Mold can develop in an apartment when conditions are moist and there is little air circulation. Most often it develops when the weather is cold, windows are closed, and there is no air circulation in the apartment. Typically mold occurs in bathrooms on the walls and ceiling; it may also develop in living areas behind furniture where there is no circulation.
To minimize mold development in the apartment please use the following suggestions:
- Whenever possible, keep window shades and blinds open. Closed shades and blinds block air flow across the window surface and prevent the movement of air through the apartment due to temperature change. Air flow will also prevent condensation on the windows.
- When the bathroom is not in use, leave the door open to allow circulation.
- Immediately report leaks or plumbing issues to Maintenance at 217-333-2779.
- Use a dehumidifier unit in the winter months.
- Never turn the furnace off or turn the thermostat below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Allowing the temperature of the apartment to get below 65 degrees, will in turn allow the surface temperature of the walls and floors to drop quickly. The concrete walls and floors take a long time to warm back up once they are cooled. When the furnace cycles on again, the ambient air temperature in an apartment increases quickly. The difference in temperature between the ambient air and the concrete surfaces, will result in condensation forming on the walls and floors. After allowing this to happen, it will take several days for the furnace to raise the surface temperatures enough to stop the condensation from forming.
- Do not store items up against walls as this will keep the warm air from heating the walls, allowing condensation to form. Cool, dark, and damp surfaces are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. It is important to maintain air circulation around all items stored along walls. We also recommend that residents store in plastic bins rather than in cardboard boxes which can absorb moisture and potentially cause damage to items stored inside them.
- Failure to maintain a minimum ambient temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit in your apartment, will result in unpleasant living conditions and potential property damage to your apartment and neighboring apartments. It is the responsibility of every University Apartment leaseholder to follow the above listed recommendations.
Good sanitation practices are necessary for pest prevention. Failing to maintain a clean apartment may be considered a violation of your lease. Do not leave out food or dirty dishes, or store trash in the apartment or patio as this will attract household pests such as cockroaches, ants, rodents, etc. Pests also live in and consume cardboard boxes and the glue used to seal them. Avoid storing boxes in your apartment.
University Housing provides pest control services to you at no cost. Pest control treatments in the apartments and common areas are done at least twice a year. Pest control treatments are mandatory and cannot be refused by residents. If pests or insects become a problem, please contact Maintenance to have your apartment treated in addition to the regularly scheduled treatments. Where a pest infestation is found, the entire building may need to be treated. Pesticides used by our staff are no more harmful than most common household cleaners, and Material Safety Data Sheets listing pest control ingredients can be obtained upon request. Failure to comply with pest control treatment or maintain proper sanitation can result in non-renewal or termination of a lease. If you have a pest problem, please contact Maintenance at 217-333-2779 or submit an online maintenance request.
There is always a risk that residents may unknowingly transport bed bugs by purchasing used furniture or mattresses in an apartment that had been inspected prior to move in. If residents suspect they have bed bugs they should contact the Family & Graduate Housing office or Maintenance immediately. This will ensure that pest control can treat the bed bug problem before it becomes advanced.
Bed bugs are small, oval, wingless insects that reach about 1/5” in length. They have flat bodies, are reddish-brown in color, and are sometimes mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches. Bed bugs are not believed to carry diseases; however, they do bite. Bed bugs are most active at night and bite exposed areas of skin while an individual is sleeping. Bites may go unnoticed or be mistaken for flea or mosquito bites. Infestations occur when bugs or eggs are transported into apartments in suit cases, cardboard boxes, personal belongings, and old used furniture.
Cleanliness has little to do with most infestations; however, excess clutter does give bed bugs a place to hide.
Regardless of where you live in Family & Graduate Housing, you are strongly encouraged to purchase renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance can protect the valuables in your apartment in case of theft, fire, water damage, or other disasters. You can purchase renter’s insurance through a number of local agencies. Consult your phonebook yellow pages for insurance companies. Please note that renter’s insurance is not medical insurance.