and Mildew in Guestrooms
and mildew damage is an issue for all hotels and commercial buildings. It doesn’t favor any particular geographic
area; rather, it targets all parts of the country from the East Coast to the
and mildew starts out as harmless and everyone thinks it’s easy to get rid
of. The truth is it’s not easy to get
rid of it. Mold and mildew are actually
micro-organisms living together in large colonies. As long as moisture and oxygen are present,
mold and mildew can grow on virtually any organic substance, such as wood,
paper, carpet and insulation. As the
spores associated with it grow, you eventually have smelly, black spots that
are not only evident to the guests and associates but unhealthy for them as
a hotel guestroom, there are a few breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Vinyl covered walls that many brands require
are perfect environment for mold and mildew.
The cellulose backing of the drywall along with the wallpaper glue is
favorite foods for mold and mildew. When
the AC is on, the vinyl wallpaper gets cold and blocks condensation on its underside. This allows moisture to accumulate and mold
spores to grow. Paint over interior
drywall is another breeding ground as it traps moisture and allows the spores
to grow as well. Window or roof leaks
can also add moisture to a guest room and aid in the growth of mold and mildew.
and mildew need air, food and water to survive.
If any or all of these components are reduced or eliminated, the mold
and mildew will stop growing. We can’t
eliminate the air or food but we can do something to reduce the
moisture in the guest rooms. How can we do this?
construction or a renovation, moisture is commonly absorbed into the sheetrock
and then trapped behind paint or vinyl wallpaper. About a year after the construction or
renovation is complete, a survey looking for moisture should be done to
determine if there is any mold or mildew present. If moisture is found, the drywall should be
removed and replaced.
hot, humid climates, guests tend to enter a room and set the thermostat as low
as it can go. They then leave and when they come back the room is freezing and
wet. It’s become a perfect environment
to grow mold and mildew. Each time a
guest opens a door or window, moist warm air will be introduced into the
environment. A digital thermostat will help
prevent this because it can be programmed to not allow guests to turn the
thermostat down past 68˚F.
and doors, HVAC units, ceilings and floors are all potential locations where
mold and mildew can grow. You’ll want to examine the guest room windows and
doors and repair any water leaks that you find.. You should also ensure that the window and
door seals are in good shape as they can become brittle and ineffective over
time. You’ll want to repair any broken seals around the HVAC and make sure
outside vents are operational and not stuck open. Any water leaks on the
ceiling should also be repaired. If your
floors are on concrete, you should check to make sure that there is a vapor
barrier between the sub-floor and carpet.
all think that the air conditioner will remove some moisture in the room. The moisture reduction occurs only during the
actual cooling process until the thermostat is satisfied (it gets to the
setting). Once that happens, no more
moisture reduction will occur. The ideal
size for a guest room AC unit is 6,000 BTU.
It’s a common practice to install a larger unit but you don’t want to
oversize the unit. When you install a
larger unit it only runs 50% of the time and, thus, doesn’t have the same
effect on moisture.
sensors can also help in the reduction of moisture in guest rooms. In unoccupied rooms, the thermostat can be
set to run the circulating fan for 10 minutes every hour. This will keep the air circulating and not
give mold and mildew a perfect environment.
to scientists at the University of Florida, Gainesville, the most favorable
zone for mold and mildew growth is a temperature above 72˚F and above 60%
relative humidity. Trying to stay within
those guidelines is our challenge.
Refer to http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/hotelezra/hiaq.pdf
which is and excellent guide to the indoor air quality issues in hotels
Refer to http://www.ehow.com/list_7154485_health-codes-regarding-mold-motels.html
for health codes regarding mold in hotels
Refer to http://www.mold-help.org which is a mold
help organization which will help in location a local professional testing
Refer to http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?cont=58&id=8&sub=16
which is from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America on mold allergy