Mold and Mildew Prevention

Marshall University is located along the Ohio River.  Given Huntington’s location and climate, the area may frequently experience high levels of humidity.  Setting your room temperature at inappropriate levels, unrepaired water leaks in your suite’s bathroom, or improper bathroom ventilation may foster the growth of mold and mildew.

Facts About Mold and Mildew

  • Mold is a natural occurrence in the natural environment and can be found everywhere. “There is always a little mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces.”
  • “Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets and can be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. “
  • “Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be.  Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.”
  • “There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.”
  • Above information from:

What Can I Do to Help Prevent Mold?

  • Set your room thermostat no lower than 70 degrees and no higher than 74 degrees. Setting your thermostat too high or too low can create excessive moisture or condensation in your room which encourages mold growth.
  • Do not place any furniture or store any items in front of or next to your heating or cooling units. This will block air circulation.
  • In suites or rooms with private bathrooms, please run the fan in the bathroom while showering and for at least 10 minutes after. This will help remove excess moisture from the air.
  • In some cases, mold growth is due to poor or inadequate cleaning habits. In suites or rooms with private baths, students are responsible for cleaning their own restrooms.  Please make sure that you are regularly cleaning this space with appropriate cleaning supplies and methods.  Failure to clean these areas appropriately may result in mold growth. If you need cleaning supplies to assist in cleaning your space, please ask the front desk in your building to see what they may have available.
  • If you notice any water leaks in your bathroom, please submit a work order immediately so we can repair the issues. Unrepaired leaks create excess moisture in the air.
  • Do not leave damp or wet clothes or towels laying around your room. Please place them on a drying rack until dry before storing in your closet or drawers.
  • Please keep your room clean and neat. Remove excess clutter and trash in a timely manner.
  • Do not place plants or other sources of moisture around heating or cooling units.
  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—between 30% and 50%–all day long. If you feel that your room has excess moisture or is damp, please invest in a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will help you remove excess moisture from your room.

What Should I Do if I Suspect I May Have Found Mold in My Room?

If you suspect that you may have the beginnings of mold growth in your room, please contact Housing and Residence Life immediately.  Please provide specific details to assist our staff in investigating your report.

What Will Happen When I Submit a Report?

A Housing and Residence Life staff member will visit your room as soon as possible to access the situation.  In most cases, a staff member will respond the same day. When reports are submitted after hours or on the weekends, it may be the morning of the next business day before a staff member is able to respond.  In these situations, please make your RA and Area Coordinator aware of the situation so they can assist in determining if the situation requires immediate assistance.

You can expect the following steps to take place:

  • Staff member will inspect the room to determine if the area of concern is mold.
  • Our Office of Environmental Health & Safety will be consulted for guidance if warranted following the initial inspection.
  • If the area of concern is determined to be mold, staff will clean the location with cleaning solutions which are approved for mold remediation and assess the need for any other repairs.
  • The staff member will work to identify the cause for the excess moisture in the room. If the mold is caused by a maintenance issue then the staff will work to correct the issue.  If the mold is determined to be caused by environmental factors (AC set too cold, items stored next to AC unit, etc.) the student will be instructed on what steps need to be completed to correct the situation.