Mold is a family of fungi that thrives in damp places and produces extremely resilient strains that can grow in many different places and cause damage in large quantities. In enclosed spaces like a car, mould can cause additional health hazards by cycling through air conditioning systems and being inhaled by drivers and passengers, which can cause problems in those allergic to mould or health conditions if the mould itself is toxic.
Cleaning Mold Source
Mold always grows in damp places, so once you have found a mould infestation in your car you need to find how it grew there. Sometimes roofs can leak and allow water to seep into the carpet of a car. The seals in the doors or windows may be compromised, allowing moisture to seep in. Sometimes even a window left partially down in the rain can create enough dampness inside a car to start mould growth, especially if it is not cleaned and dried immediately. If the problem is ongoing, you should first fix the source of dampness so that it cannot recur.
The goal in mould remediation is to remove all mould without allowing any more spores to be released. If you can, remove the mould in an outdoor area where any loose spores will be passed into the air instead of trapped in your garage. If the mould has infested a porous area, such as the carpet or seats, it can be very difficult to remove. If the mould was in your house, you would probably have to remove the section of carpet completely. This can be expensive, unsightly, and more difficult if your car carpet has mould problems, so there are other mould remediation options you can try instead. For car carpet, a steam cleaner and a strong fungicide (they are available in the form of carpet shampoo) can be used. You should scrub the infected area, remove all scrubbing materials carefully, use the steam cleaner and shampoo, then wait for the area to dry. Use the cleaner for a second time, then look for any signs of remaining mould. Mold can grow deep down into the carpet and continue to grow even after this detailed treatment, but it is the best method of removing the mould without taking the carpet or other infected area out from the car.
Removing Mold Spores
Sometimes the mould in cars can find its way into the ventilation system of your car, where it can continue to grow and spread mould spores throughout your vehicle. To get rid of this mould, you will need to buy a mould fungicide especially designed to be used in a car system. These fungicides usually require that you use a paint sprayer to spray them into the air intake for the car's air conditioning system, while the A/C fan is turned on. Like steam cleaning, the process may need to be repeated several times.
After getting rid of mould in your car, you may want to test for mould throughout your house as well, since the spores from car mould can spread on your clothing and possibly infect damp areas inside your house as well.