to_dave007

I screwed up.. Advice Needed

13 posts in this topic

I screwed up..  badly I think.. and the main thing I'm concerned about right now is to determine just how badly I screwed up.

Left for Canada on January 10, and pulled the new door shut (and locked) on the garage when I left, shutting the Isuzu Crosswind inside.  No one else drives it, and it SEEMED like the right thing to do at the time.

Arrived back this week, and unlocked and opened the garage on 18 April..  and the mouldy smell was immediately obvious. CLEARLY it was too humid in the garage and not enough ventilation.  Now I know. But the damage is done.

Wouldn't start. Started with a boost but the battery won't hold charge (not really a surprise.. I knew it was due to be replaced) Pushed it outside into the light and fresh air. 

All seats covered in what seemed like a fine black powder.. almost like a carbon powder. Wiped everything down... cleaned as thoroughly as possible.. inside and out.  Seat cover fabric already disintegrating on one seat and I suspect it will disintegrate on all seats over the next month. Mould and humidity damage is what I think it is

Changed battery, checked fluids.. started it up.  Started ok..  Took a 10 km drive.. seems ok.  But if you walk past it, the mould smell is immediately obvious

So now here's my issue...  Clearly I have mould damage on the seats..  and right now it looks like ALL the seat covers (and foam) must  be replaced.  But the really BIG issue .. is what ELSE is likely damaged.  So far I don't see anything obvious.  I'm wondering about aging issues with any fabric components.. and possibly rubber components.  Hoses?.. seals?.. gaskets?.  But what about plastic?

Any experts hear want to guess what damage was caused by the humidity over a 3 month period.  Anyone with relevant experience?  Any repair advice or suggestions?    

 

Edited by to_dave007
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Hey Dave,

 

I'm not an expert but that sounds like black mold. Very nasty stuff.

The thing is, it shouldn't form like that in just 3 months. Whether black mold or some other kind, it was probably already in the foam and seat cover for quite a while before. The 3 months without fresh air and loads of humidity let it take over.

Whatever kind of mold it is, the only way I know to get rid of it is reapolster the seats. If it's black mold you definately want to get rid of it as it can make you and your family very sick. The doors and headliner will probably be okay because they are not as porous a material as the foam in your seats, however I would also check the carpet closely.

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I agree black mold. The AC and ducts need steam cleaning. Was there any sign of a roof leak in garage? Unless this car was new I would suspect a flood damaged unit. Inside the door panels and such should be steam cleaned, and window tracts greased, as well as see if any problems with window motors. Park it outside in the sun, that will kill a lot of the mold as the high heat, and drying air will help also.

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We went on vacation for 4 months and my old 1979 Toyota Corolla wouldn't start when we returned.

My mechanic replaced the dual carburator, because the gunk buildup was extensive inside the cambers and jets. Ran great after the carbuerator replacement. Luckily there was no mildew damage to the upholstery, because I left all the windows down half way and my car was parked in our enclosed garage.

BTW, both our vehicle's gas tank is always full. Leaving a vehicle constantly with low levels of gas, the inside of the tank could slowly corrode over time. Gasoline has additives to prevent metal corrosion inside the gas tank when full.

Edited by NOSOCALPINOY
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have the cars interiors detailed. Look for someone who uses steam. This will take care of the mold.

Replace your cabin filter (your aircon sucks in air and recirculates it but it passes through that filter) PRIOR to turning on the aircon after detailing.

Have a decent mechanic double check wiring to ensure no issues with integrity of hoses, wire harnesses etc. 

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I bought a work car years ago that smelled of mold, I thought I could clean it up but no matter how hard I tried never did get rid of the mold smell. Mold is hard to get rid of by yourself and ss others stated hire a professional service to clean it for you if that is an option. 

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My suggestion Strip out the interior, seat carpets, headliner  etc clean all steel with mixture of water and bleach then go to a junk yard and buy the complete interior out of a wrecked unit some yards will even install the interior for you 

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Thanks for the comments so far guys...

Let me see if I can respond to what's been said so far...

1. I know the previous two owners of the vehicle. Definitely not a flood damaged vehicle. Never had a mould smell prior to this incident.

2. The garage didn't have a roof leak.  I previously had that problem, and waterproofed the concrete roof.. and made it convex to shed the water.  However the walls do get damp after a heavy rain, and I think I need to seal and paint the exterior of the walls.  Plus I need to break out a couple of windows for some ventilation.  However, that's all great for next time, but doesn't solve the problem this time.

3. As far as seats are concerned, have 99% decided that they will need to be completely upholstered.  Including new foam and fabric.

4. Also already decided that I'll get the interior cleaned and detailed thoroughly.

5. Good comment on the air filters. I'll get them changed after the cleaning.

5. So far I'm not hearing anyone with concerns about damage in the engine or powertrain or window/door seals or anything else.  If so, that's a bit of a relief as I was expecting more concern about OTHER damage besides the seats.

6.  Thankfully the vehicle doesn't have carpets.  Clear plastic layer under all the mats instead of carpets.

7. And to Mandingo's comment that he could never quite get the mould smell out.. yes.. I'm a bit concerned about that..  There's just so many places that even the best cleaner can never get at.

8.  I sincerely HOPE I don't have to follow Cogon's advice..  Pretty drastic.  Did you have this problem before? 

Edited by to_dave007

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I would use a lot of

91uxxo+6l-L._SY450_.jpg

And if that doesn't help enough have the seats recovered and while the covers are off spray the foam with the above.  And since you're recovering the seats buy full sheet (1 cow) of leather and do it right.

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Found this suggestion at Google... to reduce humidity..

https://iprice.ph/damprid/

Or a tray of kitty litter, or dried rice.

Looks like most of the online advice is to control humidity to prevent rust.

Edited by to_dave007

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