Florida’s subtropical climate and high humidity result in mold, pollen, and other substances being present outdoors virtually year round. According to the EPA, there is no practical way to eliminate this concern. What is present outdoors can be brought in through open windows and doors as well as on shoes, clothes, hair, and back packs, to name a few.
Indoors, when an ongoing presence of these substances is combined with humidity and improper thermostat settings, moisture and condensation inside your residence hall can create an environment that may foster mold and mildew growth.
Working together, we can limit the conditions in which mildew flourishes and address it promptly when it does.
For more in-depth information on mold visit EPA Mold Resources.
- Set the air conditioning thermostat between 70 and 72 degrees F (approximately 21 to 22 degrees C) and the fan to “AUTO”. This reduces the amount of condensation on or around windows and to maintain proper airflow.
- Keep ceiling vents in all areas open to maintain proper airflow.
- Do not prop open exterior doors or open windows.
- If a bath exhaust fan is provided in your living space, be sure to turn the fan on when showering. After your shower, keep the shower door closed and the fan running for an extra 10 to 15 minutes to remove excess moisture from the air. If a bath exhaust fan is not present, leave your bathroom door open to let the bathroom air out.
- If preferred, students may purchase dehumidifiers, fans and/or air purifiers for the living space.
Each resident is responsible for the proper care of one’s room and shared space. Keeping your residence clean can assist in controlling air quality and reduce opportunities for the development of mold and mildew.
- Keep a clear pathway between bed, room door, and window(s) to promote safety and good air circulation.
- Regularly wash dishes and remove trash to avoid pest, odor, and dampness issues.
- Keep refrigerator clean inside and out and be sure it is closed tightly.
- Clean and dry laundry on a regular basis - do not drape wet items over furniture or leave on the floor.
- Routinely clean bathroom areas, to include the shower curtain liner, with bathroom cleaner or hot, soapy water to prevent the growth of soap scum which is an excellent food source for mold. Always follow the directions and read all precautions before using any cleaning product.
- Wipe down areas of condensation.
- Avoid tossing your book bag or the clothes worn outside on your bed to prevent spreading allergens to your sleeping area.
- Consider showering and washing your hair before going to bed to also avoid introducing allergens to your bed linens.
- Report any water problems (leaks behind a toilet or under sinks, dripping faucets, wet carpet, leak from a ceiling, moisture under tiles, drips heard behind the air intake cover, etc.) immediately by submitting a maintenance request.
- Please also notify the Office of Community Living of your concerns and that you have submitted a maintenance request. The Facilities staff and/or Community Living will come and inspect the areas of concern.
- Upon resolving the cause for the excessive moisture, measures will be taken to thoroughly clean and dry the area affected.
- If you see any apparent mold or mildew elsewhere in the building, please notify a Community Living professional immediately.
- In the event of an emergency outside of regular business hours, please contact Campus Safety at 863.680.4305 and then complete a maintenance request.
Continued Communication as Necessary
For more in-depth information on mold visit EPA Mold Resources.
If I believe there is mold in my living space, what should I do?
If the issue persists, what should I do?
Though we want immediate resolutions for any facilities issue, it is possible that a proposed resolution does not fully remedy the issue. If the issue persists, it is important to follow up with Facilities Maintenance via another Work Request and let your Resident Advisor know.
How do I clean areas suspected for mold?
There are a few at-home remedies to clean suspected areas, as well as store bought remedies. Mixing 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water is a common at-home remedy. Never mix bleach with ammonia. Store bought products labeled appropriately towards the cleaning of mold, mildew, etc. would be adequate in cleaning mold in your living space. Appropriate personal protective wear should always be worn when working with cleaning products. This would include, but not limit to gloves, masks, and eye protection.
Why do I need to leave my AC on "AUTO" instead of "ON"?
Keeping your AC set to “AUTO” versus “ON” will help manage humidity levels in your living space. Maintaining lower humidity levels will keep moisture levels low, which will limit the opportunity for mold to develop. If your AC is set to “AUTO” and you are experiencing issues with humidity levels, please submit a Work Request for Facilities Maintenance to address the issue.
Are at-home mold testing kits reliable?
With Florida’s subtropical climate, mold, pollen, and other substances are naturally occurring and are present year-round. These substances can attach themselves to clothes and other belongings, which can then be brought into your living space. With this in mind, at-home tests will not accurately articulate the type and the level of presence of mold in a living space, if it is at all present.
What does the college do to review issues concerning mold?
Once a student submits a Work Request regarding mold or other forms of water intrusion, Facilities Maintenance will dispatch a trade specialist to assess the issue. Once the issue is identified, appropriate actions will be taken to resolve the issue. Notes of the work done will be available on the Work Request. Students will be able to review this information throughout the duration of the Work Request. Following the completion of the Work Request, Facility Maintenance’s Customer Service Advocate will review the work done to either close the Work Request or continue working towards a permanent resolution.
I am not feeling well in my room and I believe it is due to the presence of mold. What should I do?
If you feel impacted by the possibility of mold or some airborne allergen, like with any medical concern, always seek the advice of Student Health Center or your personal health-care provider.
Though it is not guaranteed there is an active presence of mold in living space, a person’s level of sensitivity to mold and other airborne allergens will contribute to the reaction to a living space. If a person has a predisposition to airborne allergens like asthma or other allergies, your level of sensitivity might be lower than your peers.
Please complete a Work Request to notify Facilities Maintenance of your possible issue. Once you have done that, please inform your Resident Advisor.
What can I do to prevent mold in my room?
Maintaining lower humidity levels is the primary way to prevent mold in a room. This can include making sure your AC is set to “AUTO” versus “ON”, limiting the number of hang dried clothes in your room, and allowing adequate ventilation in your room and bathroom.
Another way to prevent mold will be to maintain the cleanliness of your living space. In apartments, suites, and rooms with attached bathrooms, regularly cleaning your bathroom will prevent the growth of soap scum or buildup of mildew. Please note that cleaning an area once will not prevent long-term cleaning of that area. Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent mold.
A person’s level of sensitivity to mold and other airborne allergens will contribute to the reaction to a living space. If you feel impacted by the possibility of some airborne allergen, like with any medical concern, always seek the advice of Student Health Center or your personal health-care provider.
If you do suspect mold to be in your living space, please submit a Work Request so Facilities Maintenance can address the issue. Once you have done that, please inform your Resident Advisor.
How often are the AC filters changed?
AC filters are changed at the recommended frequency. This frequency is dependent on the residential facility.