The staff of Columbia Housing and its operational partners are committed to an effective and efficient response to students who suspect they may have mold in their room or residence hall.
Reporting Suspected Mold
The University considers reports of mold a health and safety issue and takes seriously all reports of suspected mold. Residents who are concerned about an area of suspected mold in their room should immediately call the submit a maintenance request online. It is important to take this step to ensure the issue is documented and a work order is opened.
Upon receipt, a staff member or third-party vendor will respond within 1 business day to conduct a visual inspection of the room.
Action Taken if Mold Found
Columbia Housing and its operational partners follow a standard protocol for treating instances of mold in line with guidelines provided by New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. If mold is confirmed in a room, the following action will be taken:
- Trained staff treat areas of visible mold with products that have mold inhibitors and kill spores.
- If needed, the area will be sealed with a mildew-resistant finish and then painted.
- In most cases, this standard protocol eliminates mold in 1 –2 visits.
Action Taken if Mold Not Found
If mold is not found in the resident’s room, the appropriate steps to clean will be taken by custodial staff, depending on the nature of the issue.
Tips to Prevent Mold
The best way to control mold growth indoors is to control moisture. Residents can help prevent mold growth in the following ways:
- If there is a water leak, pipe condensation, or another other issue contributing to room or building moisture, report it immediately to the Huntley Hospitality Desk or through an online maintenance request.
- If a building is air conditioned, do not open windows while air conditioning is running.
- Properly dry wet clothing, towels, shoes or other items in room.
- Allow bathrooms to fully ventilate after showering.
- Remove belongings from shower area on cleaning day to allow for custodial staff to thoroughly clean and disinfect the shower.
Mold and Your Health
Mold is a naturally occurring substance and can be found anywhere, indoors or outdoors. The mere presence of mold growth does not necessarily indicate that people present in the area will exhibit health effects. Learn more about Mold from the EPA.
Some people are allergic to molds, and mold exposure may worsen symptoms of other pre-existing conditions such as asthma. If a resident is having symptoms they believe may be the result of exposure to mold allergens, they should contact Medical Services at Columbia Health.