How Long Does It Take For Mold to Grow? What You Need to Know
By far, one of the most frustrating issues homeowners deal with following water damage is the mold growth. As hard as you try to contain the flooding, burst pipe, or roof leak, moisture has a way of seeping into the corners of your home, which can quickly lead to a fast-growing fungus infestation.
When you notice mold on the scene, you have to act quickly to prevent it from spreading and causing further damage. But how long do you have until mold begins to spread like wildfire?
Here’s everything you need to know about mold growth, including how long it takes to spread and how to make it go away!
How Does Mold Form?
Mold and mildew are made up of resilient organisms that thrive, not just survive, pretty much anywhere. As long as they have a steady supply of food, oxygen, and moisture, they can multiply quickly and easily take over entire homes and buildings.
Mold feeds off of organic materials like wood, drywall, and fabric. When moisture builds up in areas of the home made with these materials, fungus moves in. With the right conditions, it can quickly get comfortable and start making a home for itself in your house. Even a certain level of humidity can be enough to create the required conditions for growth.
If your water damage is limited, there’s still a risk that there could be mold lurking behind the walls and inside the dark corners you can’t see. The best way to keep a small problem from growing out of control is by acting quickly.
How Long Does It Take For Mold to Grow?
If you want to act fast enough to prevent mold from spreading after suffering water damage, you need to understand how growth works and the speed at which it can spread.
When you provide the right conditions of an optimal temperature and level of humidity, mold can begin to germinate and grow in just 24-48 hours. If your pipe burst on Monday morning, the growth will begin by Tuesday morning. However, it’s typical for spores to colonize within the 3-12-day range. It’s not until the 18-21 mark that home or building owners will begin to recognize the issue.
This timeline will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the following:
- The condition of your home – How bad is the damage?
- Types of surfaces and materials are in your home – Are there many different organic materials?
- Amount of moisture – How much water damage was there?
- Ambient temperature – How warm or cool is the inside of your home?
All of these factors impact how quickly mold will spread. However, the longer time passes, the higher the risk of further spreading.
How Fast Can Mold Spread?
Mold can begin to spread in just a few hours. Once a spore lands on an organic material with moisture, it begins to take root into the porous surface and feeds off of whatever organic substances are there.
Once fed, the microorganisms begin to spread wider into adjacent areas with water damage. Once this spread gets large enough, it begins to damage the structural integrity of whatever material it’s rooted in.
When the surface of your home becomes infested, the air will then begin to take on some of these spores, spreading potentially thousands of spores throughout your other living areas. This happens quickly – within hours. You can go from one small, controlled infestation to an entire building full of problems within a day.
How to Prevent Mold from Growing
Once water makes its way into your home, there’s a 4-72 hours window before the mold will really start to set in. The ideal way to stop mold from growing is to completely dry the area within this period of time. Here’s what a proper two-step drying regimen would look like:
- Extract excess water – Letting air flow through the home can help dry out excess water. Additionally, air filters and dehumidifiers can help.
- Dry the area out – After removing extra water, rely on professional drying services to fully extract the moisture with specialized equipment.
Mold is a quick and powerful menace. Once it gets a hold on a surface in your home, it can be hard to stop in its tracks and some of the damage can be hard to fix.
Your best bet at controlling your mold problem before it becomes a big issue is to completely remove the moisture as soon as possible after your leak or burst pipe. This is a tough task to handle on your own, which is why a water damage cleanup professional makes all the difference. Don’t tackle your mold problem on your own, give our team at All Dry USA a call today!