Have you ever noticed small dark spots across your walls or in your bathrooms after water damage?  That is mold. You must be thinking about how fast mold grows and how quickly it can spread in your home. The speed at which mold grows will surprise you.

In this blog, we will cover all aspects of mold growth, its life cycle, what causes mold to grow, how fast does mold grow, its preventive measures, and the health risks associated with it if left untreated.

What is Mold, and How Fast does Mold Grow?

Mold is a type of fungi, and it reproduces through spores that are almost present everywhere and travel from one place to another through the air. The microscopic spores continue to grow and germinate as soon as they find a favorable environment for their growth.

It takes as little as one to two days (24 to 48 hours) for mold spores to grow after water damage. Spores need moist places to grow, and they start growing within 24 hours of finding a damp place.

The Mold Life Cycle and How Quickly It Spreads?

You must be thinking about how long does it take for mold to grow and spread to become visible? Here is life cycle given below;

1-2 Days: In ideal conditions, when spores stick to a damp place, they start germinating within 12 to 48 hours.

1-12 Days: If left unattended, they begin to form a colony and continue to feed on materials to which they are attached. At this stage, they are still invisible.

18-21 Days: Approximately after 20 days, the mold colony matures and becomes visible. At this stage, you come to know you have a mold problem in your home when you see dark patches on your walls or in your bathrooms.

So, it’s very important to take precautionary measures whenever you experience home flooding or water leaks.

Causes of Mold Growth

Water Damage – Main Cause of Mold Growth

Water damage is the main cause because water is the main factor of mold growth. Water damage can be due to flooding, leaky roofs, undetected leaks in pipes, plumbing leaks, or a humid environment. Spores do not need too much water to grow; damp places or even humidity in the air can cause damage.

Favorable Conditions for Mold Growth

Mold needs the following things to grow;

  • Moisture/ humidity
  • Warm temperature
  • Food such as Organic materials (Cellulose)

Water and organic food, such as cellulose, are the two main things that mold needs to grow. Mold in our homes or offices grows on walls, roofs, furniture, wood cabinets, and wood flooring because they all are a source of cellulose. Spores stick and feed on them and thus cause damage to the property.

Factors that speed Up Mold Growth

Damp Places

We know that water is the main reason for growth. If water damage occurs and we don’t treat it properly, it’s an open invitation to mold. As long as water or moisture is present on the surface, there are higher chances of mold.

Higher Temperature

Mold needs a slightly warm temperature to grow and spread. It is suggested that you keep your home cool after water exposure to lower the risk of mold germination.

Poor Ventilation

Poor ventilation can also increase the speed of growth. Keeping your homes or offices dry and airy after water exposure can lower the speed of mold growth, and you can treat the problem at an early stage.

Organic Surfaces

Mold attaches itself to organic surfaces to feed through them. There are higher chances of mold growth If you have more organic materials such as wood furniture, organic paints, and even dust in your home.

Indoors Mold Damage

How Fast does Mold Grow in Indoor Environments?

If you have moisture or damp walls or floors in your home, indoor mold can easily and quickly grow because moisture and cellulose are the two main things required for their colonization.

How Mold Damages Indoor Materials?

Mold attaches to the furniture, drywalls, bathroom showers, pipes, and ceilings and feeds on it by breaking down organic materials. It spreads across the area, feeds on it, and causes damage by weakening the walls or furniture, thus causing damage to the buildings. 

It is also very dangerous for human health and can cause serious health risks. So, it’s important that whenever you feel mold growing in your place, remove it as soon as possible.

Precautionary Measures to Prevent Mold Growth

Quickly Fix Leaks

If you spot any leakage issues in your home, fix them as soon as possible. Do not let moisture stay. You never know when it may become problematic for you.

Drain Standing Water

Address the standing water quickly. Do not let water sit on the surfaces for long.

Proper Ventilation

There must be proper ventilation in homes to prevent mold. Use exhaust fans in homes to avoid moisture.

Use Dehumidifier

Humidity is the main culprit, so use a good quality dehumidifier after you experience water damage in your home.

Allow air to circulate

Air Circulation is necessary to keep homes mold-free. Allow air to circulate by keeping windows open for some time of the day to prevent indoor damage.

Dry Damp Surfaces

Keep the organic surfaces completely dried.

Air Dry Clothes

Never pile up your wet clothes in the laundry; there can be high chances of bacterial and mold growth. Try to hang your wet clothes in the open air for air drying.

Regularly Clean Drip Trays

Drip Trays collect excess water from refrigerators, air conditioners, etc. It can be a place for mold to reproduce. So always drain and clean them on time.

Health Risks of Mold Exposure

There are several health risks associated with mold exposure. All molds can affect health conditions. Some molds are allergens and can cause serious allergic reactions in humans. They can also cause respiratory diseases such as asthma. Some health risks are ;

  • Respiratory Problems: Wheezing, Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nose or Throat Irritation
  • Eye infections such as allergies, burning, watery eyes, or redness
  • Skin Allergies

Black mold can cause serious health hazards if not removed properly.

How to Remove the Mold?

If the moldy surface is less than 10 square feet, you can remove the mold yourself. First, fix all water leaks and dry the area. Wear gloves and mix detergent and water in a bottle. Spray it on the area and let it stay for 15 minutes. Scrub the area with a stiff brush and rinse thoroughly. Use a towel or fan to dry it completely.

Ideal Time to Remove Mold after Water Leaks

When you experience water flooding or leakages, the ideal time to treat the problem is right away. Mold takes time to become visible. Till then, the damage can be beyond repair. So, after water exposure, take protective measures as early as possible. Install a dehumidifier so it can remove excess moisture. 

Should I Remove Mold Myself or Call a Professional? 

If the contaminated area is greater than 10 square feet, removing mold yourself can cause contamination. If you want to remove it yourself for smaller areas, take proper precautions, such as using a HEPA vacuum, but you still have chances of exposure.

It is always recommended to consult professionals such as mold remediation companies to treat the problem. Mold inspection experts have tools to inspect the area and type of mold and can take safe action. By using the mold abatement process or other processes, they tend to remove it.

The mold usually grows on porous materials that are difficult to clean; also, it spreads beyond what’s visible.

Mold removal can be tricky, so it’s always best to hire professionals to ensure safety.


Mold spores are found everywhere and can start reproducing when exposed to water. They can grow within a day or two; if left unattended, they can cause serious damage. So, it’s always the best decision to contact mold removal professionals to get rid of it safely. 


What Happens If I Don’t Remove Mold?

Mold includes mycotoxins that cause health issues. You can face respiratory problems, headaches, fatigue, and skin issues.

How long does mold live?

They can live for years or more once they make their colonies. Even if moisture is removed, they can live in dry places in a dormant state for years.

Do Water Leaks Always Cause Mold Growth?

It depends on the conditions. If conditions are favorable, there is a chance of growth. If leakage issues are addressed on time, not all water leaks can cause mold growth.

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