Every car is at some risk of flooding and leaks, whether it be through the windows, doors or sunroof – damp often manages to creep its way in. What’s more, due to their design, convertibles and cabriolets are at even greater risk. Water can leak through the seals of the many sections of a folding roof; soft top fabric can become porous and drains can become blocked, causing camp to invade our much-loved cabriolets.
So how do you dry your car interior after water leaks? Not only can unwanted water leave unsightly marks and cause the interiors to age and degrade much faster, but they also increase the risk of rust, mould and foul smells spreading throughout the vehicle. All damp spots need to be dried and the source of the leaking must be identified and repaired. From using a vacuum to letting the sunshine do its job, here are our top tips for drying the interior of your car – and how to stop the leaking for good.
Make sure you have the right vacuum
A wet and dry vacuum is an essential tool for the motorist, especially if you have a convertible or a cabriolet. These vacuums have modes that slow down the suction speed so heavier things like water droplets can be more effectively lifted.
Make sure you’re not just vacuuming the floor and the upholstery, you also need to work it into as many nooks and crannies as possible. This includes between the seats, armrests and the central console.
Following that, use dry cloth towels to soak up any moisture that has been trapped in the carpets and seats. Cloth towels absorb much more effectively than paper towels, helping to reduce the amount of time it takes to dry the car, as well as minimising the water you have to deal with.
Use moisture trapping products
For those harder to reach areas, you can purchase granules and moisture traps that actively trap and absorb all of the moisture in the air, helping to prevent condensation, rust, mould, mildew and musty smells.
However, be careful cabriolet owners! These moisture traps run risk of getting caught up in the roof frame. We have seen this happen before in the workshop, where the moisture from the trap spread throughout the roof. This caused some serious damage to the roof, as well as the owner’s wallet!
Clear out the car and let the sun do the work
Due some sunshine after the rain? Open the doors, windows and sun roof and let the sun shine! Or for the cabriolet owners, why not drop your top? Fresh air throughout the vehicle will ease musty smells and the warm sunshine should dry up any pesky damp patches.
If a leak has puddled on the floor, take out the mats and leave them in the sun to dry for some time. Just make sure there is no rain forecast, or you may end up right back where you started!
Dry out damp spots as soon as you see them
Leave a damp spot to dry on its own and you’re going to have a great risk of mould build-up and bad smells in the future, not to mention the damage that penetrating damp can do to the interior.
If you’re driving, crank open the window to provide ventilation and turn on the heating to help dry out the spot and let it evaporate out of the car. Anything you can do to speed up the process is a good idea. With a cabriolet, here’s an excuse to drop your top! Opening the roof if it’s sunny will help to dry the spot and prevent a musty aroma.
Otherwise, consider using a fan to increase the airflow and help disperse the moisture all the sooner.
Taking care of mould
Moisture easily leads to mould, which can be a persistent, unsightly and smelly problem. If there’s a musty scent hanging around in the air even after the car is dried out, mould is likely to be the cause.
Using a plastic spray bottle, spray white distilled vinegar on key areas of the interior, such as interior walls, dashboard, upholstery, and floor mats. The sooner you do it, the better, otherwise that mould can spread throughout the whole car. Other moisture absorbent products like baking soda and salt can be used to help suck up any lingering droplets that might cause the mould to appear again in the future.
Get on top of it as soon as possible
The key thing to remember is that you need to deal with any dampness, leaks, puddles or mould as soon as you see them.
Water can be incredibly destructive when allowed to rest or spread throughout the car. Besides increasing the risks of corrosion, your roof and electrical systems are most at risk. A sign of serious water damage is that the roof gets stuck opening or closing, exposing it to the elements. The longer you leave the problem, the more expensive your repairs are likely to be.
Removing leaks and sources of dampness
There is only so much drying you can do to a spot before it starts leaking again! It is all about hitting it at the source by finding out where the leak is, and getting it repaired.
The door membrane, fold-down roof edges, sunroof, seals, weather strip, heater matrix and air conditioning systems are all frequent sources of leaks. If you need help identifying a leak and don’t know why there is water in your car, you should take your vehicle for a water test. This process will identify exactly why your vehicle is leaking so you can nip it in the bud and say goodbye to water ingress.
Don’t let leaks, moisture, and dampness rule over your car. Your cabriolet roof is made for luxury, allowing you and your passengers to enjoy the sun and feel the wind as you wind through the roads. Don’t neglect or ignore any water issues you discover, take care of them as soon as possible. Whether you can handle it yourself or need the help of a professional team like Cayman Autos.