Can A Boat Cover Prevent Mildew
Quality covers are going to have several key features that will increase the life span of a boat cover. Mold and mildew is enemy number one, but unfortunately they are inevitable in any marine environment. Make sure you are up for the battle by selecting a boat cover with an effective ventilation system. Westland® boat covers proudly sew-in a ventilation system that will cut down on mildew build-up and prevent moisture. Each vent provides an escape for any moisture, and a sewn-in ventilation system offers superior protection, since it will not allow water to seep into the interior.
Mildew Resistant Fabric
Westland® boat covers are crafted with Sharkskin® and Sunbrella® fabrics, which are naturally mildew resistant. Even though they are mildew resistant, dirt and other substances can attach to the canvas, which is a common breeding ground for bacteria. Since mildew and mold thrive on dirt that is not properly cleaned from fabric, this is often a reason for a damaged boat cover. Dirt that gets embedded in fabric will easily be removed with water however, dirt can hide in crevasses on excess fabric in the seams. Westland® fabric experts trim this excess fabric from the hard to reach seams to cut down on places for dirt to hide. Covers that are carefully crafted will help prevent mildew and mold, while keeping your boat protected for longer.
Removing Mold And Mildew Using White Vinegar
If its really too difficult to get the mold and mildew out, you can use white vinegar and bleach to clean your fabric, bimini frame, and boat seats. This type of mix will make a good bleach solution although the Environmental Protection Agency does not recommend using this. Bleach is known to kill only surface mold and will eventually come back. This means it will still grow back on the fabric.
For outdoor fabric, you can try to fill a spray bottle with water and white vinegar in equal parts. Its important to note that you have to use white vinegar and not the other types. Using soft brushes, you can gently rub the vinegar mixture until the surfaces are free of dirt. Be sure to have it completely dried under the sunshine to prevent moisture. If not, this will only lead to mold and mildew growing back.
If you are having a hard time checking which part of your fabric has stains, you can simply lay it flat on a small area. This will make it easier to clean and visually check remaining spores. Avoid laying the fabric on wood surfaces when you wash it. Vinegar and bleach can be strong when combined and can cause damage to the wood. Anyhow, a vinegar solution is a good choice to clean the fabric rather than taking the last resort of using bleach alone. Good luck in cleaning!
How Can I Clean Mildew Off Red Canvas Boat Cover
- Shari on Oct 17, 2014I would try a product called “Wet & Forget Outdoor.” I had read a lot of good things about it so we tried it on vinyl siding and a concrete patio back in the spring. I’m very pleased with the results we got. It cleared up the mildew and has kept it at bay longer than anything else we have tried. This link says it can also be used safely on outdoor cushions and I don’t know why you couldn’t also use it on your canvas boat cover. It contains no bleach so it is color safe. You don’t even have to scrub it–it works on its own with the help of wind and rain. We bought it at Home Depot.
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Clean The Whole Cover
Cover manufacturers recommend monthly cleaning for your boat cover. Begin by brushing off any loose dirt, and then hose down the cover with water. Next use a soft bristle cleaning brush to apply a cleaning solution made of soap and water. Don’t use detergent, because it may strip off waterproof coatings. Take a brief break while the cleaning solution permeates the fabric, and then hose off the cover until the water runs clean. Let the cover dry completely, ideally in direct sunlight to reduce or prevent mold growth. Once the cover is completely dry and mold-free, apply a waterproofing finish.
What About Washing The Canvas Top In A Swimming Pool
Yeah, you understood that correctly!
Ive known some guys who put their own into a swimming pool overnight and then afterward rinse it off.
However, Ive never done it. I used the spray down method detailed above with soap and brush.
Whats the best way to clean mildew off boat seats?
On vinyl boat seats, Mildew is a royal pain in the ass. But with a little planning and preparation, you can successfully drive it.
Read that for step-by-step directions, plus tips on all the equipment you need to do a great job.
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What To Do With Debris
Debris will be likely seen on sections with serious mildew infestation. Simply wipe them out to make the vinyl seats spick and span! It would be helpful if you should use a microfiber cloth in doing the job. Its the kind of fabric that doesnt tear up over vinyl.
Again, dont forget about narrow sections as they also need to be cleaned even though theyre a bit hidden. Prepare more than one piece of microfiber cloth. The number that you may need depends on the seats color and their condition.
Boat Cover Cleaning Basics
The best method of cleaning a boat cover is to use a hose and a soft bristle brush. If you are suffering from stubborn spots and stings youll need to mix up a cleaning solution. You can use a mild soap, but a properly formulated cleaning solution will work better.
You need to first make sure that your boat cover is properly secured. It also needs to be elevated. This prevents water from pooling. Ideally you would have secure your boat cover in place with some poles to allow for this. With your boat cover in the position you need it in you can simply brush off loose dirt. Spray it down with a hose. Use the soft bristle brush to scrub off any dirt or mildew growth.
If your boat canvas was not badly stained, the water and brush should be enough to clean it. You will need to let it air dry completely before you fold it up for storage. That will prevent any further mildew growth.
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Things That You Need To Get Rid Of Mildew On Vinyl Boat Seats
There are different types of boats, but most manufacturers choose vinyl for the seats. Its because this material is tough enough to withstand wet conditions. As you know, boats are always exposed to water and other strains that are related to it.
Cleaning and getting rid of mildew on vinyl boat seats can be done manually. But you have to collect things that help you achieve a desirable result. They dont cost much so, what youll have to spend a lot is your time and effort on cleaning.
- Magic eraser
Is It Possible For A Laundromat To Clean A Canvas Cover
Surprisingly, yes. You can go to a laundromat and get the cover cleaned using their huge washing machine. Laundromats that are near a marina usually offer this time of cleaning. They also use a specialized laundry detergent that is suited to remove mildew.
The price for washing covers in a laundromat varies in every location. Typically, it will cost around $35 every time you hit the laundromat to remove mildew. This is already cheap as a custom boat covering can cost you around $1,500.
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Star Brite Sail & Canvas Cleaner
This option is for boat owners searching for an eco-friendly solution for dull sail covers and horrible boat seat mold stains. Formulated with biodegradable components, the Star Brite Sail & Canvas Cleaner can get rid of any dirt, mold, and stains on your boat while being mindful of the environment.
Like most boat mildew removers, this cleaning agent is specially formulated to treat
Staying true to its name, this stain remover is popular because it can be used to clean sail and canvas. Many customers prefer its fabric-safe formulation that can astoundingly restore soiled boat seats and covers until they become white again.
Besides, it wont cause discoloration of materials but revive its colors instead without any damage on stitchings. So, do not be hopeless about those heavy stains and brighten up by using this amazing product.
- Can be applied on vinyl and fabric
- Superb at restoring white seats and brightening colors
- No adverse effects on the environment
- Delicate with threads and upholstery
- Requires light scrubbing and multiple application to remove stains
How Can Mold And Mildew Get Inside My Boat
Mold and mildew both thrive on moist, damp, and poorly insulated areas. When your boat is stored for the winter or whichever season you wont be using it, there are many ways that mold and mildew can start to appear. If you dont perform routine inspections on your boat while it is stored, you are allowing a problem to be there and you wont even know about it.
I have found that leaks can happen if you dont have a canvas cover with a proper ventilation system. A good quality canvas boat cover that allows fresh air to get in, without rain water seeping through, will save you headaches and money in the long run.
There can even be some cracks or leakage around windows that you didnt have previous knowledge of and that can lead to water getting in and causing not only the water damage itself but mildew and mold as well. Furthermore, the snow can actual pose a problem if you dont have the proper coverage for your boat while storing it. If you are using a cover that doesnt have a ventilation system, has some rips or tears, or isnt designed/manufactured to cover a boat, water can get in once the snow starts to melt.
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Is There Any Way To Fully Prevent Mildew And Mold From Growing On My Boat
There isnt a way to completely prevent mold, especially on a boat. There are steps to take to try to avoid dealing with mold but the bottom line is, you may experience mold at some point if you have a boat. The main thing to do is to take preventative measures to try to be ahead of the problem before it starts or at least catch it in its early stages.
What Is Exactly Is Mold And Mildew On A Boat And What Are The Best Steps For Preventing Them On Your Boat
Mold, mildew and the unmistakable smell they cause are a major problem on boats. Even if you think youre on top of preventing boat mold and mildew, chances are its winning. Unless you take some steps to stop it. One tell tale sign you have a mold and mildew problem onboard is smelling that distinct boat smell. For those of you who havent, its a musty, damp smell. People associate the smell with older boats and it doesnt have to be a thing anymore.
The best defense to tackling a mold and mildew issue on a boat is a good offense! Going on offense against mold and mildew requires several steps. Performing some steps on a regular schedule allow you to stay on top of mold and mildew.
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What Exactly Is Mold
The technical definition: mold is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. Mold comes in many colors grayish white, white or gray green fuzz that grows from warm, dark and damp environments. What you see on the surface is mildew while the mold digs deeper down into the surface its on.
Mold and mildew love to grow in damp, dimly lit, warm environments, cue your boat. The list of places which dont fit these criteria is shorter than the areas on your boat that do. The reason we see so much mold on boats is because of the nature of fiberglass. When two extremes exists like an outside temperature of 40°, cabin temp of 70° and there is dew on the boat. You have a high probability of mold forming.
Some typical places to check for mold include:
Black Water & Fresh Water Systems
Cleaning mold and mildew on your boat
Now that we have a better understanding what mold is and where to look for it, its time to clean the mold. The two best homemade approaches to rid mold infected areas are a bleach or vinegar solution. If you walk into your local marine store and look at the mold and mildew products they are all bleach based. So why not craft our own mixture for a lot less money.
Start very diluted and work your way up till you feel comfortable. You can start with 10% bleach and increase the ratio as needed. Its better than being too aggressive from the start.
Marine 31 Mildew Remover Gel
Like all the other Marine 31 products, this remover in gel form exceeded my expectations. I tried using it as a vinyl mildew cleaner, and it does wonder. My boat seats were heavily mildewed, but this product removed those stubborn mildew stains. It takes multiple applications, though, before I achieved my desired result.
This products outstanding feature is its high viscosity, enabling long setting time on the affected surfaces. It allows the gel to slowly and deeply penetrate the impacted area, leading to an effective and fast mildew stain removal. Light mildew stains are removed quickly with only one application.
Another fantastic feature of this product is that the gel formula doesnt need to be diluted, making it easy to use. You can either put the gel in a spray bottle or directly apply the gel to the area. You should lightly scrub the surface with a soft brush or cloth before rinsing and drying for the best result.
I love using this product for cleaning my boat upholsteries. Imagine all the hassle you can save yourself from when you use this product. All you have to do is apply the gel on the damaged surface, let it sit for at least three minutes, then rinse and dry it thoroughly. After that, the upholstery is good as new.
- Ideal for vinyl and upholstery
- Can quickly remove mildew stains
- High viscous gel with no dilution needed
- Also designed for household cleaning
- May sometimes require multiple applications
- With strong bleach smell
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Mold Cleaning Product Warning
Bleach-based cleaning products are some of the most popular options when it comes to getting rid of mold from boats. Not only is bleach an effective cleaning product, it is also extremely affordable. Unfortunately, bleach deteriorates the stitching on marine vinyl. The detrimental effects are even more noticeable when you combine bleach and sunlight. Mixing bleach and sunlight will cause the threads that bind vinyl seat cushions to weaken and eventually disintegrate. For this reason experts recommend using a mixture of bleach and water exclusively for smaller mold jobs.
If you have extensive mold growth on your boat’s vinyl exteriors, then you might consider using a more expensive cleaning product specially designed for the marine market. Doing so will eliminate bleaching concerns. However, before you buy a mold-killing product make sure to read the fine print. Some vinyl cleaners are automotive formulas repackaged for use on boats. However, they do not include special ultraviolet blocking ingredients that boat owners should be using to protect marine vinyl.
How Do I Prevent Water Pooling On My Boat Cover
Water pooling is the top culprit when it comes to mildew buildup. Choosing a support system for your boat cover will aid in mildew prevention during storage. Certain boat styles work with different support systems, so make sure to find the easiest one to use. Getting frustrated with a support system can cause you to abandon the practice all together, leading to water pooling and boat cover damage.
Find Boat Cover Support with Hangtyte
Water pooling on boat covers causes damage in a multitude of ways. Not only will it cultivate an environment that is ideal for mildew growth, it can cause your cover to sag and ineffectively protect your boat. Westland® proudly offers HangTyte, which is the ideal boat cover suspension device for boats with towers or overhead structures. HangTyte was created by professional wakeboarder, Cobe Mikacich, so he could quickly cover and uncover his boat. Watersports lovers do not always have time to mess with a support pole, which makes the HangTyte suspension system the perfect lifestyle solution. HangTyte uses a rope ratchet system for fast removal, while keeping the cover supported to eliminate pooling and mildew. Once this system is pulled tight, HangTyte will keep your cover taut and the inside of your boat dry.
Boat Cover Support Pole
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How Often Should You Clean A Boat Canopy
Thankfully, you dont have to do this deep cleaning method all that often, but you should perform regular light cleanings. Here are some guidelines:
- Wipe down and spot clean the canopy after every trip out.
- If you use your boat frequently, deep cleaning should be done once a month.
- If it isnt dirty, dont clean it. Cleaning can be hard on fabrics. So only clean the canopy as necessary.
- Definitely do at least one deep cleaning at the end of every boating season.
Really, if you think its time to clean it, it probably is. So, dont put it off because the longer the stains sit, the harder theyll be to get out.
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I regularly blog about boat cleaning, and here are some of my personal favorites from down the years: