• If this is your first visit to the iboats.com Boating Forums, be sure to check out the FAQ. To post a question or comment, begin by signing up. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
  • ALL iboats Forum Members and Guests:
    To show our appreciation for your participation in the Forums, we're offering an exclusive Forums-only discount good for an additional 5% off your iboats.com order for a limited time.
    To redeem, simply call our Customer Service Team at 800-914-1123 (Open M-F, 9am - 8pm Eastern Time) and mention the Forums 5% off discount. Offer excludes engines, trolling motors, and electronics.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts


  • How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

    Hello from the Great Lakes!

    My husband and I have an '86 Commodore pontoon we bought a few years back. With four kids we didn't want to invest into a boat that the kids may just wreck from fishing to swimming! The 75hp motor is not too great, but it still has life left in it and we'd like to do some repairs with minimal expense.

    That being said - the original project was to replace the carpet and replace 1 rotted sheet up front. But we both new - if we're here - might as well do it all the way, and we did!...this before we realized how expensive marine plywood can be...wow!

    Anyway, so far, we've removed the seating - so rotted that it was falling apart in our hands! -, removed the carpet, all the decking, and now gingerly removing the vinyl and foam off the rotted seat bases. Thanks to this site, I gained confidence that we could do a bleach wash on the foam and vinyl and rebuiild the boxes! I must have exuded so much from reading these threads on here that my husband reluctantly proceeded in my madness to save the upholstery and foam!

    However.....now that I'm at the point of diving in with my cleaning/recovery project - I got back on here today and see there are mixed reviews on here for cleaning w/ bleach on vinyl and foam - ratios - as well as out right avoiding and just replacing. This is not an option- we are all about recycling this foam, and the upholstery is still very good!- well, with a little pink staining (mold?) on the inside - not visible from outside.

    Soooo - my question remains - what is the best way to remove the mildew or mold from the vinyl as well as the high density foam?? and the pink stains?

    Oh!, and one more - there was a thin plastic wrap between the vinyl and foam...assuming it was to prevent the water going into the foam...I think we should re-assemble the vinyl and foam with the plastic wrap in between - any thoughts to the contrary?

    Thank you so much! Jacqueline


  • #2
    Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

    A commercial mildewcide is better than bleach...although either will kill it, but a good mildewcide will have more staying power. If mildew has permeated the structure of foam...toss it. There are too many hiding places in foam that bleach cannot find...unless you soak it in bleach for hours. But then there would be a lingering smell.

    At the end of the day, which is less green? Tossing a few square feet of foam and replacing, or using 5-10 gallons of bleach...and then dumping? Good luck.

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

      Originally posted by johnhenry3 View Post
      A commercial mildewcide is better than bleach...although either will kill it, but a good mildewcide will have more staying power. If mildew has permeated the structure of foam...toss it. There are too many hiding places in foam that bleach cannot find...unless you soak it in bleach for hours. But then there would be a lingering smell.

      At the end of the day, which is less green? Tossing a few square feet of foam and replacing, or using 5-10 gallons of bleach...and then dumping? Good luck.
      Thanks, johnhenry. I did a quick research after what you said about the spores could be deep into the foam. Scary stuff on black mold and spores in general. Thank you for your advice - I just may think about an overnight bath for those pieces.

      Any thoughts on if the solution would damage the foam itself in the process?

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

        No idea.

        Black mold...the type which is fatal, is quite rare, and the spore count has to be so high that only an idiot (or a blind person) would not see it and address it before it ever got to that level.

        Bottom line: if you attempt to kill the spores in the foam and do not succeed 100%, they will absolutely come back once you reupholster (damp, dark environments are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew). I don't think there is anything to consider in replacing the foam.

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

          Originally posted by johnhenry3 View Post
          No idea.

          Black mold...the type which is fatal, is quite rare, and the spore count has to be so high that only an idiot (or a blind person) would not see it and address it before it ever got to that level.

          Bottom line: if you attempt to kill the spores in the foam and do not succeed 100%, they will absolutely come back once you reupholster (damp, dark environments are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew). I don't think there is anything to consider in replacing the foam.
          Okay, well thanks for the gentle implication. No, I'm not a idiot - anyone with a boat would realize that you can not see what is growing or not growing for that matter behind the seat upholstery and foam. And according to you black mold is rare - well, I missed the boat on mold certification, so if it looks black on the wood base that the foam was touching - and it looks like mold - i'm going to assume it's a black mold, but hey, i'm just an idiot. thanks.

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

            Jacq...to answer your initial question about the thin plastic casing on the foam pads...yes, most good and better quality cushions have the foam sealed to prevent moisture intrusion. Seeing the other comments makes me think that getting new cushions is your best allround bet. Good Luck!
            2007 Mariah DX212 w/ 2007 Merc 150 Saltwater


            sigpic
            "Knot A Lot"

            Finally...my boat is not the oldest vehicle in my yard!
            ...and there's a prayer in every post for my friend, Sasto...

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

              Originally posted by coastalrichard View Post
              Jacq...to answer your initial question about the thin plastic casing on the foam pads...yes, most good and better quality cushions have the foam sealed to prevent moisture intrusion. Seeing the other comments makes me think that getting new cushions is your best allround bet. Good Luck!
              Costal Richard,
              Thank you so much - yes, seems to be the direction I have to take...don't want to...but i'll do it!

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

                As an upholsterer----with the rotted seat bases and the possible presence of that much mold, I would recommend tossing the entire setup in favor of new. Do a Google search on pontoon boat seating and you will find many outfitters that sell complete set at rock bottom prices...much less than I would charge to reupholster. Read the fine print on the types of vinyl used (you need marine rated vinyls), the threads used (you need UV rated threads), and prices with shipping.
                2001 Carver Voyager 374 'Stick's Competition'

                Something tells me I should be on the water....

                If I answer your upholstery questions, it's only because I've been doing it 20+ years...

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

                  I hate pontoon furniture.

                  I vote for a nice patio furniture set.



                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

                    Originally posted by Fireman431 View Post
                    As an upholsterer----with the rotted seat bases and the possible presence of that much mold, I would recommend tossing the entire setup in favor of new. Do a Google search on pontoon boat seating and you will find many outfitters that sell complete set at rock bottom prices...much less than I would charge to reupholster. Read the fine print on the types of vinyl used (you need marine rated vinyls), the threads used (you need UV rated threads), and prices with shipping.
                    Yep. By the time you factor in the TOTAL cost plus your time (and stress on your marriage) you may well be ahead to just order new furniture. Plus, today's pontoon furniture has rotocast plastic seat bases, not plywood, which is so much gooder. Welcome aboard.
                    Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
                    21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

                      Originally posted by jacq View Post
                      Okay, well thanks for the gentle implication. No, I'm not a idiot - thanks.
                      jacq:

                      There was no inference directed at you. I was just trying to be plain spoken about mold, particularly when it is present in porous or hidden areas. Too many people are "experts" after reading two sentences on the internet (again...NOT directed at you...gotta be safe here).

                      The only way to ascertain if a substance is mold or mildew is with a lab test. And just because a discoloration (or growth) is black...does not mean it is the dreaded black "toxic mold" that so many too easily eschew. Even then, for it to be toxic, the spore count has to be so high (in ppm) that one inhales an inordinant amount of spores.

                      Enough of the chemistry class. You just seemed too reticent to toss away damaged cushions, and I felt the need to reply (to encourage you to toss them). Cheers.

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

                        Originally posted by johnhenry3 View Post
                        jacq:

                        There was no inference directed at you. I was just trying to be plain spoken about mold, particularly when it is present in porous or hidden areas. Too many people are "experts" after reading two sentences on the internet (again...NOT directed at you...gotta be safe here).

                        The only way to ascertain if a substance is mold or mildew is with a lab test. And just because a discoloration (or growth) is black...does not mean it is the dreaded black "toxic mold" that so many too easily eschew. Even then, for it to be toxic, the spore count has to be so high (in ppm) that one inhales an inordinant amount of spores.

                        Enough of the chemistry class. You just seemed too reticent to toss away damaged cushions, and I felt the need to reply (to encourage you to toss them). Cheers.
                        Well actually, anyone who would own a boat is an idiot, but, she chose a party barge, so that mitigates the idiocy to a great extent.
                        Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
                        21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

                          Originally posted by roscoe View Post
                          I hate pontoon furniture.

                          I vote for a nice patio furniture set.
                          In all seriousness, my favorite pontoon boat was my uncles. He had one of those giant ones from the 70's. The deck furniture rotted out and he removed all of it. The only fixed pieces left were the console and the drivers pedestal seat. He built two large storage chests (one for each side) with padded lids and the rest of the seating was deck chairs. The deck was always freshly painted with non-skid. At the end of a muddy day clamming or crabbing, a quick hose off and she was a good as new.
                          1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
                          Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767
                          1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
                          Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338633 sold

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

                            Originally posted by roscoe View Post
                            I hate pontoon furniture.

                            I vote for a nice patio furniture set.
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI7Ghu1FpnQ

                            Couldn't resist...

                            John
                            Skinnydipper, a 1997 Bayliner Capri 1950 bought new and recently refreshed.

                            "Very funny Scotty, will you please beam down our clothes now!?"

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: How to rid mildew/mold out from pontoon boat foam and vinyl upholstery

                              Originally posted by johnhenry3 View Post
                              jacq:

                              There was no inference directed at you. ....Enough of the chemistry class. You just seemed too reticent to toss away damaged cushions, and I felt the need to reply (to encourage you to toss them). Cheers.
                              I hear ya - and thank you for the clarification - i was wounded -
                              nah, just kidding, sarcasm doesn't translate well on digital formats.

                              I've been searching for foam to buy - but can't seem to put in the correct search engine for replacement foam when google-ing....still trying...

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X