How does mold grow is a common question people ask about mold, especially when they suddenly fear they may be faced with infestation by a mold colony. You’re probably not going to like the answers, but these are details you need to know. Knowing them, you can plan accordingly.
First, understand that mold needs two things to thrive. Moisture and cellulose. The bad news is the moisture can enter your home in any number of ways, but the two most common are plumbing problems (busted or leaking pipes), or storm damage (flooding, hurricanes, damage to your roof, etc.). Both of these happen with regular enough frequency that it’s safe to say that if you’re a home owner, sooner or later, one, or both of these things are going to happen to you.
The worse news is that a tremendous amount of the material inside your home contains cellulose. Everything from wood to drywall, to carpet, and most of your food, which is to say that it’s very easy to envision a scenario in which your home becomes an ideal habitat for a mold colony to establish itself. All it takes is one broken pipe, or a few back-to-back incredibly humid days and the stage is set.
Understand that mold is one of the most pervasive, abundant forms of life on the planet. Every day, you come into contact with thousands of mold spores. They’re on the surface of most of the things you touch, and they’re floating in the air all around you. Only when the conditions are perfect, however, do they colonize, which of course is the reason that the whole planet isn’t already overgrown with mold colonies.
How long does it take mold to grow is another common question people ask. Guess what, you’re probably not going to like this answer either. In optimal conditions, the colony only needs between 24-48 hours to become established, and will be large enough to be seen in another 24-48 hours beyond that. You’ll be able to smell it before you can see it, however, and if you take immediate action, you can generally stop the fledgling colony in its tracks.
Here are some, time-lapse videos to give you an idea of what you’re up against though. Give mold spores plenty of food, and they’ll spread like wildfire, as these examples clearly demonstrate.
A burger from McDonalds
And one final example to round out the collection