The growth of mold and mildew is caused when their spores find a moist, warm and dirty environment. Mold and mildew require a food source to grow. Typically dirt is a major source of food. Should you eliminate one of the 3 main causes of Mold and Mildew, it cannot grow. Mold and Mildew can leave different color stains on fabric including, pink, yellow, purple or black. Sometimes they can grow directly on plasticized PVC simply by using the plasticizer alone as a food source.
There are a few important things you can do to prevent growth on boat covers or upholstery. For starters, it’s imperative to keep your fabric both clean and dry. Putting a cover on a damp boat with dirt/food ingrained into the fabric is a recipe for mold and mildew. Make sure you always clean fabric in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation and remove all wet objects from the interior and dry all surfaces that are wet. This is recommended for both the interior and the exterior cover of the boat. When a cover is put on a damp boat, (especially in a warm and humid environment) the moisture gets trapped and creates an invitation for mold and mildew. This is why it’s so important to make sure the interior is well vented.
In order to eliminate most mold and mildew growth, you need to thoroughly clean all surfaces with soapy water and then lightly scrub with a mixed solution of bleach and water. This solution varies by manufacturer. The surfaces must be completely dry before re-covering your boat.
It’s very important to always follow manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions to prevent voiding your fabrics warranty.