How Long Does Mould Take To Grow?

Thursday 15th June 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Black mould in the corner of a room CONTENTS

Floods and leaks in your home can damage your property, put people’s health at risk, and require extensive clean up. But if you don’t dry out your home fast enough, you could face an even more serious problem: mould.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer thorough, effective mould remediation services. Our technicians can remove mould from hard surfaces and the air, and significantly improve the air quality in your property. Every service comes with a lifetime guarantee*.

Keep reading to find out how quickly mould can grow in your property, and how to prevent it after a flood or leak in your home.

*subject to advisories

What causes mould to grow?

Mould spores are constantly moving in the air around us in a dormant state. But when they find moisture and an organic food source, they start to grow.

The most common causes of mould include damp, water damage, high humidity, and condensation. There are also plenty of organic materials for it to grow on in the home including drywall, wood, fabric, insulation, and paint products, so if any moisture is present it can grow.

What temperature does mould grow in?

Mould can grow in a wide range of temperatures so it could thrive in any part of your home. It cannot grow below 4°C (which is why food is refrigerated at this temperature) and grows best between 15°C and 26°C.

What humidity does mould grow in?

Humid air contains lots of moisture so when it meets a cold surface, like a window, it condenses and makes the area damp. It is recommended you keep humidity levels below 60% so there is not enough moisture in the air to cause condensation.

How long does it take for mould to grow?

Mould can start growing quickly but it takes a while before it is visible. It goes through three distinct growing phases:

1. After 24 to 48 hours, mould spores germinate

When dormant mould spores in the air come in contact with moisture, they begin to germinate and start growing. Germinating mould spores are very small so you can’t see them and it very hard to tell if you are getting rid of them when you clean surfaces.

2. Hyphae grow after 3 to 12 days

Hyphae are cellular strands that are like roots – they penetrate organic materials and absorb nutrients to feed the growing mould. They can also release volatile organic compounds which put people at risk of headaches, nasal irritation, fatigue, and nausea.

The hyphae are still too small to see and once they have rooted themselves into porous surfaces, they are very difficult to remove.

3. Within 18 to 21 days mould becomes visible

As more and more hyphae grow, they interconnect to form a mycelium. This appears as the fuzzy or slimy patch of mould people can see. How long it takes to appear depends on the mould species and the conditions in your property.

At this stage, you may be able to smell the musty mould odour and it might start causing damage to your property.

How to prevent mould

As mould is only visible to the naked eye weeks after it starts growing, prevention is key. To stop mould growth after flooding or a leak in your home, you must act fast.

Remove the water

If there is a large amount of water in your home following a flood, it is recommended you bring in flood restoration professionals to get rid of it and dry out your property.

Specialist cleaners will have the equipment to get rid of all the water, and know how to slowly remove it in stages to avoid damage to your home.

Get rid of damp property that will not dry out quickly

Some of your possessions, like carpet and furniture, take a long time to dry out and therefore provide the perfect conditions for mould to start growing. You should have them removed and disposed of if they can’t be dried and cleaned before the 24 to 48 hour window.

Dry out your home

Although it is possible to dry your property yourself, professional cleaners will have specialist equipment, like industrial dehumidifiers and air movers, to get rid of moisture rapidly.

There are lots of other ways to prevent mould in your home, including using dehumidifiers to keep humidity levels below 60%, ventilating the property, and using extractor fans in showers and bathrooms to get rid of humid air. You can find out more in this blog.

Book our mould remediation service

Our technicians can remove all traces of the mould from your home and make it a safe, clean property, again. They can also provide other related services like flood and water damage restoration services, should they be required.

Get in touch with our team on 0208 066 0360 or at enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to find out more about our mould removal services. We operate nationwide, 365 days a year, and our mould cleaners can be on site in a matter of hours in an emergency.

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Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

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