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College Advice

How to Get Rid Of Mold in Your Dorm

DormEssentials November 23, 2020
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The most common thing that seems to occur in any room is the creation of mold. For some reason, mold development has nothing to do with how neat and tidy or messy you are, as this annoying production can be completely airborne. One of the most annoying things that could happen to a college student is the development of black mold in the dorm room. For a student away from home, the dorm room is their safe haven, so we know just how awful it can be when the only place where you can seek refuge is infested by black, annoying mold. 

If left untreated, mold can also cause sickness, so it is crucial that you take care of it by getting rid of the subject as soon as possible. In addition to affecting your health, your dorm may impose cleaning fees and fines for allowing mold to grow in your dorm. However, we are aware of the fact that not many students know how to get rid of black mold in dorm, which is what this article is here to answer! 

In this quick guide of ours, we are going to talk about all that you need to know about mold in dorms, and also learn how you can get rid of this horrible infestation in your room with a few simple steps. 

 

What Causes Mold

Before we tackle our moldy issue, we think it is best to first note down what actually causes this gross material to develop on floors and ceilings, to begin with. 

  • Humidity

You will see mold tend to develop mainly in very humid areas with lots of moisture. The moisture retained in the air will give rise to the airborne particles of mold, thus allowing it to multiply exponentially. 

Persistent humidity in the air will trigger mold to grow on the walls and ceilings, as well as under kitchen counters and sinks. This can be both dangerous and dirty for the house itself and the people living in it. 

You will see that the development and occurrence of mold are most common in houses that are near the ocean or any other large water body. The moisture retained above those water bodies can quickly move to your house and create condensation. You can also inadvertently cause this if you over-use a humidifier.

The water particles or moisture in the air will then increase and quicken the growth of the mold in your house and rooms. 

  • Winter

The same scenario somewhat applies during seasonal changes as well, such as from a really hot summer to a very cold winter. 

The sudden temperature change can easily tip the balance of condensation inside homes, thus triggering mold to appear and develop on walls, ceilings, and even inside attic rooms that usually lay dark and stuffy all year round. 

One of the most common areas for condensation to build-up is on hot surfaces such as metal counters and floor tiles. Condensation pockets can sometimes develop on brick walls as well, as bricks usually tend to hold up a lot of heat at once. 

  • Heavy Rain & Floods

Although not as common in dry areas, floods can cause mold infestation inside homes as well. 

This situation is apparent if you mainly live around places where floods tend to take place during monsoon season. In such cases, your home will usually be wet inside and also hold a substantial amount of moisture in the air. 

The water can take days and even weeks to completely dry out, which in turn allows mold to breed freely in the meantime. The worst part is the variety of mold that can develop during this timeframe; some of which can also be deadly if breathed in on a regular basis. 

  • Leaks 

Another common cause of mold development is the leaking of water inside a house or dorm room. Leaky pipes and ceilings are more prevalent in college dorms than houses since not many institutions pay attention to the quality of every room of each student. 

Dorm rooms with an air conditioning system can also see the development of mold right under the electric gadget. This happens due to the excess moisture collected under the air conditioner. 

  • Bad ventilation 

One other cause of mold can be poor ventilation. Without sufficient air and light entering a room, the development of mold can quickly increase to the point where the growth will be drastic and exponential. 

Stagnant air can hold a lot of humidity and water droplets, which can help and increase the growth of mold. One of the main causes of stagnant air is steam and other humidifiers which can create stickiness on floors and walls. 

  • Damp clothes 

Mold needs only 24 hours or sometimes even less than that to fully grow out and develop. This is why you should avoid leaving damp and wet clothes behind, especially if you live in a humid area. 

The moisture retained in the clothes can allow mold to quickly increase in size and growth, therefore making the condition at your dorm room worse by many folds. 

 

How to get rid of black mold in the dorm

This unsightly and hazardous infestation might be annoying to deal with, but on the bright side, you can get rid of it. You might be required to spend a lot of time trying to remove it but we suggest you stick with it till the end if you want it to be gone from your dorm room completely!

To make it easier for you to deal with, here are some of the things you can do to get rid of black mold in your dorm room. 

Vinegar

We thought it would be a great idea to first list the most common and easy to attempt DIY trick to get rid of mold completely. Vinegar, as many people might not know, is a very cool and safe alternative to many other toxic cleaners and removers. The best thing about vinegar is that it is quite cheap and affordable as well. 

Another great thing about vinegar is that it can remove up to 99 percent of all kinds of bacteria as well as about 82 percent of mold! So using a mixture of vinegar on moldy areas can not only be a cheap alternative, but also a very healthy and effective one. 

One such way to use vinegar is by mixing distilled vinegar with 2 cups of plain water. The smell of the vinegar might be a bit too intense for some, but the benefits that come with can make up for the temporary ordeal. If you want, you can also pour a few drops of your favorite essential oils into the water and vinegar mixture in order to tone down the horrid, pungent smell. 

Grapefruit seed extract

Another popular home remedy to get rid of the black mold is grapefruit seed extract. Although not as pungent and strong in smell as vinegar, grapefruit seed extract can still be just as effective and fast in getting rid of all kinds of mold in dorm ceilings and floors. 

All you need to do is mix a few drops of grapefruit seed extract (about 15 to 25 drops only) to about 2 and a half cup water. Make sure to mix the entire thing properly so that the oil is completely one with the water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use that to target certain moldy areas. The only downside to this remedy is that it is not that fast to show results at all, as some people have said that the recovery process can take more than a week or two to show. 

However, we still think it is worth a shot, especially if you live alone in your dorm and there is no way for you to spend extra money on professional mold experts and extractors. 

Borax

Another amazing ingredient you can use to get rid of mold is none other than Borax. Usually used on tiles and other hardwood surfaces, you can use borax to treat black mold as well. 

The best thing about borax is that it does not give off any sort of toxic fumes at all, therefore you can make use of it in any place that you want while having pets around. 

To use borax to treat mold in your dorm, all you need to do is pour it in a spray bottle and target the moldy areas and regions directly. You need to let the entire mixture sit for a few minutes before you rinse or wipe it away. 

However, we do not want you to worry about the authenticity of the product as the borax solution will still work perfectly fine even after you have washed it away with water. 

For better results, we suggest you use a brush to remove the mold directly after spraying it with a borax solution as it will be easier for you to take the entire thing off right afterward. 

Ammonia

We know that this substance is not safe and easy to breathe in, however, nothing beats mold like ammonia! Ammonia is one of the best ingredients you can use to get rid of mold in your dorm, and making use of it is not too hard either. 

To get rid of black mold in your dorm room, we would suggest you mix 50 percent of ammonia with water in equal portions. Make sure to never include bleach into the mix as that can actually turn the entire solution toxic and deadly, so simply stay away from using bleach with ammonia in general. 

Mix the two solutions together and use it to target specific moldy regions directly. You can leave the product on the mold for as long as a few hours before rinsing or washing it away with water. 

For best results, you can also use a brush to directly clean the mold off the region, however, that is not too necessary. 

Professional mold removers

If all else fails and there seems to be no way out of coming across moldy situations, we suggest you directly call for professional help. The best thing about calling for professional help is that you do not have to do anything yourself, while also being confident that your moldy nightmare will soon come to an end. Just make sure you notify your resident assistance early on so they don’t blame you for damage. Its also helpful incase the problem re-occurs, to have the dorm staff fix the source of the wetness rather than fight the growth of mold.

However, calling for professional help can also be quite expensive, but we hope that will not be too big of a problem if you are backed up by the institution itself and living in the official residence halls of a dorm.

There are also tons of mold extraction companies now so we bet you can find the best deal somehow and somewhere with ease. 

 

How to prevent mold from developing in your dorm room

We think prevention is key when it comes to moldy situations. You can lessen the impact of the damage created by preventing the development of mold from an earlier time. 

How? Well, make sure to simply follow the steps below and you should be good to go. 

Ventilate your dorm room

A dorm room can unfortunately be very stuffy, especially if you live with another person in one room. However, you can still ventilate your dorm room properly during the day by simply keeping the windows open so that enough light and fresh air can enter. 

If opening windows is not suitable because of bugs, we suggest you purchase a net and install it on your windows so that no insects can come inside. At the same time, you can have enough fresh air and light entering your dorm room as well, so we doubt there will be any issue of ventilation afterward. 

Get a dorm air purifier

One of the best home appliances created to date includes air purifiers on the list. An air purifier is an amazing piece of equipment to own, especially if you live in a small dorm in a cold region. 

Not only does an air purifier let you breathe in fresh and clean air, but it also helps prevent mold infestation by getting rid of toxic airborne particles. It will make sure you are comfortable in your room and breathing in air of good quality.

Fix leaky pipes or other leaks

Make sure to spend a substantial amount of time every month over checking and inspecting the pipes in your dorm room, if there are any present. Nothing screams mold danger louder than leaky pipes and walls. If you have a roof that seems to be leaking, keep an eye on if its only during rain or all the time.

If you find a ceiling or pipe leaking into the floor or on the other side of the wall, make sure to contact your dorm resident advisor who should alert the maintenance manager or a professional as soon as possible. Leaving the pipes in an untreated manner can aggravate the situation and create a lot of mold, both inside the wall and outside of it. 

 

Dangers of mold 

Other than looking gross, mold can also have a life-threatening effect on those who are constantly surrounded by it. Mold can cause chronic asthma and even dizziness to those affected. 

Mold can also cause rashes and allergies for a lot of people, so the symptoms tend to vary with individuals. 

 

Conclusion 

It is recommended you take action against mold infestation as soon as possible, as delaying can cause it to grow exponentially and out of reach, with potential health and financial implications for you and your roommate.

We hope this guide helped you learn the ways of how to get rid of black mold in dorm without even having to spend too much money, to begin with. Make sure to preventive measures so that it doesn’t happen again once you have already fixed the problem once. 

 


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