With the uncertainty of returning to school for college freshman this year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one thing you may want to make sure of should your child do move into a dorm in the near future, is to make sure his or her area is mold free.
Mold in dorms has been an ongoing problem plaguing college housing across the nation for many years. Educating yourself and your children and taking a proactive step towards identifying and prevention is key.
Mold is a serious problem that will only get worse if left ignored. The affects of mold can vary from a stuffy nose, headaches, skin rashes, and itchy and irritated eyes to more advanced symptoms such as upper respiratory issues leading to making pre-existing asthma worse or even start the onset of it. Severe reactions have also been reported making extended mold exposure a profoundly serious problem and not to be taken lightly.
When moving into a dorm, make sure you do a thorough inspection and check all areas for mold growth and be aware of a ‘wet sock’ smell. Any sign of moisture buildup can be the perfect environment for mold to grow and live so make sure to report any leaks or pooling water immediately to the college staff. If you want to be sure there is no mold present, you can call a certified mold inspector to take samples as well as check the air quality to ensure the healthiest environment for the safety of your child while living away from home.
Things Your Student Can Do to Prevent Mold Growth in Dorms:
- Keep all areas dry and wipe up any spills immediately
- Always keep wet clothing and towels off the floor, hang to dry or wash and dry thoroughly
- Use mold-resistant shower curtains when possible
- Use exhaust fans when showering or crack a window to ensure proper ventilation
- Make sure all windows and outside accesses are closed and sealed tightly
- Check to verify no leaks are coming from pipes, toilets, faucets, and refrigerators
- Inspect air conditioning units making sure that no leaks are present
- Invest in a dehumidifier to keep an optimal level of humidity in the air
The college administration can help to educate, inspect, determine and remediate any mold issues that may exist so do not be shy in contacting them should you feel there may be an issue with mold in your dorm, especially if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.