Finding mold in your home or building can often be a sudden and unpleasant surprise. In reality, the mold has likely been growing there for some time, only just showing up when it has become a larger problem. Understanding the how long it takes for mold to grow can help you protect your property and the people living within it.
Common Causes of Mold in Residential Spaces
Mold is typically caused by a combination of excess moisture and heat. Persistent humidity is, therefore, one of the main causes of mold in homes. You may find it in walls, ceilings, and dark areas like closets and cabinets. Mold caused by humidity is particularly common if you live near a large body of water and lack proper ventilation.
In the winter, condensation may be an issue instead. Fluctuations in temperature can cause excess moisture on cold surfaces, including metal piping and floor tiles. Good ventilation can help reduce moisture, increase air circulation, and decrease the likelihood of mold growing in your home during colder months.
Leaks can also contribute to mold. Cracked pipes can lead to mold behind drywall and under sink cabinets, while a damaged roof can cause moisture and mold in the ceiling or attic areas. A leaky air conditioning unit is also a problem. If you notice mold in these locations, check your pipes and roof right away.
Average Grow Times
Mold spores begin to colonize an area within three to 12 days of finding the right moisture levels, and it becomes visible within 18 to 21 days after that. At this point, the mold can appear in as little as 24 to 48 hours. So, while the growth process is actually quite long, it can appear to be a surprise instead. The mold will have been quietly growing for some time before seeming to suddenly appear in your home.
Mold can also spread quickly, taking just a few hours to continue affecting your home. When a spore lands on a moist area, it roots into the surface and begins feeding off of organic materials within it like wood and cotton. Additional spores fill the air immediately, allowing the mold to spread to other moist areas and causing a much larger problem.
Uncommon Signs and Symptoms of Mold
Not all mold can easily be seen, particularly if it’s growing in unused cabinets or in the basement of your home. A few unusual signs can indicate its presence, however.
Mold is a common cause of allergic reactions, including itchy and watery eyes and tingling skin. If you notice a change in your health, including increased breathing problems or asthma attacks, you may want to consider evaluating your home for mold.
Your home’s structure can also react negatively to mold in the area. Bubbling paint can be caused by moisture, which in turn leads to ideal mold growth conditions. Soft spots in flooring can indicate the presence of mold for similar reasons. If you notice any kind of water damage in your home, it may be a smart idea to schedule a mold check just in case the water has enabled mold to grow anywhere.
Finally, pay attention to strange smells in your home. Mold emits a damp, musty scent, and while it’s not always possible to smell mold, it can help you identify larger deposits in hidden locations throughout the building, such as darker areas between walls or in the back of cabinets.
Assessing the Damage with a Professional Team
A professional mold remediation specialist can help you determine whether there is mold in your home, and they can assess the damage it has caused. These specialists understand how long it takes for mold to grow and are trained to recognize the signs of mold and their sources. They also understand safe removal and restoration procedures, which typically include disinfection of the area to prevent future outbreaks. By hiring a professional mold remediation team, you’ll receive high quality and effective services that help you make your home safe and comfortable once again.
Scheduling a Mold Check or Restoration Service
Speak with the mold remediation specialists at Kingsley to schedule a mold check or restoration service today. Kingsley can evaluate your home for mold, then quickly create and execute a mold remediation and restoration plan. The mold will be contained to prevent further spreading and then removed, while all of the items within the affected area will be disinfected and cleaned to help mitigate the chance of future outbreaks. In addition to mold removal services, Kingsley also provides water restoration and emergency water extraction services to clients in the Columbia, South Carolina area.