The presence of mold is never a good thing. As it grows it compromises the integrity of buildings, it destroys furniture, appliances, and electronics. Mold ruins carpets, wallpaper, and clothing. When paired with the water damage caused by floods, mold can make restoration more expensive and the process more difficult.
After your home floods, you might be wondering, “How long does it take for mold to grow?” It’s important that the cleanup efforts are prompt following a flood. Here’s what you need to know:
Why Is Mold Dangerous
The presence of mold can cause all kinds of health problems including respiratory infections, an increase of allergies and/or asthma, breathing problems, and pneumonia. Each person’s reaction to mold depends upon their own sensitivity with some people reacting more severely than others.
Pets are also negatively impacted by the presence of spreading mold.
Some symptoms of mold exposure include a persistent cough, an irritated throat, ongoing congestion, and regular sneezing.
Prolonged exposure to mold can make these symptoms worse which is why it’s so important to address the problem before it becomes serious.
What Does It Take for Mold to Grow?
Even if the flood is minor, the mold growth can become extreme and cause lots of damage if not treated promptly. Any moisture accumulation inside can lead to mold growth inside the home. Mold spores exist everywhere, so as soon as the right conditions are present, mold will start to develop. The right conditions include moisture for food, warmth, and a lack of ventilation.
With so many porous, organic materials present in the typical home (insulation, paint, drywall, etc.), all that’s needed is some moisture and the mold can begin to grow. It can begin to grow within a couple of short days.
How Long Does it Take for Mold to Grow?
So how long does it take for mold to grow? In ideal conditions, (optimal temperature and level of humidity), mold can germinate and grow in within 24 to 48 hours. The spores will colonize in 3-12 days and start to become noticeable within 3 weeks.
The time will vary depending on the type of mold and the conditions within the home. Different surfaces and household materials, and the level of moisture, play a role in how quickly the mold can grow. The more that time passes without treatment, the greater the chance that mold will develop and spread.
How Quickly Does Mold Spread?
Mold can spread in as little as a couple of hours. As soon as a mold spore lands on moist, organic material it begins to root itself into the surface and feed. In a few hours the harmful microorganisms begin to spread to the nearby damp spots, damaging the structure as it grows.
Once mold has started to take hold on a surface within your home, it soon fills the air with thousands of spores. These spores spread throughout the property.
The only way to prevent mold from spreading throughout the entire home is to have the whole area dried within the first 48 hours after a flood or serious leak.
How Can I Keep Mold from Growing After Water Damage Has Occurred?
So now that we’ve determined an answer to the question, “how long does it take for mold to grow?”, it’s time to discuss how to keep the mold from growing after water damage has taken place.
Since there’s a brief 48-72 hour window after the water damage takes place before mold begins to grow, it’s during this time that the drying process must take place.
Proper drying isn’t easy. Water can find it’s way into all the nooks and crannies, under the floorboards or tiles, beneath the carpet, in the crevices of furniture, or soaked through the walls.
The first thing to do is get rid of all the excess water by opening the doors and windows to let air flow in from outside. Soak up large puddles of water with a mop, towels, and sponges.
After you’ve taken care of all the obvious area, it’s time to check underneath bookcases, entertainment centers, sofas, and so on. If you have several high-powered fans that you can plug in and point toward the affected area, you can put those on full blast for a few hours.
Since time is of the essence, while you’re making your own efforts to dry out the water damaged areas, it’s time to seek some professional drying services.
Many people mistakingly assume that they’ve treated a water damaged area thoroughly enough only to find that the water soaked into areas much deeper than they anticipated. Mold can grow in unseen spots as easily as it can in plain sight. In fact, a mold problem usually grows unnoticed because it starts in a less obvious spot.
Turn to Professional Water Damage Restoration Services
If you’ve recently experienced water damage in your home, don’t panic, our professional services can help you out in a hurry. If you’ve been wondering, “how long does it take for mold to grow?” and wondering if you have a mold issue on your hands, we’ll take it from here and get your home back to where it needs to be.
We’ve been in business since 1994 and have treated water-damaged homes from the minor to the severe.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can keep mold at bay while treating your water damaged property. We’re looking forward to serving you!