Where to look for mildew/mold - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-10-2017, 10:06 PM   #1
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Where to look for mildew/mold

Our 2005 17' has that horrid mildew/mold smell. We discovered it as we started to put cushions, bedding,etc back in for a trip next week. We've never had this problem before, we've had the trailer 10 years. We didn't really smell it during the winter, we were in and out using the frig a few times when the house frig. broke. It is stored under a roof, all cushions, bedding, etc. removed, the heater was on a few times.

We've dried it well by running heat on high, aired it, looked high and low for source, cleaned may surfaces and cupboards with a mildew retardant cleaner, but it is still there. Heart breaking, as I have too many health challenges to sleep in it has it is, though it probably wouldn't bother my husband or other folks.

Any ideas of where else to look? I thought other owners might think of places to look we haven't.

Appreciate any help. It means a lot to me to be able to keep the trailer.
Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:10 PM   #2
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Is there water in all the traps? I'd put fresh water in all the traps, just to get any funky water down into the gray water tank.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:13 PM   #3
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Is there water in all the traps? I'd put fresh water in all the traps, just to get any funky water down into the gray water tank.
Good call Donna, that would be my first check too.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:14 PM   #4
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Thanks Donna (and Hi!). We have run water down the traps several times.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:16 PM   #5
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Ditto. Good call. Run some water in the kitchen and bath to fill those traps.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:17 PM   #6
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Thanks Donna (and Hi!). We have run water down the traps several times.
Is the rubber seal on the toilet closure in good condition? And maybe try some bleach solution down both sinks and shower drains
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:30 PM   #7
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Is the rubber seal on the toilet closure in good condition? And maybe try some bleach solution down both sinks and shower drains
Hi: thoer... Good call!!! I found some black mold spots around the toilet seal. A good glug of bleach in the bowl after turning on the water and adding some and it's gone!!! Alf
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:49 PM   #8
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All good suggestions. We'll look again, but we've checked, and cleaned, the shower/toilet enclosure pretty good, it wasn't an area where the smell was particularly strong, and all drains have been flushed well. We use vodka (learned this on re forum yrs. ago) as our 'antifreeze' and we flushed everything out, filled the water tank, and drained it, several weeks ago. I am concerned there could be moisture behind the molded wall however, and there is no way to access that.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:06 PM   #9
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Flush the water heater, just to eliminate it. Are you located in PNW?
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:15 PM   #10
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The water heater was empty over winter, only been refilled about a month, but we will drain again. And yes, we are in PNW. Olympic Peninsula.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:07 AM   #11
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If you can, I'd remove the lower fridge air intake screen and shine a light up behind the fridge. Use a small mirror to examine the area. It's unfinished plywood. Mine had a lot of mold there.

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Old 05-11-2017, 05:57 AM   #12
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Let a dehumidifier run for awhile and see if there is much liquid being removed. Mold likes humidity.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:33 AM   #13
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We found a leak in shower vent, into top cavity of shower stall, a real nightmare, as there is a foam strip that runs the length of the shower stall that is wet and no access to that area except a narrow space, can't get my hand in more than a few inches. The odor is not strong there however. Since the trailer was under a roof all winter the moisture is likely from the last few days, since we pulled the trailer out. It is a huge problem, but probably not the only one and not the source of the odor.

The small vent is near impossible to replace, on the 2005 it is smaller than on later models. May have to cut a bigger opening and put in a larger vent.

We're going to have to remove the whole outer veneer wall of the shower to hopefully access the top and get it cleaned and dried out. And cancel our camping vacation next week.

Everywhere else we've looked so far has been dry, it's really upsetting to tear into our little trailer this way. It is in great condition in every other way.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:42 AM   #14
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Penney as you say, about the trailer under cover, that leak might well not be the source of the mold smell. Before you rip off the wall, I would try putting it back under cover, put a heater in the bathroom and see if you can't get it all dried out. Can you determine the cause of the leak? It could just be that you need to remove old caulk and recaulk the vent or is the vent itself damaged?
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:08 AM   #15
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Yes, my husband (Mike) is going to put it back under roof before going to work, not as easy to work on in that location, but I can get a heater going specifically in shower stall. We ran the trailer heater all night and had the vent covered on the outside (dish pans work nicely!). Mike said he is pretty sure the vent is cracked.

I can (barely) see into the space and it does look like possible white mold on the stop of the stall, but when I touch it it is dry, so may be some glue, really hard to tell with so little viewing access. It may be removing the wall is the only way to really tell what is going on.

BTW - I appreciate all the feedback/suggestions, I've had a lot of trouble logging into this forum, I get logged in after going through the whole change password routine, as I as able to this morning, then it logs me out and refuses my password, so not always able to respond. Annoying!
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:35 AM   #16
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Amazingly, in our rural area, the nearby rental place has an ozone generator so going to rent one and put in trailer. They are supposed to work at removing mold and mildew, I am skeptical, but worth a try. Anyone ever use one?
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:36 AM   #17
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I get logged in after going through the whole change password routine, as I as able to this morning, then it logs me out...
I don't know if this will help but be sure to check the "Remember Me?" box when logging onto the site.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:48 AM   #18
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We had a small leak when it rained hard in our shower vent. Not sure if you have a similar vent in your 17. Our 19 trailer has rivets on the outside exposed top of the vent and the centre most rivet in the front must have worked loose or created a small space in the plastic. I covered all the rivets with Sikaflex and have no more problems.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:57 AM   #19
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Don't use ozone generators, they can be harmful to your health and are not effective. Dry the space, correct the leak and monitor is what I would do. If you find water damage repair it.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production..._generator.pdf
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:14 AM   #20
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Yea, I did some research and am very concerned about using an ozone machine, especially in such a small space. We'll do everything else we can first. If we use one it would be for only a short time and may or may not even be effective. Just thought it might be a solution to places we can not even access.

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