Use our tips to keep the mold out.

Mold and mildew are like in-laws: They arrive uninvited and never leave.

These plantlike fungi grow in dark, moist conditions, so vent your boat cover and consider keeping a 110-volt bulb burning in the cabin to combat them. Other tips include:

1. For specks of mold in caulked seams, apply nonskid deck cleaner with a soft brush.

2. To prevent an infestation on cushions, life jackets or other removable items, store them at angles that allow air to circulate. Better yet, store them in your attic or garage.

3. Use a chlorine dioxide mold-odor preventer like Star brite NosGuard SG Mold/Mildew Odor Control Slow Release System ($11, or leave a 110-volt light burning in the cabin to maintain air quality.

4. To prevent mold from returning, apply a mold blocker, such as 3M Marine Mildew Block ($12, Mold can't form where it can't sink its roots.