Itâ€™s crunch time and I donâ€™t know if Iâ€™ll have PT back together and ready for travel in time to go to the International Rally in Bozeman. My wife, Patrice, asked why I donâ€™t just stop with the repairs and take PT as is. First of all, I like to be thorough. Translation â€“ Iâ€™m a perfectionist, or so Iâ€™m told. Second, Iâ€™ve found not just a maintenance issue, but a health issue.
Iâ€™m not too keen on using diamond plate aluminum sheet in the storage areas. Yes, I know it is popular and looks nice, but doesnâ€™t it do the same thing that carpeting and floating floor does? That is, trap moisture underneath and create an ideal environment for rot and mold? So, I pulled some up, took a peek, and yech! The diamond plate was hiding more than just rot and mold. It was hiding large holes in the floor.
It is obvious that there have been persistent long term leaks in several places in the back of the trailer â€“ under the rear window, under both storage hatches and under one tail light. Even the steel chassis has rusted through in places. The subfloor is either gone or is mulch throughout most of the rear perimeter floor channel. That can lead to the infamous tail sag and other structural problems if not corrected.
But I was really surprised by the mold. Curiously, it was worse beneath the under-bed storage cabinet. There was a large colony of fluffy white mold (and black) growing luxuriously, not just on the sub-floor but also on the underside of the cabinet.
Molds can and do cause respiratory problems and are a significant risk for those whose immune systems are in poor shape. That would be my wife, still recovering and trying to get stronger a year and a half after her stroke. One of the things that happened to her when she was first hospitalized back then was pneumonia.
So, I suited up for combat. I installed the heavy duty filter in my little shop vac, and put on a particulate mask rated for mold spores. Since the vacuum really screams I also donned my ear protectors.
My first attack was to physically remove as much mold as possible using the vacuum and a steel wire brush. Before doing that though I created negative pressure in the trailer by setting the rear Fantastic Vent to suck air out and the front one to push air in. The last time I didnâ€™t take precautions with mold I had a sore throat for a week.
I worked the wire brush in concert with the vacuum to create as little air born dust as possible. No doubt some people will think I was going overboard, while others will criticize me for not taking it more seriously. There have been some instances where a mold colony was so dangerous that eradication efforts required workers donned in moon suits. I personally know of one such infestation in the bowels of Denver International Airport where several workers were hospitalized.
Anyway, I did what I could. When I got home I immediately put all of my clothing in the clothes washer, and then took a shower. Molds can be a hazardous material situation and should be treated with respect. Tomorrow, I think I should have all the damaged areas cut out and hopefully I can start with the rebuild.