What is mold?
Mold is a typical fungus containing tiny organisms. They are ubiquitous microorganisms found in moist places in your homes, places like; bathroom walls and trim around windows, kitchen, basement, laundry room, and crawl spaces. If after getting rid of water leaks can mold grow after leak is fixed. Usually, they are found growing on surfaces, and then spores are being released into the air, which can be easily taken into the lungs or exhaled. The exhalation of spores is likely to cause health problems to those who are sensitive to mold.
Health conditions of people prone to mold exhalation?
Generally, the people who are most commonly at risk when they inhale mold are those who are having:
- People with immune systems compromised due to one infection or the other like cancer or chemotherapy, liver disease, etc.!
- Elderly ones
- Infants and children
- People with severe or chronic lung disease
What are the allergic reactions to mold?
People who develop allergies are those who are sensitive to mold. For them, whenever they inhale it and touch mold, they may begin to have: running nose, skin rash, sneezing, and red eyes. In contrast, some with severe cases or reactions have; shortness of breath!
The common genera of molds include:
Reproduction in mold?
They reproduce by spore formation, which contains a single nucleus or many nuclei (multinucleated). Reproduction in molds can be asexual or sexual!
Dispersal and adaptation?
The spore has its adaptation for wind dispersal called “hydrophobic spore,“ and other molds have a slimy sheath.
Is mold dangerous?
Yes! And this is when it produces mycotoxins in large amounts-ch will cause harm to an individual’s health. These mycotoxins are formed when molds have reached maturity.
In agriculture, contaminated crops are usually a basement mycotoxin, and they are produced by mold naturally. There is usually up to 25% of the world’s grain crop that gets contaminated with mycotoxins! These crops are; spices, fruits, vegetables, corn, oats, rice, nuts, etc.
Mycotoxins can also be found and formed in animal products like milk, egg, meat if the animal ate contaminated feed.
During storage, food is also likely to get contaminated with mycotoxins if the environment for storage is relatively moist and warm.
Can mold grow after a leak is fixed?
The answer is “yes”!
Right from when there is a water leak, mold is sure to be seen growing and reproducing fairly quickly. The growth of mold usually takes so long. It grows spontaneously within twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours, provided the conditions are right. Within this period, if you quickly do or carry out a clean-up, it is possible to inhibit mold growth and prevent it from damaging personal properties and homes.
Although you must have fixed the leak or flood problem, unfortunately, the mold still finds its way to grow.
Could it have been due to improper fixing? Well, it appears that moisture that is usually left behind can be left hidden under floorboards or inside wall cavities. Hence, they get easily deposited and allow a new colony of growth!
Condition for the growth of mold?
- Mold can thrive in humid and damp conditions!
- Mold growth and weather conditions!
It is usually a huge blow for residents of the southern US anytime there is a Winter storm like the recent one that occurred, February 2021!
This situation led to many water leaks in homes, leaving them with worries about how to prevent this mold growth and spores in their various homes.
Flooding and water leaks contribute to mold growth, and of course, it is difficult to remove, which makes it costly for financial aspects and health issues.
How to spot mold
These microorganisms are more likely to be found in the dampest and darkest spaces in the house; through their tiny spores, they gain entry into your house via doors, pets, windows, air conditioning vents, clothing, and shoes.
Usually, the signs of mold are that they can be; black, spotted, white, or just about any color and may appear cottony, velvety, and powdery.
If you are not sure whether it is just an old stain or small dirt, here is how to differentiate if it is a sign of mold or not:
1. Using bleach, drop it on the surface, and if it gets light in a minute or two, it is a mold.
2. There will be continuous growth as per “unchecked mold,” and an old stain or dirt would not!
3. There will be the presence of warping, cracking, or peeling of whatever materials that they grow on.
4. It usually has this earthy kind of smell, plus it can be musty
5. The area where there is a low light but a nearby source of moisture
How long does it take mold to develop in your house?
Is your house flooded? Moist or damp places in your home? Then, of course, it would not take time for mold to grow around such a place with such a condition.
There is moisture; if not taken care of as soon as possible, there would be a large turn up of mold infestation.
Also, mold spores are tiny airborne particles that are not visible to the naked eye and are ubiquitous (exist everywhere) in nature. They grow into the visible mold after a water incident.
How quickly can mold grow after water damage?
Water is one of the greatest triggers for mold growth, tends to allow mold development so rapidly. So, in the case of water damage, you should expect a swift growth of mold, usually known as “Stachybotrys chartarum,” for about 24 hours! And if not treated as soon as possible, it gets worse!
According to research carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], the duration of mold growth typically takes twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours! After which a flood has occurred and if the right conditions are met.
Conditions met for mold growth?
However, for mold to grow in your house, it depends on several factors like; temperature, amount of moisture, types of surfaces, and materials. When it comes indoors, they can grow on softer surfaces in darker, warmer (70 degrees or more), and more humid environments.
Spread and colonization of mold spores after flooding.
Mold spores can spread from one area to another relatively with time. This spread affects a large area or space in your home and endangers your health with each passing hour.
Colonization of mold spores on surfaces occurs within 24 hours and becomes visible in about 18 to 21 days of the flooding, and that is usually when adequate precautions or repairs have not been done!
How long does it take for mold to spread in wall?
After which, there have been common signs of mold growth in walls, the likes of; walls appearing wet, staining on an interior wall and base molding, and feeling awkwardly bad when within such an area.
Sometimes, there are cases of mold growing inside walls where there are no detected leaks or pores but poor ventilation.
The rapid spread of mold in walls takes about one or two days! Then there is colonization by spores, and within three to twelve days, they appear everywhere.
What does mold on clothes look like?
Ever seen fungus growth on a piece of cheese or bread? It is just as similar as that when there is a growth in your clothes.
The growth of mold on clothes causes skin problems because you put on those clothes, and then it will make you suffer from skin irritation or full-blown allergies.
The Aspergillus strain is the usual mold on clothes, and it is different from the ones that grow in walls or floors.
How to prevent mold growth on clothes in the closet?
A nightmare is, seeing mold growing on your clothes? Endangering your beautiful clothes! This is usually a result of dampness or poor ventilation.
You likely get mold on your clothes in your closet, which is why to prevent mold growth on your clothes, you must:
- Ensure that clothes are dry before you put them back in your closet because if they remain wet for an extended period, there would be a quick infestation of mold within 24 to 48 hours.
2. Dry your clothes using sunlight and do not keep them in the washing machine for too long.
3. Clean your closets by wiping them down at least once a month.
4. Control the amount of humidity in your house by using an air conditioner which is the most effective way of lowering humidity; you can also promote ventilation when you open your doors and keep your clothing in open areas for free airflow.
5. Get a silica pack as it would help improve air circulation, absorb moisture, and control humidity. Also, be aware that silica packs can be highly dangerous if swallowed, so keep them out of reach from children! And avoid placing them throughout your entire house because it can worsen the symptom of asthma.
Look out for leaky spaces, and as soon as you figure out that your home is prone to leaks, you should deal with it as quickly as possible!
You can also reach out to call our experts at All Dry USA to have them fixed.
How fast does mold grow after a water leak?
Water leaks resulting in floods in your home? Then a bigger problem arose!
The growth of mold can be so rapid afterward, and it can generally take up to 24 to 48 hours.
How to prevent mold growth?
Now the overall preventive measures are here and are listed below, they are:
- Make sure you have a proper ventilation
- Maintain regular cleaning of fabrics and shower curtains
- Disinfect affected areas daily
- See to the total removal of sources of moisture
- Get your items dry and sanitized
- To remove loose spores, go for a “vacuum cleaning.”
- Use plastic sheet method to insulate space floor and foundation walls
- Lastly, make sure there are no leaks in crawl spaces, ceilings, and walls, including HVAC ducts and the plumbing components.