Mold cleanup/water damage and how the mighty have fallen


#1

In a superb display of brilliance, I managed to leave the sunroof open in my 03 Acura TL during a torrential downpour in a very humid DC in July. It took days to dry out. I threw out mats, shampooed and wetvacced the carpet. wiped off the leather seats. All is well EXCEPT when i roll down my windows. That is when I smell mold. Any suggestions on the source and how to clean it up?


#2

Your heating and A/C system may harbor the mold you smell. You could run some spray disinfectant or mold killer through the system with the fan on high.


#3

Why does having the windows down agravate the situation? It would seem windows up would be worse.My idea as to the source is carpet/padding still wet.


#4

If you smell mold with the windows down and not up, then the smell must be coming from inside the doors …


#5

Wet vacs are not enough. The padding under the carpet is still wet, and until you remove it an dry it you will have a moisture problem. You cannot get the moisture out of the padding unless you remove it from the vehicle and dry it separately. There is not a shop vac strong enough to extract this moisture from under the carpet.

I don’t understand why you smell it when your windows are down. That is exactly opposite of what I would expect.

However, I stand by my theory. Lift a corner of the carpet and stick your had under it. I bet you will feel dampness in the padding underneath. Been there, done that. It’s not easy to dry the padding, but it can be done.


#6

I agree with the carpet padding diagnosis and as painful as it may be, sometimes it’s best to remove the carpet from the car and in some cases replace the padding.


#7

Try removing your door inner panels and see if there’s mold there. The panels themselves may be made out of a material that provides a good growing surface.


#8

Take a vacation to Arizona. Park the car with the windows down a sunroof open for a week. It will dry out. :slight_smile:


#9

Awesome! What a great reply! The only problem with that is then I’d probably be tempted to move to Arizona permanently! Thank you!


#10

Thanks for the input! I now have a fun weekend project


#11

Thanks for the advice. I’ll give this a try this weekend.


#12

Thank you for the input - I’ll keep this in mind


#13

I can personally testify that this will work. I inherited a decade-old 1984 Buick “Olympic Edition” Le Sabre with some musty carpet developed from a chronic leak. I drove it from CNY to Tucson where it drove it for 3 years, sparingly. No more musty smell, ever, even after I moved it back to more humid, rainy climes. I almost made it to the 2000 Olympics before it became clear that the car was suffering multiple organ failure.