How Does Mold Grow?

by HMAC / Saturday, 01 May 2021 / Published in Uncategorized

Water damage generally refers to the defects of water on a structure of a building. Water damage can be caused by water penetrating the roof, burst water pipes, or overflowing toilets. Leaky pipes or slab leaks can also lead to water damage. But how does mold grow? Is water damage the only source? 

Areas of water damage and moisture are breeding grounds for mold. Mold is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments known as hyphae. Mold grows on moist surfaces when spores found in the air settle on moistened surfaces. These surfaces can include your walls, your foundation, under your window panes, under your floor and subfloor, and in other areas. They also include places near water leaks, areas around pipes, or in flooded areas. 

Mold growth can look like discolored splotches, fuzzy patches, and even dark mud on the walls. When it gets to this point, the mold spores go from being called hyphae to mycelium. On a micro level, the spores have sprouted and interconnected. This is how mold grows and spreads across a moist or damp surface, feeding on the material it’s growing on, such as your walls and foundation.

Keep reading below to learn more about mold growth and how to identify mold growth in your home.

Factors That Increase Mold Growth

Moisture is only one piece of the puzzle in regards to mold growth. The growth and spread of mold also rely on other factors, such as: 

  • Oxygen: Like nearly every other thing in existence, mold needs a supply of oxygen to sprout and grow in an area
  • Temperature: Antarctica doesn’t have a lot of mold because mold can’t survive and spread less than 40℉. Warmer temperatures, especially above 70℉, provide the optimal environment for mold to thrive and grow.
  • Carbon: Mold feeds on any substance containing carbon by metabolizing it on a cellular level. 

It’s not feasible to remove oxygen, carbon-based items, or keep your entire home below 40℉. Therefore, you should focus on controlling the moisture and water in your home. It’s best to strive for keeping as dry of a home as possible.

How To Identify Water Damage Before Mold Grows

Moisture causes water damage and can create the optimal circumstances for the mold to grow and spread in your home. Therefore, it’s very important to keep an eye out for water damage and act quickly. Water damage and subsequent mold growth can be identified in different ways such as; 

Look for rings:

New water damages create a darker spot on the surface with a zero ring surrounding it, while older damage will have multiple rings according to age. These rings will rarely be perfect circles too. 

Touch the spot:

Now if there’s obvious mold growth, don’t touch it. But if you’re checking for water damage, it’s ok to touch it. The texture of the spot will tell the age of the damage: a new spot will be wet but the surface will still be strong. An older spot will have a weak surface.

Check for decay: 

For decay to occur, the surface has to be exposed to consistent moving water, as surfaces don’t decay from the new water damage. If you see decay, reach out to a remediation company as soon as possible.

Mold inspection: 

Water damage forms a common mold. Most mold has a cotton-like texture with varying colors that change from white to grey to brown. Eventually, it will change to black according to the duration of the damage. Excessive and continuous moisture causes greenish-black fungi called black mold. 

Mold testing:

Mold might seem unmistakable but sometimes it makes the surface look just dirty. A quick test can be carried out by dipping a swab into diluted bleach and dap it on the wall. If the spot remains black after cleaning it is assumed to be mold.

Why is it important to remediate mold and repair water damage? 

A clean and well-maintained environment can greatly impact one’s health. An environment with mold poses a fatal threat to life as mold is toxic. Additionally, many people get an allergic reaction to mold and will have trouble breathing in its presence. As a result, water damages should be repaired immediately to promote healthy living.

Furthermore, water damage and mold degrade the integrity of the structure`s foundation. If this water damage is left unrepaired, it can be costly to repair and destroy the home’s foundation.


Water damage can be prevented by inspecting and cleaning areas near water. Once the damage has occurred, reaching out to a professional remediation company can avoid greater costs and damage.

Allied 24/7 Property Restoration

The Allied 24/7 Property Restoration is Flathead Valley’s expert in providing property restoration such as water, mold, and smoke damages and provides bio clean-up remediation. Call (406)-756-4357 to book an appointment.