The Mouldy Car

Author: Narelle McDonald

I feel like I am getting a crash course in living in the sub tropics and dealing with the presence of mould. This environment provides the perfect breeding ground and the right type of environment for mould growth to take hold, it is not an area where you can become complacent as it can happen so quickly.

We bought an old car to use on our property and for trips to the beach.

Unfortunately there was a period of time when my husband was away, the car was shut up and it contained a half empty bottle of liquid. Within 2 days of high humidity (over 80%) and ideal conditions in the car, being lots dirt, dust & sand (it’s food source) and a little bit of moisture and the mould was away.

Mouldy car interiorAfter the weekend when the car was opened visible mould growth had covered the internal doors, the console. The seat covers and mats had active growth that was not apparent just 2 days ago.

The musty odours and smell in the car were overpowering and the vehicle was no longer useable so something needed to be done.

Due to the age and condition of the car a full remediation on the vehicle was not undertaken, however, its contents were stripped with porous items thrown away. The car was scrubbed and the mould removed. Hot water extraction was performed and the other elements washed, scrubbed and dried in the sun.

The car was subsequently placed under cover and closed up. Air moving equipment and an air purifier were used over a period of 4 days. Needless to say the car is now in a much better condition, although a close eye is being kept on it.

The end result is the vehicle is now at least usable for its purpose on the property.


If you have any concerns, please contact a qualified Building Biologist – you can find one close to you here.

Always look for the ASBB logo – the ASBB checks the qualifications of all Building Biologist.

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