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Is That Mold? What Should I Do Now?

If you beleive that you are experiencing a mold or mildew problem, please follow the steps below to remediate your concerns:

1. If possible, identify and control the moisture source that may be effecting mold growth. 

2. Please contact Facilities for assitance at 508-999-8100 or submit a Facilities Service Request here: https://my.umassd.edu/group/facilities.

3. If possible, take pictures of potential contamination and prepare notes (I.E. when did issues start, what steps have you taken to clean etc.) prior to consulting with Facilities. 

4. Be available to meet with a Facilities team member to review findings or next steps.

5. Monitor situation and circle back with Facilities if problems persist. 

6. Contact EHS at ehs.info@umassd.edu with questions.

 

Mold FAQ's:

Q: What does mold look like?

A: Mold can be white, green, black, yellow, brown, or orange. The texture can vary between appearing like powder, cotton, velvet, or tar-like. Mold can look like spots on an area, or cover an entire area, and it can smell musty. If you can find visible mold growth, please contact Facilities at 508-999-8100 or submit a Work Order through https://my.umassd.edu/group/facilities to request cleaning for your area and remediation of the water source. If you do not see visible mold but you suspect a problem, please contact EHS at ehs.info@umassd.edu to identify any potential issues.

Q: What causes mold growth? 

A: Molds and mildews are fungi that are found almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. They can grow on the surfaces of objects, within pores, and in deteriorated materials, as long as favorable conditions are present.  Elevated levels of airborne mold spores can lead to allergic reactions in susceptible individuals and potentially to other health effects as well.  While it is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.

Q: What can I do to stop mold growth?

A: See below:

- Please report any water leaks, including roofs, windows, wall repairs, plumbing, dripping pans, and wet carpet, to Facilities at 508-999-8100 or submit a Work Order through https://my.umassd.edu/group/facilities.

- Any porous material in a building that has been microbially contaminated should be discarded; disinfection is rarely effective. Contaminated insulation, ceiling tiles and rugs must be removed. Smooth surface materials that have become contaminated can be cleaned with a biocide and have them dry completely. Building materials that cannot be thoroughly dried should be removed.

- Clean and dry damp or wet building materials and furnishings, including carpeting and drywall, as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.  Dehumidifiers and fans should be used in areas that do not have high air change rates. Carpeting must be thoroughly dried when wetted as soon as possible.  As much water as possible should be suctioned from wet carpets followed by the use of fans and dehumidifiers to ensure appropriate drying.  Carpeting should never be used in areas such as on-grade concrete floors where persistent moisture is present.  Facilities or EHS can assess moisture levels in materials. Contact us if you have any concerns at ehs.info@umassd.edu.

- Ensure ventilation is adequate for the space.  Keep room air vents/grills (where applicable) in all areas open and unobstructed to maintain proper airflow. Contact Facilities at 508-999-8100 or submit a work request to https://my.umassd.edu/group/facilities if you suspect problems with air handlers. For spaces that rely on natural ventilation, opening windows and using fans can be used to improve air circulation.

- Vent moisture generating sources, such as clothes dryers, to the outside.  Exhaust from high moisture areas such as kitchens and shower areas should also be directed outside.

- Indoor relative humidity should be maintained between 20-60%.  If ventilation and heating/air conditioning units are not sufficient, humidifiers/dehumidifiers may be necessary. Facilities may be able to provide you with dehumidifiers upon request. If you have concerns about relative humidity in your workspace, contact EHS at ehs.info@umassd.edu. 

- Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces, such as windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors, by adding insulation. Increase air circulation of warmer dry air can also increase the material’s surface temperature and prevent condensation.

- Do not pile wet towels, clothes, or other materials.  Wet items should be dried or removed from spaces as soon as possible.

Q: Where can I learn more?

A: See below:

OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/molds/
EPA: https://www.epa.gov/mold
CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/control_mold.htm
AIHA: https://www.aiha.org/taxonomy/biological-hazards/mold

 

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