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UMD Acts to Prevent Mold in Residence Halls

By Terp Staff

Students unload at a UMD residence hall

Photo by John T. Consoli

Photo by John T. Consoli

From installing humidity sensors to replacing windows and roofs, the University of Maryland completed more than 100 projects in 19 residence halls this spring and summer to prevent outbreaks of mold.

The work, overseen by the Department of Residential Facilities, follows record-setting rain and high temperatures and humidity in 2018 that led to mold growth in campus housing and prompted UMD to move all residents of Elkton Hall last fall to local hotels during cleanup and remediation.

Two independent engineering and industrial hygiene firms were consultants in the new initiative, which included bringing in commercial-grade dehumidifiers, waterproofing foundations, upgrading air-conditioning fan coil units, removing closet doors to improve air flow and reinsulating pipes.

Humidity sensors were placed in Elkton and Bel Air halls as part of a pilot program to have Residential Facilities staff monitor temperature and humidity data.

“The safety, health and well-being of each and every resident is a matter of utmost concern for the Departments of Resident Life and Residential Facilities,” says Andrea Crabb, director of Residential Facilities. “We strive to provide a quality living environment that supports community development and academic success.”

Outside of capital projects, UMD instituted new training for staff on how to recognize and identify mold, as well as how to safely remove it.

Resident Life also launched a campaign this fall to inform students living in residence halls about any new equipment in their rooms and how to help prevent mold and mildew.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.