Mold problem no longer grows in Dujarie

This summer, the Jaques Dujarie residence hall faced a mold problem stemming from reduced humidity levels in affected rooms.

Mold was found on the fabric of some cushioned chairs throughout dorm rooms in Dujarie during early move-in for Resident Assistants and athletes. The mold was removed within two days of the initial finding.

Dave Rozeboom, director of Residence Life, said the removal of the accumulated water from the air conditioning condensate drain pan resulted in a reduction of the relative humidity in each affected room – from approximately 25-70 percent down to 45 percent. Rozeboom said this reduction in humidity was the source of the fungal growth.

The amount of mold found was not large enough to be harmful, but it still posed a problem for individuals with allergies to mold.

“In our environment, it is normal to have mold in varying concentrations, depending on the relative humidity, temperature gradient and et cetera,” Rozeboom said.

Students were informed of the situation by Residence Life staff.

“I personally visited each of the students in the building with the Residence Director, Jen Wichman, to explain what was happening and how we were dealing with it,”  Rozeboom said.

There were no mold readings taken before the treatment, but according to university spokesperson Mischelle Diaz, on Aug. 18, after the treatment, 45 fungal spores were measured outside of the east wing of Dujarie and 0-5 fungal spores were measured in each room. Outside Dujarie’s west wing, there were 27 fungal spores and 0-3 fungal spores measured in the rooms in the west wing on Aug. 29.

After the mold was found and removed, a consultant inspected Dujarie and certified the hall safe for occupancy.

Although residents did not cause the mold, Rozeboom recommends that residents maintain a clean living space.

“Students are advised to [properly] store their food items,” Rozeboom said. “If there is a concern about humidity in a room, please contact Residence Life