Mold can grow anywhere, given the right conditions. When mold spores are present – and they are basically everywhere – they feed on organic materials and moisture, growing from invisible particles to large colonies within a matter of days sometimes.
It’s important for homeowners to know the stages of mold growth so they can spot it before it gets out of control and contact a mold remediation service in St. Louis. A basic understanding of the life cycle of mold will show you why it’s so crucial to break the cycle and reduce the mold-favorable conditions within your home.
Mold is a common allergen in the U.S. It is responsible for symptoms like headache, cough, sore throat, and itchy skin. Mold allergies tend to be worse in the winter when we keep our homes closed up tight against the cold, but mold can become a household problem at any time of the year.
Long-term mold exposure is responsible for respiratory issues in humans and animals. If you can protect the ones you love from sickness, we know you’re willing to do whatever it takes!
If you have had a leak recently or excess humidity in your home, you should do a quick home inspection to see if any of the following signs are present.
4 Stages of Mold Growth
Watch for the early stages of mold growth so you can hopefully get it under control before it’s necessary to call a professional. Beyond a certain point, mold removal can become dangerous and complex because of its ability to spread.
Knowing the extent of your mold removal capabilities is as important as being able to recognize the stages of mold growth.
Mold Growth: Stage 1
When mold spores first settle on a surface, they are undetectable. They begin to multiply, feeding on organic substances like wood, skin cells, and pet dander that have settled on those surfaces. During this stage, mold also emits enzymes that can break down the material it is attached to. This side effect of mold growth is what weakens wood and other building materials.
Thread-like cells, called hyphae, start to spread between the individual mold spores. This creates an infrastructure that will become the new mold colony. Mold becomes visible in this very first stage.
Mold Growth: Stage 2
In the second stage of mold growth, these spindly hyphae cells begin to merge. When they fuse together in certain areas, that connection is called mycelium. The mycelia are what we see developing when we identify mold with the naked eye. At this stage, it is possible for you to remove it without the assistance of a mold specialist.
Stopping mold at this stage is key, because new hyphae cells are generated from the mycelia. This is an asexual reproduction process, which means that once mold reaches this stage, it will be able to reproduce at a rapid rate as long as the conditions are acceptable.
Mold Growth: Stage 3
At stage 3, mold has entered a dangerous spreading phase and should be remediated by a professional. Otherwise, you could spread mold all over your house with ineffective cleaning and prevention practices.
During this stage of growth, the mycelium start to release newly created mold spores into the air. These spores can create new colonies wherever they land and begin the cycle all over again at stage 1 in other parts of your home. These spores can also get into your HVAC system and grow within your vents and duct work.
Mold removal teams will block off areas of your home to prevent the spread of new spores throughout your home. They also wear personal protection equipment like masks, gloves, and coveralls so that they do not breathe in released spores or have them attach to their personal clothing.
Mold Growth: Stage 4
Stage 4 is actually when the new spores land and germinate new hyphae. Mold is a hardy organism that can survive for quite a while without food, moisture, or favorable temperatures. But when the conditions become accommodating, like during the winter when we keep doors and windows closed and rely on constantly recycled air, the mold spores reactivate and thrive.
This completes the life cycle of mold and leads directly into stage 1, but in a new area of your home. In the right conditions, this cycle repeats quickly, over and over, and at an exponential rate, so you can have a mold infestation within a few weeks.
Professional Mold Remediation
As soon as mold is detected, either by a homeowner or by a reliable mold removal company like Pure Maintenance of St. Louis, it needs to be addressed right away.
Not only does mold affect your health, but it can also weaken your home’s building materials. The longer mold is present in your home, the more damage it can do.
In its early stages, and on certain surfaces, mold is easy to remove. But if it progresses too far, professional help will be necessary. The hyphae grow outward and downward, forming a root system for mold spores. This is why it becomes harder to remove the longer it grows.
These roots can remain after surface mold is removed, so you may think you have gotten it all, but before long you could see a resurgence of mold in the same area.
Pure Maintenance of St. Louis can get rid of mold in your home safely and quickly, even in severe cases. The faster you can have major mold removal done, the less you’ll have to stress about the damage it is doing to your home or to your family’s health.
After a speedy inspection, your mold specialist will be able to determine the severity of your mold problem and the degree of safety measures that need to be taken in order to remove the mold and restore your home.
Our mold remediation specialists can also advise you about how to keep mold out of your home in the future so you don’t get caught up in the endless cycle of mold remediation and regrowth. Reducing the humidity in your home and cleaning certain surfaces with anti-fungal treatments are just a couple of the recommendations they may provide.