Mold and Mildew in Houseboats

by Karen
(Pittsburgh, PA)

How to Prevent and Rid Houseboats of Mold and Mildew

How to Prevent and Rid Houseboats of Mold and Mildew

HELP! How can I keep the mold and mildew from growing inside my houseboat during winter storage?

It's stored outside and covered with a tap over a wood frame. We leave some windows cracked for ventilation and I clean and dry everything very well, but in the spring there's still mold.

Tips? Ideas? I'll try just about anything! Thanks Karen.

Reply - Answer
Well Karen, sorry to hear about your mold and mildew problem in your houseboat. I know of a few fellow boaters who have had this problem. Don't worry, we will find a solution together.

As to Tips and Ideas, you can try the following to help rid or prevent mold & mildew in the future. I think there is two paths that can be taken.

The first path is how to "prevent mold and mildew", and the other path is "how to get rid of mold and mildew" once it is occurring. While I am not a chemical engineer, here are some tips and ideas that I use, and heard from other boaters that help.

1) Be sure that there is adequate ventilation throughout the houseboat. Keep all cupboard and closet doors open to allow proper ventilation.

2) Use a commercial mold & mildew chemical remover to wash the areas that are affected. I don't think that soap & water will kill the bacteria.

3) I have used those commercially available "humidity removers" that come in small plastic containers, and placed them all over. They are used when storing boats, RV's, and campers etc... to reduce the humidity during storage. (you can find them at RV centers or boat stores)

4) Depending if you have 120v available during the storage, you can use one of those "120v plug in" boat dehumidifiers to reduce the interior humidity levels.

If I remember correctly, it may be easier to prevent mold & mildew from occurring in the first place, and possibly a little more difficult to reduce or reduce it all once it has occurred.

Have no fear though, you are not alone, and there are many people who have conquered this problem, and we'll more tips and ideas from others.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their tips, ideas, experiences, and solutions concerning houseboat mold & mildew. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found at the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN - from

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Mold in the cubby.
by: Anonymous

After finding mold in the cubby, I wanted to know if its better to replace wall panel, or just wipe mold away.

Is mold on a houseboat inevitable?
by: Jessie

I have a illness where I cannot remove mold toxins from my body and mold makes me EXTREMELY sick. My dream has always been to live on a houseboat.

I am wondering if it is possible to have a houseboat without mold. For me, once it got moldy there would likely be no saving it so my goal would be to keep it from getting moldy in the first place, I am that sensitive.

My preferred location for living would be in dry climates like Lake Mead or Lake Shasta so I would have the low air humidity in my favor.

Where is mold most often found on a houseboat? In the walls, roof, carpet, in the hull? If you have some advice to offer I would love to hear about it.

Thanks, Jessie.

Houseboat Paints - mold mildew paint
by: mdshore

Pettit marine paint makes a great paint with a mildewcide in it thats good out to 5 years. You first have to remove mold first, no sanding required, as I just painted over old factory interior fibreglass hull enamel/gelcoat. It is called ez cabin coat.

Controlling mold and mildew in houseboats
by: Anonymous

I use a mixture of 3 to 1 vinegar and water. You can use full strength vinegar for more effective removal just make sure you are about to leave before you treat your houseboat, due to the strong aroma. Vinegar kills 85% of mold and mildew on contact and has worked great for me.

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