KNOXVILLE (WATE) - University of Tennessee students at a privately-owned, off-campus apartment complex in Knoxville are complaining of mold and mildew in their units.
It's a large complex, only four years old, but apartment management claims what students see is only moisture.
Molds are part of the natural environment and are usually not a problem indoors unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.
Environmental experts say to stop mold growth you must clean it up and fix the water problem.
Nick Howard showed 6 On Your Side what he believes is mold growing in the doors and windows of his first floor apartment.
"We have a lot of mold all over the window, all over the door and they're in our rooms also," Howard said.
Howard is a sophomore at UT. He lives off campus at the Quarry Trail apartment complex.
"We have all this mold on my window. No matter how many times I clean it, it keeps coming back," he said.
But Howard said management was not helpful on the matter.
"They checked it out and said all this condensation is from not having circulation in here. So they told us to turn the fan on," he said.
Howard says people in other apartments have similar problems.
"I've noticed it since we've been here," said UT junior Andy Gray.
Gray lives in a third floor apartment at the Quarry Trail complex. He says mold that grows along the window next to his bed and seems to never go away.
"There's a crack all the way up. The mold comes in from the condensation," he said.
Gray believes part of the problem is the seal is broken.
"Yes. We've noticed mold randomly around the apartment," he said.
In his living room, Alex Arthur lowered the air vent and showed us what was inside.
"It's all mold, " he said. "It's not, it's not healthy at all."
Apartment management sent its residents a flyer last week explaining the situation.
Edwards Student Housing Management Company tells 6 On Your Side what residents see is moisture caused by condensation.
Construction is "tighter" today and more energy efficient, they said.
So the company urges residents to open window blinds, pull heavy curtains back, allowing the air to circulate, and to use ceiling fans.
"This is the first picture that she sent me on her phone one day, she said, 'Mom, do you think that is black mold?' It alarmed me," said Roseanne Jensen, whose daughter Sierra lives in the complex.
Roseanne has taken pictures at different windows in the first floor apartment she rents for her daughter.
She hired an environmental specialist. His report says mold spores were in the apartment.
"I first noticed it in early February. I realized my whole window had droplets all over it," Sierra said.
Sierra and her roommates say once management was notified, maintenance workers cleaned the windows and doors with bleach last week.
Edwards Student Housing says it takes moisture damage seriously.
And, when reported, which is part of the lease agreement, it's treated like an emergency request.
The company says it does not believe moisture is all that prevalent at Quarry Trail apartments.
Management says Nick Howard's apartment will be treated and work order has been issued to clean Andy Gray's unit as well.
Apartment management believes the flyer sent a few days ago to all its residents will help answer questions and remind residents how they, too, can assist in preventing moisture buildup which can lead to mold and mildew problems.
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