Mold and Indoor Environments

MoldMolds are a type of fungus that can grow on indoor surfaces, and may look cottony, wooly, smooth, or velvety. The velvety looking surface is actually thousands of microscopic spores. These spores can travel through the air, land somewhere else, and grow new colonies if food, water, and warmth are present.

Molds are everywhere. Most indoor molds come from the outdoors, and are carried inside on our shoes, clothes, pets, through open windows, doors, and mechanical ventilation systems. Every home, office, and school in the country has some mold inside that was carried in from the outdoor environment. When there is a moisture problem in a building such as one caused by a flood, water leak, or very high humidity, the small amount of mold naturally found there may start growing.

In some cases, certain sensitive individuals may begin developing symptoms when exposed to large amounts of mold. These symptoms may include allergic reactions, asthma episodes, and other respiratory problems. It is important to remember that not all individuals are susceptible to mold.

Most mold problems in buildings are not emergencies. They can be dealt with using fairly easy techniques. Some resources to help deal with clean-up are listed below.

Here are some main points to keep in mind when evaluating a mold problem:

  • Without water, mold cannot survive.
  • All mold growths are potential health hazards and should be removed.
  • Sampling/testing for mold is expensive and usually not necessary. If you see it, remove it.

The best way to address the mold problem is to:

  • Find and fix the moisture problem.
  • Clean up the mold using safe procedures.

Further information about mold may be found by clicking the links below.

General Mold Information:

Mold Testing:

Residential Structures:

Health Professionals:


For more information contact your local health department or the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health Assessment Program (860) 509-7740