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Mattress Condensation


Bojitoes

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We have taken our overcab mattress out of the motorhome and notice there is some mould / mildew making caused, we presume by condensation. I have searched for previous threads on the subject but cannot see any suggestions as to how to prevent the problem, particularly when going from colder to warmer weather and then back again. Would any sort of material placed between the bed frame and mattress help or would this just retain the moisture and make the situation worse? Any suggestions appreciated

Thanks

Bob

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It's a question posed many times and with several answers.

The problem arises due to moisture traveling throu the mattress and condensating on a cold surface, the two answers seem to be, to either get an airgap under the mattress, for overcab with little headroom a product mentioned on some threads that is used in boats(can't remember name) may be the one to use, or to stop moisture in first place by using a waterproof cover on mattress, Argos make a suitable product.

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I agree with Colin, I think it may be due to poor air circulation around the mattress. Our previous Burstner M/H with overcab bed and our current Hymer with drop down bed both have wooden slats under the mattress, and a good air gap under them, allowing good air circulation and no condensation. If yours is on a solid base it may be worth trying to arrange for air circulation underneath the mattress.

 

Brian B.

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When I was a furniture making student in the 50's we were told that the average double matress can hold up to two gallons of water. This quantity was over time and mainly perspiration from your body.

 

Whether this still applies I do not know - perhaps not with central heating and synthetic materials.

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Bojitoes - 2011-10-30 1:07 PM

 

Thanks for the replies so far. We have wooden slats and there is a gap of about an inch between the underside of the slats and the base. Does this confuse matters?

Bob

 

Maybe, maybe not, you are not the first to have that problem even with an air gap, if the air cannot freely circulate throu that airgap you can still get condensation. Personnaly I would thourghly dry mattress then fit one of these http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1274615/Trail/searchtext%3EWATERPROOF+BED+PROTECTOR.htm

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The economical solution to the usual problem of condensation under mattresses on solid bases, is the range of slats from Ikea as shown here:

http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/85590800/

 

I fitted these to our boat a few years ago and have had no problems during a Spanish winter.

 

If you already have a slatted base you need to look elsewhere for the cause of the problem, maybe the ventilation in the over cab area is inadequate.

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Even with wooden slats, you will still get condensation if the air can not circulate.

Pulling the mattress away from the front panel leaving a few inches gap should improve circulation.

 

But, ensure the mattress is dried properly first or you will just continue to circulate moist air.

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It would help to know under what conditions the condensation occurs. It sounds a bit as though you may have been to somewhere like Spain in winter, and noticed the condensation when you returned.

 

You say the mattress is on slats with an airspace beneath. That is generally reckoned to be the best way to avoid the problem. I assume the condensation is on the underside of the mattress, and not on the floor of the Luton?

 

The probable cause of the mould is simple enough. While you sleep, you perspire into the mattress, which becomes moist. That moisture will allow airborne mould spores to propagate. So, to prevent mould growing, the mattress must be allowed to dry out. That, in turn, requires ventilation. The slats and airspace provide space for the bottom of the mattress to "breathe", but air must be able to circulate freely for this to work.

 

Some vans have a part double wall around the beds - looks a bit like a very shallow headboard - that extends on all sides where the mattress abuts an external wall. It helps prevent occupants coming into contact with a cold wall, but also provides a kind of "flue" from the airspace beneath the bed, to allow air to circulate. Body heat then creates a convection current with air being drawn in beneath the mattress along the side facing the van, and escaping via these air gaps on the other three (usually) sides.

 

Ours is transverse over a rear "garage", but the principle is the same, and it appears to work. Some Luton beds have a small diameter perforated air duct around the sides of the bed so that, with the heating on, warm air is blown into the space beneath the mattress. The garage space below our bed is heated to minimise the conditions for condensation.

 

The problem with Luton beds, is that the Luton base is often one of the coldest parts of the van. You may need to lift the mattress periodically, and take any opportunity to open the Luton window/s, or rooflight, during the day, to help dry off the mattress.

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Thank you all for your help , advice & suggestions. It is exactly as you surmised Brian! We have just rescued a woollen blanket from a friend that was scheduled for the charity shop so hopefully that will do the trick. All I have to do now is clean the mould off!

Thank you

Bob

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  • 2 months later...
We too, laid up the motorhome for the winter and found patches of black mould on the underside of the over cab mattress in spite of there being wooden slats in place.. Bearing in mind that this could be dangerous to health, we brought the mattress into the house for the winter to dry out. But even with the central heating the mould seemed to increase for a while. So we tried vacuuming to remove the spores and applying a sterilizing solution but the stains remain = can anyone suggest any cleaning products to remove this, bearing in mind the mattress is probably some form of foam rubber and could melt (!)
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There's advice on here

 

http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-remove-mildew-stains.htm

 

(As you rightly say, you'll need to take care that, whatever you use to attack the staining, it won't damage the mattress foam. I once used a solvent cleaner to remove a tar stain on a car seat - it removed the stain OK but the foam beneath the seat upholstery did indeed "melt". At least, for you, the stains are out of sight on the underside of the mattress.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've resurrected this thread having seen reference in the latest (February 2012) issue of the CC Magazine (pages 100/101) to a product called "Vent Air-Mat". Detais can be accessed via the Products listing on the following webpage:

 

http://www.hawkehouse.co.uk/default.asp

 

(I've read comments over the years about an anti-condensation product called "Ventair", but I don't know if this is the same as Vent Air-Mat.)

 

 

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I have not read through all the responses, so forgive me if I am reiterating others. I found a cheap and very effective way to solve this problem in a former van with a solid bed base, was by placing beach sand mats, the natrual grass type between the mattress and the bed base. This allowed for a degree of insulation whilst still being breathable. Neither mattress or the mats went mouldy , but a regular check was made, It worked for me and didn't cost the earth !
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  • 2 weeks later...

We also saw the article in CC magazine re VentAir and have just taken delivery of a 1m x2m length. This should fit nicely under the part of the mattress which suffered from mildew but it won't be until the autumn before we find out if it works

We have also cleaned the mattress by liberally applying oxygen crystals as advertised on tv. to remove stains -it took a lot of gentle scrubbing and then vacuuming - be very careful not to get the surface too wet as I found out to my cost it took a few days drying out after the process but at least the fabric now looks clean on the surface -however there are still brown marks on the foam but these only showed up when I decided to have a second go at a particularly stubborn section.

Watch this space to find out how we get on. *-) *-) *-)

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  • 1 year later...

Damp and condensation under your mattress? - Problem solved!

 

If you have a problem with damp and mildew underneath mattresses or cushions, the ComfiMat mattress underlay or 'spacer' is the answer. In boats, caravans, tents, and other areas where moisture build up is unavoidable, this effective, very comfortable mattress underlay allows air to circulate, reducing moisture build up and condensation - plus it adds extra comfort throughout the night!

– And it really works. I’ve tried it all season and it’s brilliant.

ComfiMat is a new practical, light weight, flexible, high performance, anti-moisture, three dimensional, space age Spacetec© fabric designed to stop condensation between your mattress or seat cushions and a solid wood, metal or GRP base, by creating a compression resistant air gap which allows air to flow from, under, and into, the mattress whilst you sleep, resolving the problem of moisture build up and mildew growth under mattresses and seating cushions. The three dimensional fabric has millions of tiny spaces which allow air circulation whilst unique additional channeling is incorporated to further increase airflow. Built in compression resistance means mattresses and cushions remain dry, even under the heaviest and most restless of bodies. Its special construction feels very soft and as an additional benefit makes the mattress far more comfortable – equivalent to several centimetres of extra foam.

ComfiMat is made from a one piece unique high-tech Spacetec© 3-D spacer fabric which provides numerous benefits over traditional foams and multi-layer fabrics. The product technology centres on the 3D knitted construction, which reduces heat build-up, allows consistent air circulation in all directions and provides high moisture transfer. Additional benefits include comfort cushioning and shock absorbency with excellent recovery properties.

Benefits of ComfiMat:

• It allows the bed to ‘breathe’. Its unique 3D mesh allows air to circulate freely throughout the day and night, enabling any body moisture to dry quickly, and eliminating condensation.

• It provides a soft cushioning effect making your bed far more comfortable.

• Cut to fit using a pair of ordinary scissors – does not fray or unravel. Just cut to size slightly bigger than the mattress to hold in place and lay under the mattress. If you have lockers under the bed – cut out a three sided flap over the locker for easy access!

• No waste - Any spare? Use it under gas bottles to prevent rusting, or in the bottom of your cool box, even in your trainers or dog’s bed.

• It is white, machine-washable, and will not de-laminate or breakdown. It is highly durable with a long product life.

 

Specification of ComfiMat:

• 6mm gauge 850 gms/sq m, 190 wide.

• Heat set heavy mesh channelled high tech Spacer© fabric.

• Withstands over 2 tonne per sq metre before collapses (est.)

• Manufactured under ISO 9001 and 14001 systems.

• 100% Recyclable non-absorbent Polyester.

 

Cost: £30 + £3.50 per metre P&P (UK). Available in any length (min. order 1 metre). Can fit either direction on bed. Width 190 cm.

Available from: Niki Tait, Appledore Sails, 1 The Quay, Appledore, Devon, EX39 1QS.

Tel: 01237 423163 / 0780 271 3435; email: nikitait@appledoresails.co.uk

I know it works, I bought some, tried it all summer and was so impressed I bought the entire supply but only have a limited quantity left at this low price to further test the market before more is manufactured so buy now and spread the word!

 

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