Mould mildew under bed and by shower

Apr 21, 2005
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Hi all, looking for some advice please. We have just done a spring clean and noticed what appears to be mould just outside the shower tray in the bathroom. On further inspection, the flooring underneath the bed has also been affected. The rest of the caravan has not been affected which is really weird. We have an end bathroom with a side bed, both on the same side. I have tried removing and have tried all tips with bleach, vinegar, spray etc but nothing is coming off. We don’t know whether to attempt to remove the vinyl flooring to see what is underneath it or to leave it until we can get a professional to take a look. We’re just concerned that if it’s left would it get worse. Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello hgriff

Your post raises a number of points.

Firstly the typical causes of mildew and mould is an excess of moisture and poor air circulation and warmth. This is typically why it arises more during storage.

Secondly, there has to be a cause for the excess moisture, so one of your priorities should be check for any sort of leaks that might be allowing moisture to get into the area, things like damaged seals, of leaking pipes. There is little point trying to address the mould and discolouration if the cause has not been sorted out.

Thirdly, any rotten material must be fully removed, as spoors from the moulds may start to flourish again. How much needs top be removed will depend entirely on the extent of the damage.

You tell us you have tried several cleaners without success, Some stains may be so ingrained you might need to replace the item if you cant live with stain.If you are concerned about damaging surfaces you would be better referring the job to a professional.

To prevent future problems, make sure the caravan is stored with doors and cupboards open so air can freely circulate, make sure that all the caravans ventilation holes are open to encourage free air exchange with the outside air.
 
Apr 21, 2005
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Hi ProfJohnL thanks for your response. There is no softness in the floor at all but my husband is a bit hesitant to remove the vinyl to look underneath. It is a 2017 model and we have over wintered it no different to usual. The only difference is that we would have normally used it several times by now. I think it may be due to a leak. It has worked it’s way from the back of the van where the shower is and then under the bed. There is nothing anywhere else. In normal circumstances we would take it to a dealer to have a look but unable to do that for obvious reason. My concerns are if we leave it, could it cause more damage or do you think a further month wouldn't make that much difference? Thank you.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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One thing you could do, perhaps for reassurance, is buy a damp meter online then check whether you have condensation or damp. You would need to ensure that the 'pins' penetrated the vinyl and were reading the underlying structure, and measure the wall above the mouldy area too.
However the proximity of the shower, presumably in the n/s corner the other side of the bed-head does suggest as Prof says that the shower is the likely source of the moisture. If it is sealed shower unit then check the shower tray for any cracks, especially round the plughole(s) area, which you could dismantle and reseal. If it not a sealed unit then check all the silicone in the corners and around the edge of the tray.
I would assume that the vinyl floor is in place before any of the furniture is installed, but perhaps you could Stanley knife adjacent to the internal wall and then carefully lift a triangular section with this and the external wall edge to see what's going on underneath.
For all of this if you have an ongoing warranty for the van then best to air it as best you can and wait until you can get it examined by the dealer.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Mildew will stain. As Pro says ventilation, ventilation. If you store at home, this will be easier.. Hold off removing anything. Open everything, then purchase moister meter. As it drys the mould may fade.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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do you think a further month wouldn't make that much difference? Thank you.
If the root cause is still active, then it will of course continue to deteriorate, but I couldn't estimate whether it will make a big difference or not. it would need an expert to actually see the situation to be able to pass a judgment on it.

With such things it's always better to sort it sooner than later, but I do appreciate the difficulties the current stay at home policy is having, but unless you have the skills and materials to hand, there's no simple solution.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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We had a similar problem some years ago, with a Swift of the same layout, fortunately we found the problem before the mould developed, the water was coming from where the pipes joined the back of the shower tap,and running down the wall and pooling beneath the shower tray, apparently, there was a batch of faulty taps, our dealer sent us a replacement tap in the post and the new one was fine.It was relatively straightforward to remove the original tap and replace with the new one.
 
Apr 21, 2005
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Hi all. Thanks for your replies. Unfortunately it’s no longer under warranty. I have ordered a moisture meter to check as I’m assuming it will give a different reading based on whether it is a result of a leak or condensation. We are going to pull up a corner of the floor under the bed to see whether we can identify the issue and go from there. In normal circumstances we would have had someone in but unfortunately we’re just going to have to wait.
 
Apr 21, 2005
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It’s a 2017 model first registered in November 2016 so out of warranty. Originally it had 6 year cover but due to Lunar now being taken over they’re only honouring 3. Thanks anyway.
 
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Apr 21, 2005
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I know there’s a lot more I should be worrying about at the moment but the caravan is my sanity. Just want reassurance that whether it’s mildew/Mold due to condensation or a leak from the shower that it can be sorted when we can get it seen to when this is all over. Positivity would really help at this stage 🙂
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Sorry that you were caught up by Lunars problems. I bought a Brennenstuhl moisture detector. Ive not tried it yet since van is away in store but others on the site have them and when checked against a “professional” set of readings they have found them to be within a couple of percent. Available on Amazon or EBay. If it’s an internal leak from the toilet shower at least you would know that no more moisture would get in. Opening everything up would then aid drying out prior to repair. If you are unsure then a mobile caravan engineer prepared to visit the van might be best. That way if it’s an external leak it’s likely area(s) of ingress could be taped up pending repair. Have any one in the Owners Club reported anything similar? Good luck


Moisture meter
 
Apr 21, 2005
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Thanks OtherClive. I wouldn’t be worrying so much if we could take it to a dealer or get someone to call. That’s the issue really; the uncertainty. Opening up every day now and we’ll just have to wait for when businesses are back up and running. There is nothing we can do but wait.
 
Apr 21, 2005
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Well it definitely looks as if there’s been a leak but can’t determine whether it’s in or out. Pulled up the vinyl under the bed and the wood is damp to touch. Best we can do is pull up the vinyl where there are marks for the wood to dry out. The vinyl will have to be replaced anyway. What would be the best way of doing this? Heating on, windows ventilated?
 
Apr 21, 2005
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Reposting here to see if I can pick up further advice. Well it definitely looks as if there’s been a leak but can’t determine whether it’s in or out. Pulled up the vinyl under the bed and the wood is damp to touch. Best we can do is pull up the vinyl where there are marks for the wood to dry out. The vinyl will have to be replaced anyway. What would be the best way of drying out? Heating on, windows ventilated? Are there any caravan technicians on here who could give us some advice please? We are really stuck due to the pandemic. The caravan is a 2017 Lunar which is just outside warranty 🙁.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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At this time of the year you don’t need heating on just ventilate the van during the dry warm days and close down vents at night or during wet weather. Get a damp meter and check the area and surrounds to see if the measured level is going down.
 
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Well it definitely looks as if there’s been a leak but can’t determine whether it’s in or out. Pulled up the vinyl under the bed and the wood is damp to touch. Best we can do is pull up the vinyl where there are marks for the wood to dry out. The vinyl will have to be replaced anyway. What would be the best way of doing this? Heating on, windows ventilated?
See my reply under your duplicate post with a different thread title. You should keep posts under a single title as otherwise hey get disjointed. Suggest you delete the post under mildew and then all drying out replies will come together. Then I can delete this post too.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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I suspect that if the vinyl can be raised sufficiently without tearing then as it is under the bed it could be relaid. If you have a small fan heater you could point that in the right direction (but away from any surfaces that might overheat!) to speed up the process while ventilating as much as possible. Can you get under the van to see if anything is visible, and see if anything is obvious in the surfaces by the outlets? For sure if it is wet to the touch then that sounds more like internal leak. Can you unobtrusively test the bathroom floor near the shower too once you have the meter?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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In general I'd agree with OC's suggestions except the idea of closing off the ventilation at night. You need to maintain the ventilation.

The ventilation isn't going to cure the problem, at this stage it may help to control the spread ( sounds like Covid-19 doesn't it!) but it won't stop it. You do need to get the source of the leak repaired.

It may be worth considering a dehumidifier but please look at this thread:-

 
Nov 11, 2009
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Prof there’s more than enough ventilation provided in a caravan by its rooflight trickle vents at this time of year. During the warmer days opening them will increase air circulation and aid drying out. But without knowing the exact extent of the damp it can be difficult to dry out behind impermeable surfaces without revealing more under fixtures. Dehumidifiers are of limited use as you would find yourself drying out planet earth. The fan heater suggestion with good air circulation and venting is best.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Reposting here to see if I can pick up further advice.
I've merged your thread because only one thread on the same issue is allowed.
We can't have different threads asking the same question from the same person all running at once because members would be posting duplicate replies and moderating the forum would be more difficult than need be.
 
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Apr 21, 2005
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Thanks both. I’m feeling a bit more positive now thanks to your responses. I’ve ordered a meter and will look at a dehumidifier. Hopefully it shouldn’t take too long before we’re back to normal but that’s all we can do until then. My husband has looked at the shower but can’t see anything. I do recall seeing water dripping from under the van at the end of last season but my husband thought it was to do with the weather. I’m hoping that there is damage to the shower tray when we get it checked as we do have accidental damage. Fingers crossed.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Prof there’s more than enough ventilation provided in a caravan by its rooflight trickle vents at this time of year. During the warmer days opening them will increase air circulation and aid drying out. But without knowing the exact extent of the damp it can be difficult to dry out behind impermeable surfaces without revealing more under fixtures. Dehumidifiers are of limited use as you would find yourself drying out planet earth. The fan heater suggestion with good air circulation and venting is best.
Clearly Clive you have not read the thread in the link I offered. I have been more than most against the use of dehumidifiers, except in limited circumstances and this thread is potentially one such case.
 
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I've merged your thread because only one thread on the same issue is allowed.
We can't have different threads asking the same question from the same person all running at once because members would be posting duplicate replies and moderating the forum would be more difficult than need be.
Thank you. I wasn’t quite sure which forum was the best to post in. Good news in a way. We have discovered that the water has come in through the under bed access flap during the heavy rain. We will need to replace the vinyl but that’s not really a big deal. The caravan is now totally dry (tested). I’m happy now that our over wintering was not to blame for the mildew. We just have to wait now until this is over to get new vinyl fitted. Thanks everyone for your help and advice.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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Good to know where the problem started and that you have managed to dry the area - if it was the locker then you have been helped by the excellent weather too!
How are you resolving the issue with the locker - after all the hatch is such a common fitment on so many vans?
 

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