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You may be aware that mold growth is a possibility in the days and weeks following moderate to severe water damage inside a home or commercial building. A frequent question that we receive however, is just how long does it take for mold to grow? The truth is that there is no simple answer to this question. While it is true that mold growth can begin in as little as 24 hours given the right conditions, it is also true that some water damaged properties never experience any mold growth at all.

The real variable that needs to be solved for is how effectively the water affected areas were dried and how long they stayed wet. Most water damage companies will tell you that you simply need to extract the water from the damaged area, remove any residual moisture, and voila! You have stopped mold growth dead in it’s tracks. Unfortunately this is not always the case.

So just how long does it take for mold to grow? The short answer is days. Given the right humidity levels and the right exposure to water, porous surfaces can begin to see mold growth inside a matter of 2-3 days! It can happen even faster when water damaged areas go untreated. For example, standing water in a warm basement might see mold growth in as little as 36 hours. From there it can multiply faster than you can imagine! Mold only needs 3 things to grow: Water (moisture), warm temperatures, and a food source (think any organic matter).

Mold Development Rate

Mold development is an easy three step process: Moisture, Food source (organic matter) and warm temperatures.

Given the rapid growth rate of mold, it is always crucial to ensure that any mold growht in your property is addressed with urgency. The sooner mold and mildew can be isolated, treated, and removed, the cheaper and easier it will be. The last thing you want is mold spores to grow unabashed inside your home or business, spreading from one surface to the next, negatively impacting the health of your loved ones, employees, or customers.

The first key problem when dealing with mold spores is how easily they can move from one surface to the next. Essentially anything that is pourous, think wood, furntiure, carpets, clothing, and other personal belongings, is a the perfect home for mold spores. Even more surprising than the many different surfaces mold can call home is the rate at which it will spread. Mold can easily grow withing 1-2 days. From there, it will begin to colonize in as little as 2-12 days. After the colonization period, mold can become visible to the human eye in an additional 10-12 days. This means that mold is typically a problem long before it is noticeable to home and business owners.

How Fast Can Mold Spread?

If we change the question from how fast does mold grow, to how fast can it spread, things get frightening fast! This is because once colonized mold is extremely difficult to remove and can spread in as little as a few hours! When a spore is carried by physical contact or by the lightest draft of air and lands atop a new organic material, it will root itself straight into the pores of that material with ease. Then it will begin to feed off of the substance leading to the spawning of new spores at  rapid rate. So within as littles as just a few hours, the harmful mold spores will begin spreading themselves into any nearby moist/damp areas repeating the process like wild fire!

How Do I Stop Mold From Growing After Water Damage?

The best thing that you can do to prevent mold growth after a water damage incident is hire the right water damage restoration company to extract the water and dry out the effected areas. Inexperienced or unqualified companies will sell dry-to-the-touch surfaces as remedied. An experienced company will take moisture readings and check the humidity in your property to ensure that the environment is not conducive to mold growth.

Here at H & L Restoration we approach every water damaged property with the same goals. Speed of service, affordable cost, and resident safety. This means that we will get to work right away to extract all water from you property, dry and dehumidify the area, all at an affordable cost. The result meaning a dry and safe home free from harmful mold growth, each and every time. Our top of the line air movers and dehumidifiers are excellent at evaporating moisture quickly and effectively. Our trade certified procedures ensure that we are thorough and effective. If you are in need of water damage restoration to prevent the need for mold removal and remediation service in San Jose, Santa Clara, Campbell, Los Gatos or anywhere in the South Bay, count on H & L Restoration! Click here to schedule your free consultation and estimate today!