Mold and Mildew Prevention

What is Mold | Controling Mold | FAQs

If you see or suspect mold, please submit an iService Request or call Facilities & Campus Services at 413-545-0812 to have the area inspected.

If you have any questions or concerns after reviewing the information on this page, please contact us at facilities@umass.edu or askehs@umass.edu.

What is mold?

Molds are part of the natural environment and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. They can grow on the surfaces of objects, and in deteriorated materials, as long as favorable conditions are present.  Mold is not usually a problem unless it begins growing indoors. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. 

Necessary Conditions for Mold Growth:

  • Temperature range above 40° F and below 100° F
  • Mold spores (almost always present in indoor and outdoor air)
  • Nutrient base (most surfaces contain nutrients)
  • Moisture (water or high humidity)

Controlling Mold Growth

Human comfort constraints limit the use of temperature control as a means to reduce mold in indoor spaces.  The EPA reports that “there is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture”.  The University of Massachusetts Amherst does have a Mold Management Plan in place to identify and treat areas of potential mold growth.

Tips for Reducing the Risk of Mold Growth in your Space:

  • Set thermostats no lower than 70 degrees when cooling and no higher than 74 degrees when heating your room, fans should be set on low speed.
  • Please empty your room and bathroom trash and recycling on a regular basis, do not let it accumulate in your room. 
  • Never leave damp material like clothes, towels or shoes on the floor or any other surface, they give an ideal environment for mold. Always hang damp items until completely dry.
  • Please consider cleaning and general housekeeping of your space regularly.
  • Don’t overcrowd your space with furniture and other items. Keep all furniture and other materials away from heating/cooling units to allow proper airflow and to prevent creating dark, cramped spaces where mold can flourish.
  • Do not place potted plants or any other source of moisture on or around heating and cooling units.
  • Immediately report any leak or sign of water intrusion that you notice.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What should you do to report suspected mold?

If you suspect there is mold in your room or hall, please submit an iService Request or call Facilities & Campus Services at 413-545-0812.

How does UMass respond to a mold report?

Staff members trained to identify and assess mold quickly and promptly check the area in question. If mold is found, the University’s mold management plan is activated by Facilities & Campus Services Which was developed in conjunction with Environmental Health and Safety. In accordance with the University’s Mold Management Plan:

  • Affected areas are remediated.
  • The source of moisture is investigated and corrected to prevent reoccurrence.

Where can I find more information about mold?

Additional information about preventing mold can be found on Environmental Health & Safety’s website.

 Question? Contact us.