Mildew/mold may form in hot and humid environments such as bathrooms. Sometimes this situation is caused by water leaks and daily use. Residents are asked to be diligent about preventing mildew/mold formation. Residents are REQUIRED to clean any mildew/mold that forms in their residence hall room and bathroom.
Mildew vs. Mold
Mildew is a surface fungus that can easily be identified as a path of gray or even white fungus that is lying on the surface of a moist area. Mildew is easily treated with a store bought cleaner and scrubbing brush. Mold, on the other hand, can be black or green and is often the result of a much bigger concern.
Where does mildew/mold grow?
There is always some mildew/mold around. Mildew/mold can get in your home through open doors, windows, vents and heating/air conditioning systems. Mildew/mold in the air outside can be brought indoors on clothing, shoes, bags and even pets.
Mildew/mold will grow where there is moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, pipes or where there has been a flood. Mildew/mold grows on paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles and wood. Mildew/mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric and upholstery.
These growths can begin to develop on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours and produce spores that travel through the air. They will break down and destroy whatever they're growing on.
How can you prevent mildew/mold formation in the bathroom?
- During and after every shower, residents should leave bathroom doors open. Allow time for the humidity to dissipate.
- If your bathroom has an exhaust switch, turn your exhaust fan on during and after your shower.
- Spread towels out after use so that they dry more quickly.
- Minimize containers left in the shower for cleaning ease and better circulation.
- Wipe down the shower with a clean towel or squeegee after its last daily use.
- Choose shower curtains that dry and clean easily to help avoid soap residue, which fosters mildew.
- Use proper cleaning chemicals for mold/mildew. Report any signs of possible water leak.
How can I clean mildew/mold?If mildew does start to form, residents are responsible for cleaning it. First you will need the correct cleaning supplies:
- Latex or rubber gloves
- Mop and sponges
- Buckets and brushes
- Non-ammonia detergent, soap or commercial cleaner
- Disinfectant chlorine bleach mixed with water
- Spray your cleaner of choice on affected surfaces. Do not mix chemicals/cleaning products.
- Allow cleaner to "work" by setting on affected area for 5-10 minutes.
- Wipe down surfaces.
- If you find mildew in items made of fabric (i.e. shower curtain), launder the shower curtain according to the manufacturer instructions.