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Keep Your Classic Cars Mold-Free

Keep Your Classic Cars Mold-Free

When 200 classic cars paraded in Havana’s famed Malecón seawall in January 2019, they demonstrated that vintage vehicles are part of the Cuban heritage and represent one of the country’s main attractions. Unfortunately, keeping classic cars in mint condition can become a challenge as they are constantly exposed to the threat of mold, whether they are stored for long periods of time as priceless collectibles or used daily for tours, commuting, shopping and other errands. In addition, during the wet season, humidity levels are high, which encourages mold growth. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to keep vintage vehicles in good condition.

Improved Storage Reduces Mold Infestation

Classic cars are going to spend a lot of time in garages. However, poorly ventilated or aired quarters can invite moisture levels to spike, leading to the appearance of black or green spots that are not only unsightly, but also a health hazard. Inhalation of mold spores can cause skin irritation and breathing issues. Ensuring that humidity levels are controlled properly in a garage ensures that your collectible remains in good condition and your health is not put at risk. Get a weather station where you can see indoor temperature and humidity levels to monitor this.

If installing a centralized HVAC system is not an option, there are several ways to control moisture in a room or space. One is to purchase a dehumidifier to remove any moisture present in the air that can encourage the presence or growth of mold. Hanging silica gel bags or desiccants also helps remove 30-40% of moisture in the air, according to ScienceDirect. Other products that you can easily buy are bicarbonate of soda and cedar wood.

When There Is A Mold Infestation

Once the presence of mold is detected and confirmed, the next step is to remove the spores as quickly as possible to prevent fungus from growing and spreading. Remember that mold attaches itself to any surface, but dirty and humid surfaces particularly attract them. Therefore, cleaning your classic cars, drying them off immediately, and applying a protective coating of wax can keep mold at bay.

To start mold remediation on classic cars, operate a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter that can trap particles that are found inside. Use a sponge and soapy water to remove mold that is attached to the body and the interior. Be careful with using abrasive materials that can spoil upholstery, carpeting and trims. For example, using bleach can damage leather seats and will stain mats. A mixture of white distilled vinegar and water is a safer alternative.

Improve Insulation And Repair Broken Parts

If there are leaks in your car, such as in the windows and doors, repairing them can save you a lot of money. Cracks around windows, windshields and doors allow moisture to enter and build up, contributing to a high humidity. The AC is another culprit where mold can grow and blow musty air into the ducts.

Check that seals around points of entry are not broken, and replace worn out ones to prevent water from entering your car. Clean up any spills immediately to prevent mold growth and infestation.

Part of maintaining classic cars is to ensure that they are free from mold and mildew. Cleaning regularly, airing your car, and storing it in a dry area all help in preventing the appearance of mold. Removing mold immediately when it is spotted will also keep it from spreading inside and outside of the car and surrounding areas.