Water damage stemming from flooding, leaks, or high humidity can affect your home, its contents and promote mold growth. Controlling moisture is critical to prevent mold in the early hours after the initial damage. But how long does it take for mold to grow after water damage?
Mold can significantly increase after water damage, adding more difficulty to the restoration process. Answering the question of how fast mold grows depends on the area affected, including its size, ventilation, and access to light.
There are many questions about mold growth and you want to find the answers to your most pressing questions. Below, we have answers regarding the most common mold questions for your convenience. In addition, Mold Medics provides expert mold assessment services in Pittsburgh, PA, so we have experience cleaning up in the worst situations.
So — how long does it take for mold to grow after water damage? We’ll cover this question and others that you may have.
Common Mold Questions and Answers
How long does it take for mold to grow after water damage?
The microorganisms that become mold colonies are always in the air around us, so they will grow quickly under the right circumstances. It usually takes 24-48 hours of water exposure for mold to germinate and grow.
Mold colonies will grow with each passing hour as long as there is a high level of moisture. Once you get past the initial 48 hours for mold to grow and become established, removing it becomes more difficult.
So just how long does it take for mold to grow after water damage? Not long enough to delay calling a professional to inspect and remove it to prevent health issues.
What are the most common places for mold growth?
Common places for mold growth include wood, paper products, cardboard, and ceiling tiles. However, it can also grow in wallpaper, drywall, insulation, carpet, and fabric.
What is the best way to prevent mold after flooding?
The best way to prevent mold from forming is to dry the affected area quickly. Here are steps to take after water damage occurs:
- Open up the space if it’s dry outside. You’ll usually want to open the building during the day and close it at night.
- Remove all water-logged items and debris from the area. Remove any soaked and porous material, such as ceiling tiles, paper, and insulation.
- Use disinfectants or sanitizers to clean exposed surfaces. Scrub hard surfaces like tile, wood, and stone with soapy water and a bristle brush. Dry the surfaces after cleaning and disinfecting them.
- Get rid of saturated carpeting as soon as possible. Otherwise, use a carpet extractor or wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water from it.
- Use fans to circulate air in the space and quicken the evaporation process. However, if you believe mold has already started growing, fans can fill the air with particulates by circulating thousands of spores. This can increase the affected area, so avoid using a fan if mold is already growing.
- Bring in dehumidifiers to reduce the air’s moisture and quicken the drying process. A home dehumidifier may be enough for a smaller space, but you’ll need an industrial/commercial humidifier for larger areas.
How long should I run a dehumidifier after water damage?
It would be best to run a dehumidifier until porous surfaces in the affected area have completely dried. It can take several days to two weeks to dry out a flood-affected area. Materials like plaster and insulation will take a long time to dry, so replace them quickly. Mold can continue to cause damage until the room or building is completely dry.
What are some signs you may have a mold problem?
In general, mold will continue to grow, while dirt and stains won’t expand. However, if you notice a spot on your wall and aren’t sure whether it’s a typical stain or mold, here are signs that it may be something more serious:
- The material it’s growing on is cracking, peeling, or warping.
- A source of moisture without much light is nearby.
- It has a musty smell.
- Applying a drop of bleach lightens its color within 1-2 minutes.
There are obvious hotspots where you can expect mold to grow, but remember to check in less-obvious places, such as a drain tray or in your attic.
Mold Medics Can Remove Your Mold Problem
Unchecked mold growth can result in health problems like allergic reactions or asthma in certain people. Therefore, mold removal and water damage restoration should be priorities after a water damage event.
How long does it take for mold to grow after water damage? Not long at all, so contact Mold Medics for mold testing and removal, radon services, and air duct cleaning services in Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas.