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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Mold Needs to Grow

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

In our last blog we talked about the fact that mold can be found almost everywhere and how it spreads.  Today we’ll talk about what mold needs to grow.  For the most part, mold needs basically the same things that plants need to grow.  It needs:    

  • Water or moisture
  • Oxygen
  • Food
  • Warmth

The specifics of these things vary slightly for mold.  For example, mold does not need a certain amount of water or rainfall.  Mold does just fine with condensation, a small amount of moisture, or even a high level of humidity (moisture) in the air.  In addition, instead of soil, mold feeds on any organic material.  Examples of organic materials in our homes and businesses would be wood, textiles, and paper.  The mold hyphae produces an enzyme that breaks down the organic material into a digestible food source.   

As for warmth, mold doesn’t require much.  It thrives anywhere between 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  That said, temperatures below freezing do not kill mold.  Instead the mold spores go dormant unless or until the temperature goes above freezing.  And while mold can thrive in any temperature above freezing and up to 120 degrees, it does best between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit.  The chances of mold growth are greatly heightened between those temperatures. 

Where plants and mold differ is in their need for sunlight.  While plants need sunlight, mold can not grow under ultraviolet light. 

In our next blog we will talk about things you can do to help prevent mold.   

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