Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are fungi that grow on, and sometimes within, surfaces. They can cause discoloration and odor problems, deteriorate building materials, and lead to health problems such as asthma episodes and allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. 


What are Spores?

Spores are the dormant form of mold. They are present everywhere in our environment. Mold develops from spores when humidity rises above 70 percent. Warmer temperatures (above 65 degrees F) also increase mold growth.


Where is Mold in my House?

Damp basements and closets or bathrooms with little ventilation are ideal environments for mold and mildew growth. Materials or surfaces exposed to flood or rain water are also susceptible to mold and mildew growth.


How can Mold Affect me and my Family?

Mold can ruin organic materials such as photographs, books, and cloth. It can also make permanent stains on plaster and other materials. Mold can produce allergic reactions in persons with respiratory conditions. With certain types of mold, reactions can sometimes be severe.


How can I Prevent Mold?

  • Reduce humidity and temperature. Open windows and doors if outside humidity is lower. Install and use dehumidifiers. Remember to empty them often.
  • Increase ventilation. Use fans to dry and increase circulation.
  • Look for signs of mold. Mold can grow and spread quickly. Be aware of potential problem areas and correct them as soon as possible. Dry and brush off objects affected by mold or clean with disinfectant products. You can’t get rid of mold spores, but you can prevent their growth by eliminating or reducing favorable growing conditions.



For further questions, please call our Environmental Health Division at (513) 946-7800.


Download a printable version of this fact sheet here.


250 William Howard Taft Road
2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone 513.946.7800 Fax 513.946.7890