Hotel Online  Special Report

Hotels & Resorts Minimize Mold and Mildew Damage
and Related Guest & Employee Health Liabilities
Through Onity’s Energy Management Systems 
Onity’s proven SensorStat® EMS solutions offer a unique, patented system to maintain room temperature and humidity outside the mold-spore growth range, saving properties tens of thousands of dollars every year in asset protection while reducing related energy costs 

ATLANTA — APRIL 8, 2003 — Make no mistake: Mold and mildew damage in hotels and resorts is a far-reaching industry issue that is literally growing as you read this. 

Unlike the swath of a typical tornado that touches down for a few minutes and wreaks havoc on a select few, mold spores continuously eat away at property assets across the globe — to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per year per affected property, according to Greg Plank, former president of Suburban Lodges of America and current president of Atlanta-based Worldwide Travel Marketing Inc.
Plank, whose company provides operational, technology and marketing consulting services to the global hospitality industry, is quick to point out that mold and mildew is an equal opportunity offender.

“There’s a costly common misconception that mold and mildew damage really only is an issue for homes and commercial buildings in California, Texas, Louisiana and Florida,” Plank said. “While certain states and hot-spot destinations are particularly susceptible, repeated incidents have proven that all properties are open to mold and mildew damage and related guest/employee health issues — from the West Coast to the East Coast. Frankly, any property with a bathroom, vinyl covered walls, any moisture accumulation and no dual temperature/humidity guestroom control system is vulnerable, if not already a victim of mold and mildew.”

In the past 12 to 18 months, hotels from Hawaii to New England have reported major mold problems, with many losing roomnights and loyal guests as well as spending tens of thousands of dollars in necessary mold remediation and related demolition and renovation. 

According to James W. Kimbrough, Doctor of Mycology in the Plant Department of the University of Florida, many hotels are not built to prevent mold and mildew. The biggest issue in hotels and resorts today is that the paint over interior drywall traps moisture, creating a perfect growth environment for mold, he said. Vinyl-covered walls, required by most brand standards, are even worse. The cellulose backing of the drywall, along with the mucilage (organic) glues of wallpaper, are favorite nutrients of fungus. When the AC is on, the vinyl wall covering gets cold and blocks condensation on its underside — allowing moisture to accumulate and mold spores to germinate with their food supply right on site.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Molds can be found almost anywhere. They can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth often will occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. 

Enter the “no-growth” zone

Onity’s SensorStat® DDC (Direct Digital Control) thermostats offer a patented option to maintain room temperature and humidity outside the mold-spore growth range. This saves properties tens of thousands of dollars every year in asset protection — while reducing related energy costs.

A truly smart guestroom EMS, the SensorStat® DDC stands alone in its ability to provide energy savings and relative humidity sensing and control, said Larry Gomez, vice president of sales for Onity’s EMS solutions. Gomez said the SensorStat® DDC is designed to utilize the existing room air conditioner to its maximum potential for the removal of moisture from the air, while providing significant energy savings when rooms are unoccupied.

“Scientists at the University of Florida, Gainesville, have defined the psychometric zone most favorable to the growth of mold and mildew as being above 72 degrees Fahrenheit and above 60 percent relative humidity,” Gomez said. “The psychometric control algorithm of the SensorStat® DDC is designed to maintain a room environment that is outside the mold and mildew growth zone. While mold and mold spores cannot be entirely eliminated from indoor environments, their growth can certainly be halted through proactive, preprogrammed moisture control systems.”

He said just like the temperature controls on our EMS solutions, the humidity control modules are transparent to the guest.

“We have worked hard to design dual temperature/humidity smart guestroom control systems that save hotel owners and operators significant monies, headaches and risk — with zero trade-offs on the guest service end because our setback overrides are based on state-of-the-art occupancy sensors and proven algorithms,” Gomez said.

Buck Raines, director of facilities at the 357-room Four Seasons Resort & Club in Las Colinas Texas, said the property addressed a potential mold issue in 1997 by installing Onity’s SensorStat® DDC. He said the SensorStat® DDC is not only reactive, but proactive by preventing mold and mildew from occurring in the future. 

“SensorStat® DDC literally is a lifesaver,” Raines said. “Mold and mildew damage is an issue that is spreading like wildfire across the globe. Guest and employee liability is the biggest area of concern: Drywall and room inventory can be recovered, but the health of our guests and employees cannot — and a multi-million dollar settlement against a property won’t help the moral or bottom line much. My advice for the tens of thousands of hotels that have not yet corrected their growing mold and mildew issues: Take action TODAY or be prepared to pay BIG later!”

For a free copy of Onity’s “White Paper On Black Mold and Moisture Control,” send your request to  For more information on Onity’s EMS solutions, their features and proven ROI, please contact: Larry Gomez, at +1-561-775-9889, Ext. 217,; Laura R. Acuña, at +1-770-582-8103,; or visit

About Onity
Onity Inc. (formerly TESA Entry Systems), the leading global provider of electronic locking systems, offers innovative technological solutions and services for the Hospitality, Corporate, Education, Government and Marine markets. The company’s ever-expanding family of electronic solutions today includes electronic locks, related smartcard technology, in-room safes, closed-circuit television (CCTV) security surveillance and SensorStat energy management systems. Onity has R&D and manufacturing operations in Spain, Mexico and the U.S., as well as an extensive sales and service network that spans more than 115 countries around the globe. With innovative solutions specially designed to meet clients’ changing needs, Onity continues to provide real progress — technological advancements in facility management and maintenance for unparalleled convenience and time and cost savings.

…Turning on clients to the promises of progress, and unlocking the potential of partnering the very best minds and technologies.


Larry Gomez
VP Sales/Senercomm
Tel: +1-561-775-9889

Laura Acuña
Director of Marketing/North America
Tel: +1-770-582-8103

Emily Kanders
Corporate Director of Public Relations
Loews Hotels
  Tel: +1-212-521-2833

Also See: Loews Hotels Installs Onity’s SensorStat® DDC II Energy Management System at the Luxurious 790-room Loews Miami Beach Hotel / March 2003
$90 Million Hilton Sao Paulo Morumbi Reaps Rewards of Onity’s Senercomm Solutions / Feb 2003
Cunard Line’s $800 million Queen Mary 2 to Set Sail with Onity / January 2003
Accor Soars Higher by Selecting Onity as a Preferred Supplier of Guestroom Safes Worldwide / Dec 2002
Onity’s SensorStat® Energy Management Systems Save Larger Hotels Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Every Year / Oct 2002
New Brand Onity Promises Ultimate Unity of Service Integrity and Intelligent Facility Management / Oct 2002

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