What is Mould?
Mould is a type of plant that belongs to the fungi family. Mould grows indoors or outdoors, most often in places with lots of moisture, high humidity and insufficient ventilation. Mould spores need temperatures between 15 and 30 degrees celsius, a food source and a water source to spread rapidly.
When is Mould Harmful?
Most moulds are harmless; however, certain types can produce mycotoxins.
Mould spores are only harmful when they become airborne. When inhaled, mould spores can cause adverse health effects.
Whether or not a person will experience adverse health effects from mould depends on many factors: how much mould is in the area, how long he or she was exposed to airborne mould spores, and his or her unique response to the exposure.
Signs of Mould
Signs of mould include a musty, earthy odour and visible growth on exposed surfaces.
Moisture is a key factor in indoor mould growth. The best way to prevent mould from growing indoors is to prevent excessive moisture. Signs of early water damage include water stains, wet spots, condensation or colour changes on building materials.
Managing Mould on Campus
It is impossible to stop mould from growing on campus; however, we can prevent it from spreading. We have educational resources in place that teach UAlberta staff and students how to spot mould early, and explain what to do if they suspect mould is present on campus.
Unlike other hazardous materials, mould can occur almost anywhere at anytime. As a result, we manage mould concerns on a case-by-case basis.
If mould is found on campus, trained UAlberta staff or third party contractors remove it using established mould removal procedures. These procedures follow provincial and federal guidelines.