard was hired out to resolve this. For $30 for a gallon, you basically spray the stuff on and let it dry and it kills the mold.  It's non-toxic, so you don't have harsh fumes; the active ingredient is baking soda and what it does is it bond to the mold and suffocates it so that it could no longer reproduce. Not only that, but you can rent a fogger from Home Depot that fogs up the area that you are treating so that you can get into every crevice of the boat. Well, game on. I blasted the shit out of the boat, being sure to protect our electronics and books. When I uncovered the floorboards to blast the bilges, I discovered their home base. Our water tanks were covered! They looked like they were wearing warm fuzzy sweaters.  After recovering from my panic attack, I decided I needed to be strong and continue on with my biological warfare. I noticed that there was mold in some areas in the bilge that I couldn't reach, even with the fogger, so off to Home Depot I went again.  With some sound advice from a Home Depot representative, I purchased one of those hand pump pressure sprayers. This thing was awesome, it had a 4' tube with a 26" wand that allowed me to reach into some pretty tight spots and spray away. After days of doing this, I ended up getting sick as well, but I feel confident that I have won MWII. 

The battlefield....
The weapons of mass destruction...
The Fogger
The poison

A few words of wisdom:

1) When leaving the boat for an extended period of time, leave a dehumidifier or AC on.  Duh!  

2) Don't ever feel hesitant to ask your yard professionals for advice. Had I thought to do that, I wouldn’t have wasted my time hippie spraying with the tea tree oil.

3) Home Depot reps sometimes, I repeat SOMETIMES, know what they are talking about. 

4) The Black Keys makes for good mold destroying music. 

5) If you catch yourself on the floor crying for no good reason at some point during this process, don't feel stupid, it's simply the mold attacking the insular cortex of your brain. 

And last but not least... when renting a room at a hotel, get one with a pool so at least after your rough day of murder, you can lounge and go for a nice swim. 


  1. Makes you realize just how much stuff you have on board. I recently read vinegar can help too. I'll keep an eye out for the HD stuff. I'm sure it will be my turn one of these days.

  2. You should definitely keep an eye out over it, Frank ended up with pneumonia and was out for a couple of weeks over this. It's definitely easier to stay on top of it than to play catch-up. We are kicking ourselves for letting it go and get this bad before treating it. We didn't realize how bad it was until we put the pieces together because he had been sick before leaving to NY as well but we thought it was just allergies. His symptoms came back with a vengeance the moment we stepped back on the boat. Crazy how dangerous mold can be!