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Car mold smell traced to carpeting and insulation (C) Daniel Friedman Flooded Car Detection

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Flooded car detection or identification:

How used car buyers can avoid buying a headache: how to identify previously flooded automobiles, trucks, campers

How to identify a car or other vehicle that has been flooded by storm waters, hurricanes, area flooding, or severe leaks. This article warns about the problems likely to ensue if you purchase and intend to drive a vehicle that has been inundated by flood waters. We list key inspection points that can help detect a previously-flooded car.



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Flooded Car Detection Tips for Used Car Buyers

Car mold catastrophe (C) Daniel Friedman

How to Identify a Car or Other Vehicle that Has Been Flooded, Flood-Damaged, or Soaked.

Reporting on the sale of formerly flood-damaged cars to people who may not recognize that a vehicle has been flooded or soaked sufficiently to make the vehicle potentially dangerous or even unsafe to occupy, the New York Times described cars damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

From that article and other sources, here are some clues that should warn anyone buying a used car that the vehicle may have been flooded: [8][9]

Checking car carpeting for moisture (C) Daniel Friedman

Checking car carpeting for moisture (C) Daniel Friedman

Mold smell traced to window leak (C) Daniel Friedman

Look for and trace the source of water leaks into the vehicle

It is essential to find and cure the cause of a moldy smell in a vehicle - otherwise the entire diagnostic, cleaning, and testing process will be wasted.

In the moldy car case used as an example in this article, a water leak at the front passenger side windshield pillar was sending water down inside the pillar into the area behind and under the dash board on the passenger side, ultimately onto the passenger side floor.

The car's owners first noticed the leak problem as a wet floor mat. On exploring they found that carpeting below the floor mat was still more wet. This meant trouble.

In our photo above the author points to the very origin of the roof and windshield pillar leak on the car's passenger side.

Moldy smelling carpet padding and sound insulation (C) Daniel FriedmanThe dealer was able to trace the leak to its source, and the leak was repaired. But the moldy smell remained.

At left we are taking a look at the carpet and carpet padding in this same vehicle.

Carpeting, seats, sound insulation, head liners, door liners, or other vehicle materials that have actually been soaked and that smell moldy need to be removed and disposed-of, and the exposed surfaces of the vehicle cleaned using conventional cleaners (soap and water would be fine).

Our photo (above left) shows the primary smell reservoir in this mold-stinky car: the carpet padding and sound insulation material.

A topic of considerable discussion was just how much of this padding to remove.

Our opinion is that it is cheapest to replace the entire carpet and carpet padding in the front, rear, or both areas of the car than to try to cut, patch and paste repeatedly.

Legal and Insurance Issues for Flood, Mold & Water Damaged Cars, Boats, RVs & Trucks

Your car, boat, RV or other vehicle may be covered for flood and mold damage if you have purchased comprehensive coverage as part of your vehicle insurance. Check your insurance policy and check with your insurance company. If you live in an area at high risk of flooding you may want to add comprehensive damage coverage if you don't already have it.

Ann Carrns writing for the New York Times in June 2015 points out that flood damaged cars that have been written off by insurance companies often find their way back into the used car market, perhaps being sold in other states from the one in which the car was originally registered. Such vehicles are supposed to be given a "salvage title" but not all flooded cars or other vehicles go through that process and some may be sold directly by owners or may be re-titled by dishonest vendors.

Carrns explains that while it is legal to sell a previously-flooded vehicle in the U.S. it is illegal to fail to disclose the flood damage to a potential buyer.

Flooded Boat Car RV Truck References

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Continue reading at CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION - illustrations of a vehicle that was mold-contaminated beyond salvage and a study to identify the types of mold found in vehicles, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see FLOOD DAMAGE - building flood damage repair guide

Or see these

Flooded Car & Car Mold Articles

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