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Old 01-20-2010, 11:12 PM   #1
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Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

We have a Ford EB E250 and we live in the Pacific Northwest.

In Fall 2009, we had prepared this van for the Winter - drained water and such. No known problems. The van has since been parked in our driveway and has not been opened for four months.

To our surprise yesterday when we opened the van, everything inside was coated with condensation and dank. We popped the top and the rear-driver corner of the pop-top's canvas was darkened with mold.

We are always careful about making sure the canvas is not sticking out from under the pop-top when we lower it, in order to prevent any wicking of water. And we do not think we have a roof leak.

Any advice on:
  • Where else within the Van should we look as to the cause of this problem?[/*:m:1kzyseq4]
  • How we should begin cleaning the canvas of mold without damaging it?[/*:m:1kzyseq4]
  • How can we prevent future condensation problems?[/*:m:1kzyseq4]
  • Is there a recommendation as to a commercial service in the Seattle area that can thoroughly amend our issue?[/*:m:1kzyseq4]

Thanks for the help,

Jeff in Seattle
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

As far as cleaning the mold on the canvas, mix a solution of half rubbing alcohol and half water. Dip a white cotton rag in the solution and rub the spot vigorously.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:53 AM   #3
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

Could be a leaky top at any of the fasteners. The water gets into the layers and moves to other areas of the top- mine always came out the back at the light fixture staining the canvas with black where it is under the light.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:50 PM   #4
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

Thanks for the replies!

With the pop-top up, the rear corner was molding AND soaked and there was water in that corner on/in the upper mattress.
  • What should we do to dry out the van AND prevent mildew in the window coverings, upholstery, etc?[/*:m:343en5qa]
  • Does anybody recommend tarping over the van during the Winter? Or will it make matters worst?[/*:m:343en5qa]

Jeff in Seattle
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Could be a leaky top at any of the fasteners. The water gets into the layers and moves to other areas of the top- mine always came out the back at the light fixture staining the canvas with black where it is under the light.
  • How did you amend this problem? [/*:m:1sy6yr9s]
  • Did you replace the seals around the top fasteners?[/*:m:1sy6yr9s]
  • Were you able to dry out the layers where water resided?[/*:m:1sy6yr9s]

Thanks
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:53 PM   #6
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yvrr
As far as cleaning the mold on the canvas, mix a solution of half rubbing alcohol and half water. Dip a white cotton rag in the solution and rub the spot vigorously.
Will this solution damage or discolor the canvas?

Thanks
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

Jeff: I don't pretend to be an expert on mold. I also don't own a pop-top but I would think the van would be like a refrigerator with the power off. Wouldn't storage with lots of ventilation be best???
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

The seal on the penthouse is not waterproof, a good rain with with wind that you see in the northwest can cause water to blow under the roof and get caught up in the canvas folds. Also as Jage said, a leak in the roof will either find its way inside or possibly end up in the folds of canvas. A tell tail sign would be brownish stains on the outside canvas close to the top of the roof. There is bubble insulation between the top and plywood. The water may not leak through but can find it way to the outside. I usually take any good weather days, (or hrs in NW) to open up the top any air it out.

-greg
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:59 PM   #9
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

Thanks everyone who has replied. Our Sportsmobile was a large investment for us and we want to get it back to top condition, inside and out.

To in order to be on the side of caution and amend any possible leaks on the top, what would be the most prudent and thorough steps we should take?
  • Apply a sealant coating on over the top? If so, then any recommendations for a sealant?[/*:m:p5gdsyyj]
  • Caulking around the fasteners, cage, and bolts? If so, then any recommendations for a caulk?[/*:m:p5gdsyyj]
  • I have noticed rubber gaskets on the top that are ragged from exposure. Should I replace these?[/*:m:p5gdsyyj]
  • Can layers within the top be dried out? If so, how?[/*:m:p5gdsyyj]

Appreciate it.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:42 PM   #10
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Re: Pop-Top Canvas: Mold & Condensation: How to Amend Problem?

You might want contact SMB and ask them for any tips on resolving the issues with your pop-top. I hope you are able to get things all fixed up!

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