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Mold - The Hidden Killer
Rick Krafft

Youíve no doubt seen the headlines similar to the one above lately. The newspapers and lawyers found something new to sensationalize. In my position as a warranty representative for a national home builder, Iíve attended several seminars on the mold issue and have addressed many incidents in our homes in the Las Vegas area. While certain mold spores are nothing to sneeze at, the majority of occurrences are minor and nonthreatening.

The reason Iím addressing this subject here is that an RV is a prime candidate to have a mold situation develop from an active water leak. Continual bumping and rocking while on the road can cause fittings to loosen. The indoor/ outdoor carpet they put over our plywood floor under cabinets and storage areas is an excellent mold breeding ground if it remains wet. The key to growing mold cultures is a continual wet area - once the wet area dries up, the mold goes into remission until it gets wet again.

Itís a good idea to check your water connections especially on the back of your shower behind the faucet. This was where I had an active leak and a goodly amount of white fuzz growing on the carpet under the oven cabinet! A 10% solution of bleach and water will neutralize a mold culture. Donít get me wrong, in a confined space like our RVs, and if youíre prone to respiratory problems, mold spores could accentuate your condition.

The bad stuff is usually present in a grey or black water leak situation. Thatís the kind with a ten dollar name.

A thorough leak inspection once a year is a good preventative maintenance habit to get into. One place to pay particular attention as our coaches get older is around the hot water heater. Iíve had the fitting at the hot water heater loosen up and leak as well as a leak on the tank seam itself. Itís not a bad idea to put a containment pan under the hot water heater with a drain to the outside. I used a light weight turkey baking pan and siliconed a drain line on it to the outside through the floor. The pliable pan works good because you can form fit it around pipes.

If the pictures the lawyers paint were true, all RVíers would be dead by now with the ďhands-onĒ black water dump antics we go through! The rule of thumb Iíve used to keep myself from getting the plague at the dump station is to remember to never pick my nose until after I wash my hands!!

Rick Krafft
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