The “M” word: Mold

The “M” word: Mold

Mold can be an issue in dorm rooms—where students are sometimes new to living in close proximity to others and where temperature and humidity can vary from room to room—but with some simple steps, it’s easy to prevent. Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp or humid environments, and can often be found in bathrooms, kitchens and other areas with water or high moisture levels. 

While mold can be unsightly and cause unpleasant odors, it poses no real risk to people with healthy immune systems. However, individuals with respiratory issues or weakened immune systems may experience symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and respiratory distress if exposed to mold spores. 

To prevent mold growth in your room, keep your space clean and dry. This means wiping up spills and leaks immediately, using a dehumidifier if necessary, and ensuring proper ventilation by opening windows (where possible) or using a fan. It’s also important to avoid clutter, as cluttered areas can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for mold. Keep your thermostat at 70 degrees or higher to prevent condensation on pipes and surfaces. 

If you do notice mold growth in your room, it’s important to take action quickly. Submit an online work request to report the issue and avoid touching or disturbing the area to prevent the release of spores into the air. We respond to all requests and will inform you of any steps taken to address the issue. 

In 2018, University Housing began an annual air quality testing program in the residence halls. These regular tests conducted by an outside vendor are intended to alert us of any potential air quality issues, so we can address them proactively. 

By keeping your space clean and dry, complying with housing policies in place to prevent mold, avoiding clutter, and reporting any suspected mold growth via a work request, you can help maintain a healthy and comfortable living environment. 

For more information and some helpful tips, visit the WELL-BEING page on the University Housing website.