Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 29

Certain types of mold have very
useful benefits; they help break down
decaying organic matter and are the
basis of certain antibiotics and drugs.
Mold spores are constantly present
in the atmosphere, in all climates
and regions. Even indoors, it is not
possible to get rid of all mold spores,
as they are found floating in the air or
in innocuous house dust. In normal
concentrations, whether indoors or
outdoors, they do not generally create
any complications or pose a threat to
humans. However, problems can occur when the environment and food
sources in a space create a condition
where mold spores can reproduce
rapidly and generate a more concentrated population than that in the
outside air. This is known as bioamplification.
Although there are 35,000 known
species of mold, according to the EPA
one of the most common types in the
United States is Aspergillus. There are
more than 185 species of Aspergillus,
which can account for the variety in
color, shape, and appearance of its
spores. Other common types include Alternaria, Cladosporium, and
Trichoderma. Regardless of type, any
mold can cause a reaction in people if
it exists in high quantities; reactions
range from allergies and asthma to
more serious health complications,
although, according to the EPA's
guide on how molds affect people,
"Symptoms other than the allergic
and irritant types are not commonly
reported as a result of inhaling mold."
Residence halls and campus
apartments tend to be ideal locations
for mold to grow for a few reasons.
First, many residence halls were built
either before air conditioning, or they
use older technology for cooling. "The
sheer variety of heating, ventilation,
and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
present on a particular campus can
cause some challenges," says Dave

Sagaser, director of facility services
for university housing at Florida
State University in Tallahassee.
"Some of these systems are very
good, and others were installed while
only looking at upfront costs. The
quality and design of the system
makes a big difference in controlling
temperature and humidity targets, as
well as ensuring proper airflow in a
space."
Second, residence halls and complexes are filled with people, many of
whom are living on their own for the
first time and may not yet have cleaning routines completely down. Damp
towels, sweaty gym clothes, and the
like can all contribute moisture to
the air. During the volatile temperature swings of spring and fall, the
combination of open windows and
running air conditioning units can
create all kinds of problems. Mold
thrives in dark environments where
temperatures range from 60 to
80 degrees Fahrenheit, which just
about describes many residence hall
spaces.
Third, moisture intrusion of
any kind can create an environment
conducive to mold. Roof leaks, leaky
window sealant, plumbing problems,
a dripping window air conditioner,
saturated insulation, shower pan
leaks, and so forth can introduce
enough moisture into a space to
cause a problem. As campus facilities
age, leaks and cracks become more
common and aren't always caught
until they become an issue. Sagaser
notes, "Facilities staff have to be
extremely vigilant in inspecting and
correcting all of these leak opportunities." It's important to know the
trouble spots in a building, he says,
and to not rely on service requests
alone to find problems. "It must be a
continuous process."
Many students (and their parents)

tend to think worst-case scenario when
they see or hear about mold, which can
escalate a simple cleanliness situation
into something much larger. Rapid

"Mold loves organic
material that holds
moisture," says Steve Wargo,
maintenance superintendent,
University of Florida in
Gainesville. "Some of mold's
favorite consumables are
food products, decaying
plants, fabric, wood, or
even paint."

response and relaying proper information is critical. Daniel Sheets, associate
director for facilities services for university housing at Florida State, credits
timely reporting and timely response as
being key to success when working with
students on mold concerns. "As soon
as we are made aware of an issue, we
send both maintenance and custodial
up to the space. The sooner staff can get
to the room and investigate, the sooner
we can address anything that may be
wrong." There's an additional benefit to
a rapid response, according to Sheets.
"A quick response lets the residents -
and by default, the parents - know that
we take these matters very seriously."
Many campus housing departments
take a multi-pronged approach to treatment of a problem by involving both
custodial and maintenance staff. This

MARCH + APRIL 2018

29



Talking Stick - March/April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - March/April 2018

Talking Stick - March/April 2018
Contents
Vision
Calendar
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Res Life
Facilities
Special Focus
Winning Halls
The Living-Learning Community Pyramid
Conversations
First Takes
New Members
Snapshot
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Intro
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - BB1
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - BB2
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Talking Stick - March/April 2018
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Cover2
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 1
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 2
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Contents
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 4
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 5
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 6
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 7
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Vision
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 9
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 10
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 11
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 12
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 13
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 14
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 15
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 16
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 17
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Calendar
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 19
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 21
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Transitions
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 23
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Res Life
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 25
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 26
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 27
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Facilities
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 29
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 30
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 31
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Special Focus
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 33
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 34
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 35
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Winning Halls
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 37
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 38
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 39
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 40
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 41
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 42
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 43
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - The Living-Learning Community Pyramid
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 45
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 46
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 47
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 48
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 49
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 50
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 51
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Conversations
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 53
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 54
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 55
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - First Takes
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 57
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - 58
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - New Members
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Cover3
Talking Stick - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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