Q. What should a student do to report mold?
A. If a student thinks there is a mold issue in their room, they should i
mmediately contact Facilities & Campus Services (
). Students may also choose to notify the Office of
Residence Life and Housing (
) in addition to notifying Facilities & Campus Services.
Q. What happens when a student reports mold?
- Staff members trained to identify and assess mold quickly and promptly check the area in question.
- If mold is found, the University’s mold management plan is activated by Facilities and Campus Services. Developed in conjunction with third-party industrial hygienists, all practices in the plan are in line with guidelines provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Wake Forest has several methods of responding to reports of mold growth, in accordance with the University’s Mold Management Plan:
- Affected areas are cleaned and treated with products that have mold inhibitors.
- When mold growth requires complex or sizable (greater than 10 sq ft) remediation, the University worked with an approved third party abatement contractor to address the issue.
Q. Is Wake Forest experiencing more issues with mold than in past years?
A. No. The University has spent significant resources to address the issues of mold growth due to environmental and moisture intrusion issues.
Q. Are more students sick this year than in past years?
A. Student Health Service frequently sees patients concerned about common seasonal illnesses such as the flu, “stomach bugs” and respiratory illnesses that might affect their ability to keep up with academic commitments and social activities. The Student Health Service tracks these illnesses closely and looks for any meaningful trends. Following a review of illnesses to date, there are no notable differences between this year and past years. Further, there is no notable difference between our South Campus communities.
One of the challenges of being a student on a college campus is exposure to illnesses among friends, classmates and hallmates. Communal living environments – as well as busy, active lifestyles – contribute to college students’ risk of contracting common contagious illnesses.
Q. Has Wake Forest taken a look at how other schools address mold?
A. Yes. Wake Forest has been in contact with several universities and learned that our procedures are similar to theirs or, at times, exceed theirs.
Q. Is mold an allergen?
A. Mold produces allergens, but like any other allergen, exposed individuals will respond differently. Some may have no reaction, others may experience hay fever-type symptoms, while others may experience more significant symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that many students new to North Carolina will
experience seasonal allergy symptoms
, even without a prior history of this condition. Symptoms typically will arise during the first or second year at Wake Forest. Having never experienced problems with seasonal allergies, many students may attribute these symptoms to a sinus infection or become concerned that there is mold in their residence hall.
Q. Are there government regulations governing how the University must treat mold?
A. Mold is not regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mold is a natural byproduct of various conditions, often occurring in warm and moist environments where there is abundant vegetation such as trees, landscaping plants, and ground coverings. According to the
, mold cannot be totally eliminated in the environment unless extreme measures are taken constantly, as would be the case in a “clean room” laboratory.
Q. What might contribute to indoor mold growth, such as that found in some locations on campus?
A. Indoor sources for mold may be leaking pipes, standing water, damp clothing or towels and condensation in the area. The University is equally concerned about finding the source of the mold as it is in cleaning the mold. If mold can be prevented by taking certain steps, the University does so.
Q. What are some recommendations the University has made to students to reduce the likelihood of mold growth in their living area?
A. Some recommendations, shared with students via informational email:
- Do not open windows while heating or cooling units are operating. This will cause condensation and may contribute to mold growth.
- Do not place furniture or other items in front of heating and cooling units that can obstruct airflow.
- Do not place potted plants or any other source of moisture on or around heating and cooling units.
- Set thermostats no lower than 70 degrees when cooling and no higher than 74 degrees when heating your room, fans should be set at low speed.
- Do not leave wet or damp clothes, towels, or shoes in closets. Set them out on a drying rack until completely dry.
- Please empty your trash on a regular basis; do not let trash accumulate in your room.
- Do not use foam mattress pads on your bed, as they do not allow air circulation between the pad and our waterproof mattresses.