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Old 12-14-2015, 01:43 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 14
Year: 1984
Mmmmm mold growth :(

Hey all. First of, thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. I plan on being more active here one of these days...

I wanted to bring up an issue I'm having involving mold growth on wood. I have an old 84 short van bus and my bed is built against the emergency exit. I have a wood stove installed and condensation isn't an issue in the living space. BUT under the bed is always damp and wet, the walls literally drip from condensation. I realize now that there isn't much air flow in that space but I can't see how I could have built it any differently.

Basically the wood bed gram had mold growth on it after only 2 months. I store my camping/misc gear under the bed and really don't want everything to have mold on it.

Anyone ever go through this or have suggestions? Do I need to insulated the walls? Do I need to create air flow? For now I will just keep on eye and try to clean it / dry / air it out weekly. I just went through some spots with bleach and a steel pad but it's still visible where it grew on the wood.

Any suggestions appreciated!
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:04 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,439
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCmini View Post
Do I need to insulated the walls?
It sounds to me like you hit the nail on the head! I see you're a coastal Canadian which means you're dealing with humid, cool winter air. It sounds like the metal behind the wood panelling is gathering condensation and it's leaching into the wood as well as dribbling down onto the floor. With that in mind, about the only thing you can do to keep that humid, cold winter air from condensing on the metal is to insulate well with a vapour barrier. Spray foam is the ultimate solution since it does both jobs and leaves no gaps.

I see that you already have an interior built. Is it easily removed (without destroying it) to add insulation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BCmini View Post
Do I need to create air flow?
Since the wood stove will be drying out the air, it may be worthwhile to pop a couple computer fans down there.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:47 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 14
Year: 1984
Thanks for the suggestion. I think I did know I need insulation but wanted to hear it from someone else? haha
Before building this id never built furniture or plumbed so it's been quite the learning experience.

I wouldn't be able to deconstruct without serious work and destruction. You suggest spray foam. Anything I should keep in mind when deciding between spray foam and basic home insulation? I think I would have an easy time building a wall between the bed frame and metal wall and stuffing it with insulation and covering with a plastic vapour barrier.

Also, the thread I created about my project does not represent its current state.

Computer fans... good idea!
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:54 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,439
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
There are many threads about insulation. The overall consensus is that fibreglass insulation is simply not a good product for use in a metal box. The R-value per inch is abysmal compared to foam products and every inch counts in a bus. To make it worthwhile you'd need 4"-6" of the stuff. It also can hold moisture (say, from the condensation gathering on a metal wall). Once it's saturated the R-value is hovering around nil.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=site%...ass+insulation
^ Here's a wacky search for fiberglass insulation topics on skoolie.net within the past 5 years.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:28 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,330
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Straight-up fiberglass probably won't help in that situation. The problem you're having is that water vapor in the air inside the bus reaches those cold surfaces and condenses. Though fiberglass can insulate against heat transfer, the water vapor will still pass right through and condense, soaking the fiberglass from the outside in. You need a way to keep the water away from the places where it can condense, and/or a way to dry things out when it does condense. Closed-cell foam is nice because its vapor permeability is low so if it's sealed well (well-detailed rigid foam board, or sprayed in place) then the water vapor won't reach the places that are cold enough to condense it.

If insulating is hard and heating is cheap, then fans to circulate the air could help warm those under-bed surfaces (ie, lose more heat through the bus body in those areas) and would help dry the places where condensation does still happen.
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:15 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 14
Year: 1984
I spray foamed her under the bed and around the edge of the bed aswell and am impressed so far! I think I solved my woes. Thanks for the help, I'll try to get some pictures up of what it was like.

What I'm looking at now is some growth at the back of the cabinets. Now, the cabinets have a 1.5gap from the wall, this section is entirely sealed off from the living space. BUT I think what might be giving me the issue is actually my water lines. I have about 6ft of line running from water pump to sink, all of inside cabinets near the back. I notice they like to sweat and the spots on the wood seem to follow the lines. Going to insulate the lines and see what happens. Worst case senario I will cut windows in the back of the cabinets, insulate and reinstall the cut out.

Had a great time with the spray foam. The local store ended up having the cans and gun on sale for 50% off! So I grabbed 10 cans at 8 bucks CDN a piece. I only used 5 but the rest will get used elsewhere. I'm thinking of spray foaming the driver/passenger area on the floor under the carpet now!

Living in and working on your bus can be stressful but when things come together it is the best!
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