Molds are a natural part of the environment and can be found almost anywhere that moisture and oxygen are present. They belong to the kingdom Fungi and live in moist places such as soil, plants and dead or decaying matter. These microscopic organisms are crucial to the ecosystem as they participate in the decomposition of organic matter, breaking down dead plants and animals. Molds reproduce through airborne spores, and when these spores land on damp surfaces, they can thrive and multiply. This can pose unique challenges when mold spores find their way into indoor spaces, as indoor amplification of mold growth should be avoided. Here are some common factors contributing to indoor mold growth:

  1. Humidity: High humidity levels, above 60%, create an ideal environment for mold growth. Areas with poor ventilation, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements are particularly susceptible.
  2. Water leaks: Leaks from pipes, roofs, windows, or other structural issues can introduce moisture into indoor spaces, providing a conducive environment for mold to flourish.
  3. Condensation: Condensation forms on surfaces when warm, moist air comes into contact with cooler surfaces. This often happens on windows, exterior walls, and cold pipes, providing a breeding ground for mold.
  4. Poor ventilation: Inadequate airflow can trap moisture and create stagnant conditions, promoting mold growth. Rooms without proper ventilation, like attics and crawl spaces, are susceptible to this issue.
  5. Floods or water damage: In the aftermath of floods, storms, or water damage incidents, the residual moisture can lead to rapid mold growth on surfaces and within building materials.

Boston University Campus Planning and Operations (CPO) works to prevent  indoor mold by maintaining proper ventilation, addressing water leaks promptly, controlling humidity levels, and ensuring thorough drying after water-related incidents.  If mold is observed or suspected to be found in your residence or workplace, BU Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will assess the space and determine the appropriate course of actions, as it’s crucial to address the source of moisture and undertake proper remediation measures to eliminate the mold and prevent any reoccurrence.

Potential Health Concerns

If you have health-related concerns, please contact as described below:

Facilities-Related Issues

If you are experiencing Facilities related issues, please contact as described below:

  • In the event of an emergency or if you need immediate assistance at night or on weekends, please contact the Facilities Operations & Service Center if you are on the Charles River or Fenway Campus at 617-353-2105, or the Control Center at 617-358-4144 if you are on the Medical Campus.
  • Students : Contact your RA or the appropriate Res Life Office, depending on your location.
  • Faculty/Employees: Contact your Area Manager
  • Rental Tenants: Contact the office of Real Estate

Please review the Mold FAQs page for additional information.