Damp! Nightmare! Not necessarily.
We offer lots of advice on recognising, preventing and removing damp from a caravan.
We’ve also got tips from industry experts who offer products to keep your caravan free from damp, mould and mildew.
Caravans kept open to the elements all year can become susceptible to damp unless proper precautions are taken.
Damp can infiltrate a caravan in any number of ways – loose or damaged seals, leaks, cracks, faulty plumbing, improper cleaning – and if allowed take hold, can cause real problems. Mould and mildew can grow in damp caravans which, over time, can risk both your own health and that of your caravan.
How To Fix and Prevent Damp Caravans
Modern caravans don’t have nearly as many problems with water ingress as older models, however, there are still measures you can take to prevent excess moisture. It’s not a glamorous subject but, left unchecked, damp can ruin your caravanning experience and take time and money to fix. Our experienced members know that it’s worth working hard to prevent it from occurring.
Causes of water ingress
There are a number of causes for damp, including; moisture penetrating structural damage, faulty plumbing, spillages and condensation. Regular maintenance checks, thorough cleaning and ensuring good ventilation and airflow are basic steps you can take in preventing these causes of water ingress.
Preventing a damp caravan
The primary precaution to take is to check for damp. Catch it early and you can avoid major damage, potentially saving your caravan. A thorough inspection should be undertaken regularly, checking for any signs of moisture or structural damage (possibly just general wear and tear) which could lead to water ingress. You may find it best to get these checks done professionally.
If you do perform your own checks, you should look for damp in the following places; around awning fixings, along joints, around lights, grab handles and vents, under trim, around doors, windows and wheel arches and in all corners of your caravan. It’s also a good idea to reseal or replace edges and trims around windows and awning fixings, cleaning thoroughly first.
Attending to your caravan plumbing
Another obvious point of attention, especially where caravan plumbing is concerned, is the shower unit. It’s often a good idea to reseal the compartment and this can be done fairly easily at home. Like resealing other edges, it’s important to properly remove previous sealant and clean surfaces thoroughly before applying the new sealant.
Fixing your damp caravan
If you do have a damp caravan, instead of using a heater, which can cause condensation, try a dehumidifier. These extract moisture from the air and circulate it using a fan. Removing or piercing surface panels may be necessary to thoroughly dry out areas where there is poor airflow.
More extensive water damage may require professional attention. Consult your manufacturer warranty to decide on the best course of action – this may be returning to the original dealer for work or seeking quotes for repairs from reputable workshops.
As many will testify, there’s nothing worse than spending a holiday in a damp caravan. Investing time and effort in regular maintenance can save a lot more time and money in the long run. It may not be fun but it’s well worth it.
Preventing Mould and Mildew
Mould and mildew can be a big problem in caravans. Thriving in high humidity, damp, dark and hidden away places, the fungi can be hard to eliminate, proving time consuming and costly to rectify.
Forming as a result of moisture particles in the air from condensation, mould and mildew can be found in ventilation ducts, bathrooms, kitchens and on window sills. If left untreated, it can cause the floors and walls of your caravan to rot away over time, and also cause severe health problems.
The ideal situation is to prevent mould and mildew forming in your caravan the first place, so have a look at our top ten tips below to help you take appropriate action:
- Regularly clean and vacuum your caravan, ensuring that all surfaces remain clean and dry. Wipe down surfaces with disinfectant to banish any bacteria that might be present
- Open up your caravan regularly, particularly during periods of inactivity
- Give your caravan a good spring clean – inside and out – before the season starts
- Reduce humidity and open windows in the bathroom and kitchen – particularly after showering or cooking
- Check regularly for signs of any leaks or damage to the caravan which could potentially create a breeding ground for fungus
- Don’t forget to check inside cabinets (kitchen and bathroom) and wardrobes, drawers, etc. Clean them as appropriate
- Clean up spills immediately, and wipe away condensation. Do not allow water to pool or stand
- Replace any wet material that cannot be thoroughly dried – i.e., soft furnishings, curtains
- Remember to wipe down your caravan fully after your break is over
- Use good quality moisture control products in areas of high humidity in order to trap droplets of water and help keep condensation under control
There are a wide range of affordable solutions to help with all aspects of de-humidifying caravans. You can be sure that there is a moisture control product for every part of your caravan, from standard moisture traps for window sills and hanging de-humidifiers for wardrobes, to specially developed mini moisture traps for smaller rooms like the bathroom.
While it can be time consuming to keep on top of mould and mildew before it has chance to form, just remember that by taking the appropriate precautions you can not only help to preserve your family’s health, but you will also help to prolong the life of your beloved caravan.
Removing Mould and Mildew
If the fungus has had chance to take hold, what can you do to remove it and prevent its return?
Top tips for mould and mildew removal:
- Ensure you wear the appropriate protective clothing – i.e. gloves, mask and an old apron.
- Mix up a mild solution of washing up liquid and warm water, or a vinegar solution (one part vinegar to one part water). Never use bleach.
- With a scrubbing brush, thoroughly clean the affected area with the washing up liquid or vinegar solution.
- Dry the area completely.
- Lightly spray the area with a solution of clove oil and water to prevent the mould from returning (1/4 teaspoon clove oil to 1 litre of water). Wipe the area dry after 20 minutes.
- Consider calling a professional cleaner if the problem is severe.
- Keep on top of the fungus. Take action to stop its return by following our top tips for preventing mould and mildew.
- Use moisture absorbing crystals to help prevent mould and mildew from returning.
There are a wide range of affordable solutions to help with all aspects of de-humidifying caravans. From standard moisture traps for window sills and hanging de-humidifiers for wardrobes, to specially developed mini moisture traps for smaller rooms like the bathroom, there is a moisture control product for every place in your caravan.
So when you’ve removed every last trace of your pesky ‘house guests’, ensure that you do everything you can to prevent them from returning by following our handy tips.
By taking the appropriate action you will not only look after your family’s health and wellbeing, you will also help to prolong the life of your precious caravan.