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How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow?

mold assessor mold course Apr 25, 2023
how long does it take for mold to grow

 Water – it’s one of the earth's many resources that help keep us alive. While water may play a huge part in sustaining life on this planet, it is also one of the biggest contributing factors when we look at mold growth. The reality of it is that there are plenty of areas within your home that, when exposed to consistent moisture or water damage, can result in the growth of this potentially hazardous organism.


Through this article, we hope to cover what environments cause mold to grow, as well as how quickly this mold can occur, if left unchecked.

What are the stages of mold growth?

The key to tackling a mold problem, or preventing it from happening, is understanding the stages of mold growth and how to identify what causes them. Having this understanding will better equip you in your mold remediation journey.

Mold spores begin to germinate within 24-48 hours, but it is typically invisible to the naked eye at this stage

It all begins with germination. Spores can identify moisture and nestle within the material of their liking as soon as 24 hours following moisture exposure. This process, however, occurs on a microscopic level, making it impossible to witness with the naked eye. Because spores are practically invisible, it is important to make their conditions to grow almost impossible to achieve within your home.

Hyphae, cellular mold strands, then begin to grow and “root” themselves inside building materials

Once germinated, the spores begin to grow roots on a cellular level. These roots are called Hyphae and are critical to the growth process of all types of fungi. Once these cellular roots have formed – whether it’s in your building materials, air conditioner, or even your furniture – the growth and spread of mold is imminent. 

Mycelium begins to weave a massive, interconnected web of strands
As these cellular structures grow and interconnect, it forms what we know as mycelium. This stage of growth is the only time we can begin to see the existence of mold with our bare eyes.

You’ll know that mycelium is present by the appearance of fuzzy (like black mold) or slimy growths that seem to materialize following water exposure or prolonged exposure to damp environments.  

The speed of mold growth depends on a number of factors

While mold may be present, the speed of its growth can be dependent on a number of factors. If you, as a homeowner, can mitigate these conditions, you are likely to slow growth down significantly as you try and determine which method or mold remover is the best course of action. 

Your ventilation system and humidity levels can accelerate mold growth

As a rule of thumb, ventilation is a necessary component of mitigating mold, but did you know that once mold has made its way into your home, ventilation can actually do more harm than good? Spores travel through your home a number of ways, with airflow being one of them. If you allow air, especially humid air from outside, to circulate around an exposed area, you are setting your home up for further contamination. Even your air conditioning system can become an unexpected ally in the silent spread of mold.

The amount of light, temperature, and substrate type are also contributing factors 

Mold thrives in dark, damp environments. In fact, mold cannot exist in the presence of direct sunlight, as UV rays break down the organism on a molecular level. All of this to say: mold needs the right temperature, amount of light, and substrate in order to form, let alone thrive. Removing these factors reduces your chances of dealing with an infestation.  

Mold grows fast and with a vengeance–before you know it, you’ve got yourself a big project on your hands

If the right conditions are present mold can get out of hand, claiming numerous square feet of property before you even realize it’s there. In the event of flooding or any other large scale water exposure, ensure you take the proper steps to mitigate as much damage as you can, while contracting an effective water damage restoration company to avoid a treacherous outbreak within your home. In houses with a high relative humidity level, take the necessary precautions to reduce the presence of moisture so that your furniture, building materials, and air conditioning unit are all protected against spores that are located in the air. 

Mold remediation specialists and educators at NIAQI are here to help

The National Indoor Air Quality Institute is your place for quality mold education and licensing within the state of Florida. Join us as we take a comprehensive and holistic approach to learning, ensuring that you flourish during every step of your career. For more information about our course offerings and accreditation, visit us online.

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