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How Long Does It Take For Mold To Grow?

How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow?

Excess water and moisture – be it from a water leak, flooding, or a burst pipe – is always a problem asking for trouble. Water damage will easily destroy electronics, appliances, building materials, furniture, carpeting, clothing, and a range of other contents in the home.

To make matters worse, mold will start to grow shortly after the water damage, worsening the problem and costing the homeowner additional time and money spent during the restoration process.

Dealing with Mold After Water Damage


Mold and damp staining painted wall surface around an internal home window.

Mold doesn’t need a significant amount of water damage to grow; any amount of excess moisture in a particular area is enough to harbor the right conditions for mold growth; as long as it has an organic “food” source and moisture, the fungus can grow anywhere.

Provided that it is a property structure, home and buildings provide plenty of organic food sources on which mold can grow. This includes any porous materials, such as paint, carpeting, drywall, paper products, etc. So the only ingredient needed for mold to grow is the moisture, such as in cases of high humidity or excess water. Give it a couple days and you will have a huge problem.

On the other hand, there are a number of ways in which mold can be prevented: just eliminate the moisture source before the fungus has time to develop. But how much time do you have before it starts to grow? How soon does the area need to be dried before the spores make a nest on your structure?

How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow?

It’s important to not only know how much time is needed for mold to grow, but also how fast household materials and items will be affected.

How fast can mold grow?

In most cases (given the proper temperature and humidity levels), mold can start growing within 24 – 48 hours. The spores will begin to colonize in 3 – 12 days and then become visible after 18 – 21 days. Of course, every situation is different as there are many different species of mold and it depends on the specific conditions of the home as well as the types of building materials affected, the amount of moisture, exact temperature, etc. Regardless, the more time allotted, the higher the chance for mold to grow and affect additional areas of the home.

How fast can mold spread?

Mold can spread in as little as a few hours. As soon as a spore lands on an organic food source, or building material, it becomes rooted to the surface, feeding from it. Within a few short hours, the microorganisms will spread to nearby areas with high moisture levels, damaging the entire home’s structure.

After mold has infected a particular surface of the home, it will disperse its spores into the air to spread throughout the home, affecting additional areas each hour.

The only way to keep mold from appearing within your home after water damage is to call for water damage restoration services within the first 48 hours of the damage.

How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage

Close-up Of A Shocked Woman Looking At Mold

To completely remove all moisture from your building structure within the 48-72 hour window to prevent mold growth, you will need professional dehumidification services.

There is usually a 2-3 day window between the time of water damage and time that mold starts to grow. If the affected area is completely dried out within this time period, there is little chance for the mold to develop.

Adequate dehumidification, however, can be difficult. Water is capable of seeping into the smallest cracks and hidden areas as it spreads through walls, floors, carpeting, and ceilings on its way to the lowest point in the house. So here’s what you can do to prevent mold:

  1. Extract all water.

Removing all excess water from the area while opening windows and doors to allow for proper air circulation will not be enough to stop mold. If any amount of moisture remains in the hidden spaces after 3 days, mold will still be able to grow before the moisture dries.

  1. Dry out the area.

People often make the mistake of only drying out the area in which the water damage occurred, forgetting about the surrounding rooms where water may have flowed to affect hidden spaces behind walls and underneath ceilings. Mold will still grow.

To completely remove all moisture from your building structure within the 48-72 hour window to prevent mold growth, you will need professional dehumidification services. The professionals in this field will bring in advanced equipment needed to not only remove standing water, but also locate hidden areas and rid them of the moisture. This way you can have peace of mind knowing that all moisture has been completely removed from the home in order to prevent a big mold problem in the future.

Professional Water Damage Repair and Mold Removal in Staten Island

When working with our technicians at ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete, we use powerful air movers and dehumidifiers to eliminate all moisture from the affected area and materials. The moisture is also drawn out of the air and pumped out of the home to fully prevent the risk of mold growth.

Our professionals also use perfected methods and advanced equipment to keep drying times at their lowest, avoiding the risk of costly repairs as well as health problems that result from mold infestations.

You can count on ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete to cover all of your water damage problems, including water damage restoration, dehumidification, mold removal, odor removal, and more.

Available 24/7

ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete is available in both Staten Island, NY and New Jersey to provide complete water damage restoration and dehumidification services to prevent the risk of mold growth. Contact us today for service.

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