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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Long Does it Take Mold to Grow?

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

How Long Does it Take Mold to Grow?

Interesting question. As a technician who has performed many water damage mitigations and mold remediations, the answer to this question has always been elusive.

When performing water damage mitigation work on some projects that had been wet for two or three days when we arrived, there was minimal indication of microbial growth.

If there were any indications, it was usually that “musty” odor, which we know are microbiological volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). We normally associate these odors with mold growth.

But, with no visible signs of mold growth, was mold contamination an issue? Or could the problem have been something other than mold?

On other jobs, upon arrival it was immediately apparent that the building had more issues than just being flooded. In these instances, we observed visible growth, assumed it was mold and determined that the site would have to be properly remediated.

From the 2002 New York City Guidelines of Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments, the inference was that mold would begin to grow in 24 to 48 hours. That statement was removed in the 2008 version. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its publication, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, references the time line of 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth and states that “even if materials are dried within 48 hours, mold growth may have occurred.”

While both publications do not specifically state that mold begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours, this is the generally accepted time frame used by water damage responders to determine when mold begins to grow.

So we have the inference from the guidance documents that mold can begin to grow in 24 to 48 hours. We also have personal conflicting evidence: On some losses mold seems to grow, and on other losses mold does not seem to grow.

Article source: http://www.cleanfax.com/restoration/how-long-does-it-take-mold-to-grow/

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