A mold is a fungus. It’s not a weird species on this planet. It exists everywhere across the world. It grows well in a damp and dark environment and continues to spread through microorganisms which are borne by the air from one place to another. Mold can develop in different surfaces like fabric, drywall, wood materials, cardboard, paper products, wall paper, ceiling tiles, insulation, plastic, etc. Besides, any other surfaces which are humid and dark are more susceptible for the mold to spread over. It survives on organic materials.
As today’s topic is on moldy tents, naturally my discussion will focus on it. If you are a frequent tent user in outdoor or indoor sites, this article is just right for you. If mold develops in your tent, automatically the basic aspects regarding sleeping safety, cleaning procedures of tent, storage, and health concerns etc. are the key to discuss here. It would help you efficiently deal with the issue related to moldy tents.
However, today’s article is designed to discuss on is it safe to sleep in a moldy tent? What should I do?
In simple words, mold is a fungus which adopts multicellular form for its growth called hyphae while it can be grown from a single cell too called yeasts, as defined by Wikipedia. Mold releases a huge amount of air-borne microorganisms to continue its reproduction. Wet and dark environment is the best breeding zone for the rapid growth of mold through multiplying its spores. These air-borne spores travel here and there and infect various kinds of objects including tents, food items, fabrics, plastics and many others alike, etc.
Various species of molds grown with different colors including black, white, orange, yellow, gray, brown etc. It looks like spots or patches and seems to be fuzzy. Also you can feel the existence of mold by its moldy or soggy odor.
However, if you detect any sign of molds in your tent by its appearance or odor, just check out along seams and in between flaps and take actions to remove them through some standard mold removal procedures.
Is it Safe to Sleep in a Moldy Tent?
Moldy tent is a fungus-infected tent. One of the common questions posed by the tent users is whether sleeping in a moldy tent is safe or not. Does it pose a serious health concern among the people who use moldy tents to sleep? The answer varies depending on the species of mold and amount of toxins it releases. Generally, moldy tents are not considered to be that much noxious with few exceptions. You can sleep in a moldy tent for a night or two unless you suffer from certain health conditions susceptible to allergies and diseases.
Some species of molds like black mold which tend to release toxins and harm human’s health. If you get exposed to such types of molds, you might have some allergic symptoms like nasal stuffiness, throat or eye inflammation, short of breathing and skin irritation, etc. It may even cause you severe respiratory problems or other health problems if your immune system is compromised for certain health conditions and /or any chronic disease.
For example, asthmatic patients are more susceptible to such kinds of respiratory issues including coughing, wheezing and breathing problems while getting exposed to molds which could even be life-threatening. Recent study revealed that exposure to mold at childhood has a higher risk of having asthma.
The general fact is mold is everywhere in the world as a part of the ecosystem and has been existing on the planet for centuries. Most of them are general kinds except a few species which could be extremely harmful for the human body.
However, there are some preventive measures to resist mold growing in your tents. Secondly, you can also treat your tents to destroy molds by applying some cleaning and storing methods.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Molds’ Development in Tent
There is a saying “Prevention is better than cure.” Therefore we first focus on preventive options to avoid developing mold in your tent. You can follow a few simple ways to prevent mold from your tents.
- Routinely check out your tent whether there is any sign of molds. Cut out trees and grass near the tent to avoid developing mold. Also clean off microbes and bird poop immediately if you notice any.
- Dry your tent completely if it is wet before packing and storing. If necessary, after getting home leave your tent in the air to dry completely.
- When using a tent during winter, take care of your tent too often to avoid wetness when mold is more susceptible to grow due to exposure to snow or dew. Avoid a damp environment too while using or storing your tent.
- Pack up your tent in completely dry condition and store it in a well ventilated, cool and dry place to prevent mold’s growth.
Mold Removal Procedures at Campsite or Home
You should follow some standard cleaning procedures to effectively clean your tent to make it mold-free which would give you the best result in terms of longevity and non-susceptible environment for the mold to develop further. Let’s go through some simple methods of cleaning.
You have realized by this time how quickly mold can spread out in the moist and damp environment and how they can harm your health and environmental safety if timely actions are not taken to destroy them. The mold removal procedures are pretty easy to accomplish and would ensure the warranted lifespan of the tent.
Below is the list of a few simple steps you can follow to remove mold from the tent.
- Unpack and set up your tent
- Gently scrub the tent with sponge or microfiber towel and clean it with soft non-detergent and lukewarm water
- Leave it in the air until it dries completely. Avoid direct sunlight for drying.
- Then, pack it to store at a cool, dry and well ventilated place.
You can also prepare a mix of lemon juice and salt to clean the mold. White vinegar also can be mixed with water to make a solution. Either solution you may apply on the moldy surface and scrub gently until mold’s residues go off completely. After scrubbing, clean the tent with lukewarm water. Finally allow the tent to dry in the air completely.
Remember, rougher detergent or cleaner may spoil the tent’s fabrics and hamper its durability. So, don’t pick such stuff to remove mold.
Besides the above method, there are other standard procedures including home remedies and commercial cleaning stuff which you can try out if you can rely on. In that case you can contact professionals to help you remove mold.
At home you can depend on Lysol to remove mold from your tent. Take a cup of Lysol and mix it with a gallon of warm water to prepare a cleaning solution. Then soak a sponge into the solution and scrub the mold area gently until the mold is completely removed.
After drying off, you can prefer a watery solution of non-chlorine bleach to apply upon the mold’s pigment to remove them. After that, let it dry completely.
Then store the tent at a cool, dry and well ventilated place to ensure its longer lifespan.
Getting Rid of Musty Odors
To get rid of the musty odor of the tent, it’s recommended to submerge your tent into a tub of lukewarm water mixed with deodorizer and leave it to soak for 10-15 minutes. Make sure all the zippers and flaps are open to adequately soak with the solution. This solution is also effective to kill germs or spores which cause the musty odors. This solution is available in the chemical or paint stores.
However, after getting soaked, leave it to air dry by keeping the tent hanging or setting up mode. Besides, you can use commercial fabric revivers available in the market in spray form.
Maintain Safety Protocol
Maintain safety protocol wearing face mask, hand gloves, eye shield and protective nose gear to avoid associated health hazards.
I hope you find this article quite informative to appropriately deal with your moldy tent. You must take care of the basic aspects of your tent on a regular basis. Maintain all safety issues to avoid health hazards. Consult with professionals before getting cleaning materials from the market to ensure quality issues and life span of your tent.
Always keep in mind there is no end of learning. Keep yourself updated with current knowledge so that you can combat challenges while dealing with issues like mold. Get associated with professionals and experts in the related field through social media, websites and other networks to be more knowledgeable overtime.
I would love to hear from you about your experience and if you have any suggestions, please leave it in the comment section.