One of the worst things that can happen when you own a caravan is discovering that you not only have a damp and mould problem but that it has caused serious damage to the wooden flooring and the boards are starting to rot. We say one of the worst things is because there is no easy way around this issue – there’s no workaround, you need to tackle the problem head-on and sooner rather than later.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, we hope this post will be helpful. In it, we will look at understanding the difference between a damp issue and what is known as a spongey floor issue and what you need to do to solve the problem of rotting wood.
Understanding the Difference Between a Spongey Floor and Damp, Rotten Floor
Although many people could easily mistake one for the other, there are some noticeable differences between what is referred to as a spongey floor and a damp, rotten floor in a caravan.
What is a spongey floor? a spongey floor does not have any lingering smell and does not involve damp. It actually happens when the insulation beneath the thin plywood floor of a caravan compresses so the floor can flex a little when it is walked on. It’s perfectly natural.
Whereas dampness is a very serious problem and if that has caused the wood to rot, there is more involved than simply just taking the wood out and replacing it.
Is It Fixable?
It really depends on your budget and the extensiveness of the damage that has been caused by the dampness. If it is a relatively small area, and you have a bit of money put aside to play around with, it may be worth taking the chance and fixing it yourself.
You need to remember to do things in the right order, though.
Before you can even begin to fix and replace any rotting wood or other materials and components, you need to fully expose the damp area and allow it to completely dry first.
It is also crucial that you find the source of the dampness – there is likely to be a water ingress somewhere.
Although we would recommend you run a full and thorough inspection, some of the best places to start your search include:
- The low parts of your caravan’s awning rail
- Skirt rails in the area where the damp has been found
- Around the rear light clusters
- Lower sidewalls
- Rear internal panel
Although it sounds like a lot, you may need to contemplate removing cupboards and storage bays, where possible, if they are in the vicinity of the dampness. The alternative is just pretending there is no problem or trying to sell your problem caravan on – both of which are foolish in our pinon.
Remember to Seal Everything With Caravan Sealant
If you do decide to work on the issue and dry out the dampness, find the ingress, deal with it and replace the rotting wood, there is one more step you need to take to prevent similar problems from happening – seal everything. Instead of using inferior products not designed for application in a caravan, invest in some high-quality caravan sealant and make sure everything and everywhere is watertight.