TAKING CARE OF YOUR SPACE
While you live at WVU, you have a responsibility to maintain your residential spaces. Just like any other home, you need to take certain steps to ensure your living environment remains a comfortable, safe and clean place to live.
- Cleanliness in your space can assist in preventing mold, pest, and insects.
- Hang up damp or wet items, such as towels, bathmats, or clothing to dry.
- Dust and wipe down your space regularly.
- Do not allow mildew to accumulate in your bath and shower stalls.
- Keep the windows closed when air conditioning is on.
- Use bathroom exhaust fans and bathmats when available.
- Do not tamper with the HVAC unit.
- Keep fan setting on “auto” in rooms with traditional thermostats.
- Report any mold or mildew in the community bathrooms to your RA or housing staff.
- Communicate any leaks or water intrusion to Facilities immediately.
- Submit a work order
HOW YOU CAN MAINTAIN YOUR SPACE
- Keep your space clean. Work with your roommate(s) to create and maintain a schedule (aim for at least once a week) to wipe down furniture, sweep and mop floors, as well as regularly do laundry. Custodial Services routinely clean bathrooms, restrooms, and common areas however, it is your responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of your room.
- Remove trash regularly.
- Routinely clean your refrigerator and microwave.
- Do not leave food or drink out that may spoil. Dispose of any food properly and make sure to store food properly.
- Spray your space with disinfectant spray.
- Immediately clean up any spills or accidents.
- Report any leaks to Maintenance immediately through submitting a work order https://apps.wvu.edu/fsd/.
- Keep clutter to a minimum.
- Keep a consistent temperature in your room.
- Do not block air vents/grilles and dust these areas regularly. Often, moisture mixing with dust and debris collect on the vents and are mistaken for mold.
- Avoid cardboard storage containers.
- Always allow wet or damp items to dry thoroughly before storing including damp clothing and towels.
- Never allow water or wet items to sit on surfaces for long periods.
- Do not open your window if your AC unit is running.
- Open your room door to get fresh air instead of your window. Proper air circulation is necessary to provide a healthy indoor environment.
- If you notice a buildup of moisture such as condensation, wipe it away with a dry cloth or paper towels.
It is important to keep in mind that many students new to West Virginia will experience
seasonal allergy symptoms, even without a prior history of this condition. Having
never experienced problems with seasonal allergies, many students may attribute
these symptoms to a sinus infection or other issues. To help avoid additional allergy
issues be sure you are limiting moisture in your room, dusting vents, furniture,
and flat surfaces, and keeping your space clean. Mold produces allergens, but like
any other allergen, exposed individuals will respond differently.
MOLD AND MILDEW PREVENTION
In fall 2021, WVU’s Environmental Health and Safety department (EHS) investigated more than 200 residence space in Summit Hall and Evansdale Residential Complex. EHS found these facilities to be safe and free from any widespread mold issues. The process and protocol followed by EHS and Facilities were evaluated by the Monongalia County Health Department and a third party environmental health assessment firm.
EHS regularly tests residence halls for humidity and, last fall, temporarily deployed dehumidifiers in the hallways of floors with high-humidity levels in areas where students expressed concerns
EHS found that the mold issues were due to student behaviors (i.e. opening windows and running AC at the same time), changes to the systems made to address COVID concerns, and unique weather patterns with warmer weather and higher moisture levels.
If you have a concern of mold, mildew or moisture in your room; you can submit a work order request with WVU Facilities Management. When a work order is received, the Environmental Health and Safety team performs a visual inspection of the residence and tests the air quality for 5-micron and 10-micron particles along with other assessments to ensure the air quality falls within standard parameters. This happens generally within 24-hours of received the order.
According to the EPA: Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors. This moisture includes humidity both indoors and outdoors. We have included ways to prevent and control moisture in your residence hall under “taking care of your space.”
TAKING CARE OF YOU
When changing to a new environment, exposure to new allergens or irritants may occur. Try to decrease exposures by keeping living space clean of dust and trash, washing hands often, and using items such as allergen pillowcases and hepa filters if needed. Open windows can help with air circulation but may also increase exposure to seasonal outdoor allergies. Sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, cough, and rashes can all be signs of an allergy. Allergy testing can be performed, and some medications can be prescribed to assist with symptoms, but the mainstay of treatment is to avoid or decrease exposure to the known allergen. Allergens can also be triggers for asthma exacerbations. Always make sure that you have created an asthma treatment plan with your doctor and have your medications readily available.
We encourage you to take advantage of resources offered by the University Health Services to ensure a healthy experience on campus.
- Student Health
- Eating Well
- Healthy Food Options
- Sexual Health
- Emotional Well-Being
- Stress Management
- Get Active
- WVU Student Health Services and Urgent Care