How Quickly Can Mold Appear?
Mold is a natural substance that can be found anywhere, but its natural presence doesn’t eliminate the harm it can pose to you and your property.
When in the proper environment, mold can become a massive problem indoors, growing on various building materials throughout your property. This growth will not only cause damage to whatever it’s growing on, but it can also cause health problems for anyone exposed to it. Mold growth, however, is preventable, so if you can prevent it from growing, the better off you and your property are. However, mold can be quick to appear and grow.
That said, it’s important to know what causes mold so that you can prevent it from growing and becoming a problem in the first place.
Continue reading to learn more about mold, what causes mold growth, how quickly it can grow, and other important information about mold.
What Causes Mold Growth?
The two things that mold spores need to grow are a moisture source and an organic food source, but the moisture source is the one that’s especially important. Because of this, mold growth is often something that occurs in the aftermath of water damage. The excess water gives the mold spores the moisture it needs to thrive, and this moisture can often be found in building materials.
Wood, drywall, insulation, and other common building materials contain cellulose, which is a substance that mold uses as food. Because these materials are readily found within homes and businesses, mold simply needs to find moisture to start growing. Once it finds excess moisture and is given enough time, then the mold will begin to grow.
How Fast Does Mold Grow and Spread?
The time it takes for mold to grow and appear is dependent on the species of mold, the material it’s growing on, and the amount of moisture it has, among other things. Given the proper conditions, mold will start to germinate and grow as early as 24 hours after encountering the moisture source. In 3 to 12 days, the mold spores will colonize. In 18-21 days, the mold can become visible.
In general, the longer that moisture is present, the greater the chance for mold to grow and spread.
When mold spores encounter a moist surface, it starts growing within a few hours, spreading into the material while also filling the air with thousands of mold spores. These mold spores can then travel to other moist surfaces and cause problems in new areas of your property.
How Does Mold Cause Damage?
When mold grows on a surface, it uses the surface materials as a food source. As it eats at the organic materials, it damages its structure in the process. The longer the mold is allowed to eat at the material, the more damage it will cause. Eventually, if not treated, the mold will ruin the surface’s structural integrity, leaving it ineffective and unsalvageable.
Health-wise, anyone exposed to mold can suffer from allergies, including coughing, wheezing, and irritation to your skin and eyes. Prolonged exposure will cause more serious problems.
How Can I Stop Mold from Growing?
The key to preventing mold growth is moisture control. That said, if your property has suffered water damage, then you must act quickly to control the amount of moisture present. This is especially important because water can spread quickly. Whatever building materials and furnishings have absorbed moisture will continue to absorb any moisture until there’s nothing left to absorb, which allows the moisture to spread further and deeper.
As aforementioned, mold can begin to grow as soon as 24 hours after water damage has occurred, so it’s best to act immediately. You will first need to extract any excess water, which can be done with a wet vacuum. Then you will need to thoroughly dry out your property. Otherwise, the moisture will remain, and mold will grow before the moisture can thoroughly dry naturally.
However, thorough extraction and drying can be tough, especially if there are large amounts of water present and the water damage is significant. This is because letting wet materials air dry can take too long, and the mold will be able to germinate before it dries.
How Do I Clean Mold?
If you notice mold has grown in your home or business, then it’s best to not try cleaning the mold yourself. This is because cleaning it yourself will expose you to the mold and potentially put you at risk of health problems. Improperly cleaning mold can also disturb the mold and worsen the problem. Instead, hire a professional service to conduct mold removal.
At ServiceMaster Professional Services, we offer mold remediation services throughout Minnesota. Within our services, we will conduct water extraction and drying services, mold containment, mold assessment, mold removal, and property repairs and restoration. Additionally, we will clean up any water damage that caused the mold growth.
Our professionals have the proper equipment and products to clean mold in a safe, effective manner. With mold remediation help from us, you can trust that all cases of mold will be located and removed, restoring your home or business to a healthy living/working space.