If you have ever dealt with mold presence within the home, you may have investigated and concluded the causes of this fungus growth – whether it be a leaky pipe, warm temperatures in a room, or even high humidity that triggers the mold to progressively grow within this area. However, what exacerbates the growth of mold and how fast can mold grow when it is interacting in an environment with ideal conditions?
In this article, we are going to discuss the causes behind mold development in an indoor environment and how long these different types of mold funguses can grow when present in a desirable setting with perfect environmental conditions.
Mold Growing in House: Household Mold Types
It is generally thought that mold only grows in older homes, that either haven’t been maintained or that has many structural issues that result in the mold growth. However, this is simply untrue, as almost every home can risk the threat of mold growing within their home’s walls. There are a vast number of mold species that are classified as mold, that are commonly found growing in a home in different mold colors.
These prevalent species of mold that are likely found growing in an indoor environment like a home includes the following:
- Alternaria: A commonly found mold species in an indoor environment, Alternaria appears in an indoor area that is damp like a sink, shower, or dark environment. Alternaria mold can elicit certain health problems, especially in those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
- Aspergillus: A species of mold that grows indoors and does minor damage to those that are exposed to this mold and have inhaled aspergillus mold. Although it may not be damaging to human health it can trigger reactions including respiratory infections, allergic reactions, and inflamed lungs.
- Cladosporium: Cladosporium mold thrives in both cool and warm areas inside of a home such as carpet, wood floorboards, wooden cabinets and older fabrics. This species of mold can leave occupants of the home with breathing problems and other respiratory issues.
- Penicillium: Generally located inside of insulation, furnishings, water-damaged furniture, and carpeting, penicillium mold is a rapidly growing mold that can grow inside of a home. Homeowners that have been exposed to penicillium in their house may experience a sinus infection, lung inflammation, and allergic reactions.
- Stachybotrys Chartarum: Also, commonly known as black mold, this species of mold creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins that can lead to breathing issues, sinus infections, depression, fatigue, asthma attacks and more. This type of mold can be closely identified by its musty smell that will emanate inside of the environment.
Where Does Mold Grow
As mold enters into a home, it can be brought in from a variety of sources such as open doorways, windows, vents, and even air conditioning units that can bring in mold through the air. Mold also has the potential of being brought into the home on the clothing and bags of occupants of the home, as well as from our pets. Once the mold is introduced into the environment it will begin its process of growing and reproducing to spread thoroughly throughout the enclosed environment of the home.
Identifying mold inside an environment can be done by looking at the key areas in a home where mold is likely to grow and thrive. Typically, these areas where mold gravitate towards in an indoor environment includes areas where there is a leak (roofs, windows, pipes, etc.), near paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, insulation, drywall, carpeting, and even upholstered fabric.
Does Mold Smell
A big identifying factor of mold growth in a home is the smell that the mold will emit into the environment as it continues to develop within this enclosed space. The mold smell in house is unpleasant and smells particularly like moisture – almost like wet sock odor. When mold sits on the surfaces of your home it will begin to eat at and multiply on these surfaces, resulting in the release of Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOC). These compounds are known for releasing a strong odor into the air that is both musty smelling and earthy that will allow us to commonly identify mold growth in your home.
How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow?
After mold has entered into your home and has latched onto a surface to host its growth – it will begin the development process to further spread the mold throughout the environment. This is a vital component to mold growth, understanding this process and how long it takes for mold to mature and start to spread inside of an indoor environment. When mold is found in ideal conditions with optimal temperatures and high levels of humidity, then it will likely take between 24 to 48 hours for mold to germinate and begin its growth phase on the surface of your home.
Another dangerous component to growing mold in a home is the production of mold spores into the air that can lead to health issues in those who inhale/ingest these spores into their body. Mold spores will begin its colonization in 3 to 12 days after the mold has begun to grow and these spores will start to travel in the air around 18 to 21 days after the origin of the mold in the home.
Mold Growth Conditions Indoors
The reasons behind why mold has decided that a home is the perfect environment to start its development can stem from a multitude of factors. Mold is said to thrive in warm, dark environments where there is moisture present and a surface that the mold can have as a food source. Generally, moisture is an instrumental cause of mold growth since the other conditions that are needed in a home are typically already present in the home beforehand.
Humidity within the indoor environment will also play a role in mold growth – as the levels increase it will promote the growth of these funguses. Moisture intrusions in the home will also add to the increase in humidity levels, particularly if ventilation is poor within the environment.
How Does Mold Spread
Mold is a difficult contaminant to remove from a home, especially due to its rapid ability to spread throughout the whole environment both on the surfaces and in the air. The element of mold that gives this fungus the ability to spread thoroughly throughout the environment is mold spores, a reproductive spore that is produced from mold in an effort to grow the mold in the environment. Mold spores easily travel in the air and are not detected by the human eye, due to its minuscule size.
As mold spores travel in the air, they will eventually settle onto surfaces in the environment, evoking the growth of the mold on the surface. This will ultimately lead to the spreading of the mold in the confined space of a home.
How to Clean Mold in House
The remediation and cleaning of mold inside of a home is a long and drawn-out process that can take a lot of time and work to completely remove any and all traces from your environment. Mold fungi requires a source of moisture to exacerbate its growth, and thus the first step to mold remediation is to repair and eliminate the moisture source in your home – whether this be a leak, flood, or poor ventilation that has allowed the entrance of water in the home.
Second, you will want to contact a mold remediation specialist that will come into the indoor environment and properly mitigate the mold from the home. These professionals will come equipped with safety gear that they will wear during the mold removal process, this includes a high filtration face mask and vinyl gloves. Before they begin the mold remediation process, they will seal off the area in which the mold is present in preparation for its removal – sealing off an area includes plastic sheeting to block the spread of mold spores into the air. Lastly, they will have in tow a professional, high-grade air scrubber that will help to filter out the released mold spores from the indoor air of the home.
How Long Does Mold Remediation Take
Often when we are dealing with mold inside of a home and have to turn to a mold remediator to mitigate the home of this fungus the length of this process will be at the forefront of the homeowners’ mind. The actual process of remediating the mold can range depending on a number of factors within the home including the species of mold, how much the mold has grown in the indoor space, and the size of the home can all play a role in the overall duration of the mold remediation process.
Generally, the mold removal process will typically take anywhere from 1 to 5 days – which is ideal for homeowners that want to restore their home back to normal conditions quickly.
Mold Air Purifier
After the mold remediation process has concluded within your home, there is a possibility that even after a thorough remediation that some traces of mold spores will still be left lingering inside of the indoor airspace. This will lead to the need of an air purifier that is able to effectively combat and eliminate these tiny, mold spores that are left traveling in the indoor air.
The EnviroKlenz UV Air Purifier is an air purifier for mold that is effective at collecting microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and mold spores) onto the HEPA filter that is located below UVC lights that shine on the collected particle matter. This collection side UV setup, provides increased exposure to the collected particulate matter to the germicidal UVC. Along with these mold spore removal capabilities, EnviroKlenz also uses a proprietary, patented earth mineral technology that works to attack VOCs and breaks these compounds down inside the air cartridge. Ultimately, this revolutionary air purifier will be a successful aid to your indoor air, particularly after you are plagued with mold growth in your home.
EnviroKlenz UV Air Purifier Effectiveness Against Mold
The following experiment was set up to illustrate the impact of the UVC light in the EnviroKlenz Air System. Two EnviroKlenz Air Systems were set up in the same indoor air environment with HEPA filters installed. HEPA filters are designed to capture a broad range of particulate mater 0.3 microns in size and larger.
In one system the UVC light bulbs were turned on, while in the other system UVC lights were not used. The systems were allowed to collect particulate matter for 1 week. After the week of collection ended, the systems were turned off and the HEPA surface was sampled with sterile collection swaps and streaked on to the nutrient agar plates (MEA). The plates were then allowed to incubate for 10 days.
In the image above, the plates are observed. The MEA plate on the left has mold growth. This was the sample collected from the system without the UVC lights running, while the sample on the right shows the UVC light being on killed the mold and the resulting plate with no growth observed.
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