jeep pulling boat with cover

How-to Avoid Mold and Mildew Build-up

Marine environments attract mold and mildew. You can do everything right, like investing in a quality boat cover, yet still have a continuous fight with mold and mildew. These fungal infestations will wreak havoc by eating through the boat cover and expose the boat's interior. Fabric experts recommend to clean mildew upon first sighting, since it can multiply and ruin the cover, which will have an adverse effect on boat protection.

Boats easily get damaged during storage or trailering when they do not have a quality cover to protect them. Westland™ Covers effectively protect boats, but they require a little TLC too. Prevent mildew and mold buildup by choosing a quality boat cover, an ideal pooling prevention system, and committing to regular cleanings.

Do you have boat cover stains? Identify your stain with this more in-depth guide to cleaning your boat cover.


Can a boat cover prevent mildew?


Sewn-in Ventilation

Quality covers are going to have several key features that will increase the life span of a boat cover. Mold and mildew is enemy number one, but unfortunately they are inevitable in any marine environment. Make sure you are up for the battle by selecting a boat cover with an effective ventilation system. Westland™ boat covers proudly sew-in a ventilation system that will cut down on mildew build-up and prevent moisture. Each vent provides an escape for any moisture, and a sewn-in ventilation system offers superior protection, since it will not allow water to seep into the interior.

vented boat cover

Mildew Resistant Fabric

Westland™ boat covers are crafted with Sharkskin™ and Sunbrella® fabrics, which are naturally mildew resistant. Even though they are mildew resistant, dirt and other substances can attach to the canvas, which is a common breeding ground for bacteria. Since mildew and mold thrive on dirt that is not properly cleaned from fabric, this is often a reason for a damaged boat cover. Dirt that gets embedded in fabric will easily be removed with water; however, dirt can hide in crevasses on excess fabric in the seams. Westland™ fabric experts trim this excess fabric from the hard to reach seams to cut down on places for dirt to hide. Covers that are carefully crafted will help prevent mildew and mold, while keeping your boat protected for longer.


How do I prevent water pooling on my boat cover?

Water pooling is the top culprit when it comes to mildew buildup. Choosing a support system for your boat cover will aid in mildew prevention during storage. Certain boat styles work with different support systems, so make sure to find the easiest one to use. Getting frustrated with a support system can cause you to abandon the practice all together, leading to water pooling and boat cover damage.

Find Boat Cover Support with Hangtyte™

Water pooling on boat covers causes damage in a multitude of ways. Not only will it cultivate an environment that is ideal for mildew growth, it can cause your cover to sag and ineffectively protect your boat. Westland™ proudly offers HangTyte™, which is the ideal boat cover suspension device for boats with towers or overhead structures. HangTyte™ was created by professional wakeboarder, Cobe Mikacich, so he could quickly cover and uncover his boat. Watersports lovers do not always have time to mess with a support pole, which makes the HangTyte™ suspension system the perfect lifestyle solution. HangTyte™ uses a rope ratchet system for fast removal, while keeping the cover supported to eliminate pooling and mildew. Once this system is pulled tight, HangTyte™ will keep your cover taut and the inside of your boat dry.

Boat Cover Support Pole

Boats without towers often resort to boat cover support poles that will protect their boat’s interior and prevent water pooling on the boat cover. Designed to lift the cover from underneath, Westland vented boat cover support poles are extendable to custom fit any boat cover. Boat cover support poles prevent mildew by working with boat cover straps, so your cover and boat will avoid the nasty effects of water formation. Each Westland™ boat pole comes equipped with a ventilation system, which is a key way to avoid unwanted moisture build-up. These poles are also great to prevent sagging which is an after effect of water pooling. Sagging can cause your cover to stretch and not cover your boat effectively, which will lead to a wet interior.

vented boat pole

How often should I clean my cover to prevent mildew?

It is inevitable for your marine fabric to get wet, but this does not mean you have to succumb to a boat cover infested with mold or mildew. Westland™ recommends you rinse your boat cover once a month with clear water and then air dry. Monthly maintenance will prevent dirt and other substances from getting deep into the crevices of the fabric, which can be a breeding ground for mildew. To save time and trouble in the future, make sure you prevent mold and mildew from spreading the moment you start to see spots forming. This will help make sure your cover lasts for years to come, but don’t panic if you have spotted some mildew. Reverse these effects by mixing a gallon of water and bleach with some mild soap. Let this solution soak and rinse thoroughly. Westland™ boat covers will keep their color even after a bleach treatment.

During monthly maintenance, it is important to remember, the elements can erode water-repellant finish overtime. Water-repellant finish adds a powerful coating that causes the water to cascade over the cover instead of soaking the canvas. Overtime water beading may diminish, which will signal it is time to invest in a new fabric guard. Adding this extra coat will ensure that the boat cover lets excess moisture roll off of the cover, instead of absorbing into the fabric, which can lead to a build-up of bacteria on the boat’s interior.

Should I get a mold removal spray?

The best defense against mildew is ending it before it starts. During monthly maintenance practices, use an anti-microbial spray, so you don't have to remove mold or mildew. MonoFoil Marine is a green product that is safe to use on boat canvas, fiberglass, or upholstery. Lasting up to three months, this spray bonds to any boat surface and attacks mold and mildew before it begins to build-up. MonoFoil is an excellent preventative measure when it comes to protecting a boat cover from over 50 types of bacteria.

Investing in a solid boat cover is a no-brainer. Proper cleaning and needed support will protect your investment from the inside out. Westland™ has over 100 years of combined experience in the marine fabric industry, so you know we have you covered with our quality boat covers.