Waterproof Expert

Waterproofing tips & tricks

How Fast Can Mold Grow After Water Damage? [How to Clean It]

In this guide, we’ll talk about something we all dread – mold. More specifically, how fast this uninvited guest can move in after water damage and what you can do to get rid of it.

Water damage can happen anytime, anywhere. A busted pipe, a nasty storm, or a leaky roof, and voila – you’ve got a soggy mess on your hands.

How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow After Water Damage?

Mold can start growing within 24 to 48 hours after water damage.

Mold loves damp, dark, and warm places. So, when water damage hits, it’s like a welcome mat for mold. Within just a day or two, tiny mold spores can start to spread and grow.

By the end of the week, you might even see the nasty stuff with your own eyes.

Fuzzy, discolored spots on your walls, ceiling, or floor? That’s probably mold.

What Does Mold From Water Damage Look Like?

Mold from water damage is typically black, but it can also look green. It feels slick, and moist, and it can leave a mark if you poke it.

Mold can also have different textures. Some may look powdery and others like a fuzzy patch, like your bathroom wall suddenly grew fur.

Most importantly, mold has a musty smell.

Think of a wet sock left in the gym bag for days. Not a pleasant thought, right?

How to Check for Mold After Water Damage

Start your mold hunt by visually inspecting wet or damp areas, keeping an eye out for black or greenish spots, even in hidden places like behind furniture or under carpets.

Don’t ignore any musty smells or allergy-like symptoms either.

Here are some simple steps to help you check for mold after water damage.

Look around

Start by checking areas that have been wet recently. This could be from a flood, leak, or even high humidity.

Don’t forget to check hidden areas such as behind furniture, inside closets, under carpets, and even inside your walls.

Mold loves dark, damp places!

Look Out for Unusual Colors

Look out for unusual discolorations on your walls, ceilings, or floors. Mold from water damage often looks black or greenish, but it can also be other colors.

Smell It Out

Trust your nose! Mold often has a strong, musty smell. If a room smells damp and stale, it’s possible there’s mold lurking somewhere.

Physical Symptoms

Pay attention to your health. If you or anyone in your home is experiencing allergy-like symptoms like sneezing, coughing, or itchy eyes, it could be a sign of mold.

How Do You Prevent Mold From Growing After Water Damage?

When water damage happens, time is of the essence. The quicker you can dry everything out and clean up, the less chance mold has to grow.

The first step is to dry out the area as soon as you can. Use fans, dehumidifiers, or whatever you’ve got to get rid of the moisture.

Keep the air circulating. Open windows and doors to let fresh air in and help dry out the area.

The next step is to clean the affected area with a strong cleaning solution. You can use a mixture of vinegar and water, or there are plenty of commercial options available too.

Anything that was damaged and can’t be cleaned should be thrown out. This could be carpet, furniture, or other belongings.

Keep an eye on the area over the next few weeks. If you see any signs of mold, take action immediately.

Long story short, if you spot water damage, get to cleaning right away, or better yet, call in the pros.

Mold is sneaky and can grow in places you can’t see. Even if you can’t see mold, it might be growing behind your walls, under your carpet, or in your attic.

How to Clean Mold After Water Damage

Cleaning up mold after water damage is crucial. Before starting, protect yourself. Wear gloves, goggles, and a mask to avoid exposure to mold spores.

The best approach is to buy a mold remover product and apply it to the affected area. These specialized cleaning solutions, which come in various forms such as sprays, liquids, foams, or gels, are designed to kill mold and prevent its regrowth.

They typically contain either chemical or natural ingredients that have been proven effective in killing mold spores.

If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly solution to clean up mold after water damage, consider using a stiff brush and a mixture of water and detergent.

Alternatively, a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar can also do the trick.

Use fans, or dehumidifiers to dry out the area as much as possible.

Keep in mind that mold removers can kill surface mold, they may not always reach mold hidden deep inside porous surfaces.

Porous materials like carpet, upholstery, and drywall that have been soaked and can’t be cleaned should be removed and disposed of properly.

Don’t forget to monitor the area for a few weeks for any signs of recurring mold.

What Is the Best Mold Remover to Kill Mold From Water Damage?

Finding the right product to kill mold is super important. Here are some of the best ones that are commonly recommended.

RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Remover

This product is popular for its fast-acting formula. It claims to remove mold and mildew stains in just 15 seconds!

Get it from RMR Solutions.

Concrobium Mold Control Household Cleaners

This is an EPA-registered solution that both kills and prevents mold without using harmful chemicals.

Get it from Concrobium.

Mold Armor FG502 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover

This product is known for its strong and effective formula. It’s great for tough mold and mildew stains.

Get it from Amazon.

Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover

This one is great for bathrooms. It not only kills mold but also removes ugly stains left by mildew.

Get it from Clorox.

Microban 24-Hour Bathroom Cleaner and Sanitizing Spray

This product is designed to kill bacteria and viruses, but it’s also great for tackling mold and mildew.

Get it from Microban 24.

Always remember to use these products according to the instructions on the label, and be sure to protect yourself with gloves and a mask.

Will Mold Continue to Grow if Dry?

Mold needs moisture to grow, so if an area is completely dried out, mold growth should stop. However, mold spores can still survive in a dormant state even in dry conditions.

These spores won’t grow or spread, but they’re still there.

Now, if moisture returns to the area – say from a new leak, high humidity, or condensation – those dormant spores can spring back to life and start growing again.

That’s why it’s not enough to just dry an area. You also need to clean it and remove the existing mold and spores.

Will Mold Go Away if Leak Is Fixed?

Mold won’t just magically disappear once the leak is fixed. Fixing a leak is an important step in combating mold, as it removes the source of moisture that’s helping the mold grow.

Even after the leak is resolved, the existing mold will still need to be properly cleaned and removed.

If left untouched, it can continue to spread spores and potentially cause health problems.

How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow On Wet Wood?

Mold can start growing on wet wood in as little as 24 to 48 hours. The exact time frame can depend on a few factors, such as the type of wood, the temperature, and the humidity level.

The warmer and more humid the environment, the faster mold can grow.

Mold likes moisture and organic materials, and wood provides both. That’s why it’s really important to dry out wet wood as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind, even if you can’t see the mold, that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

How Long Does It Take Mold to Grow On Wet Carpet?

Mold can start to grow on a wet carpet pretty quickly, often within 24 to 48 hours. This happens when moisture gets trapped in the fibers of the carpet and underpadding, creating a perfect breeding ground for mold.

That’s why it’s important to dry out wet carpets as soon as possible.

If a large area of carpet is soaked, or if water has been standing for more than a day or two, it’s often best to replace it to be sure you’re not left with hidden mold growth.

Do Dehumidifiers Reduce Mold?

Dehumidifiers can certainly help reduce mold. Mold loves damp, humid environments, so by reducing the humidity in your home, you’re making it less attractive for mold to grow.

A dehumidifier works by sucking in air from the room, removing the moisture, and then blowing the drier air back out.

This can help keep your home’s humidity level below 50%, which is usually recommended to prevent mold growth.

However, while dehumidifiers can help prevent new mold growth, they won’t get rid of existing mold.

If you already have a mold problem, it’s important to clean and remove the mold first, then use a dehumidifier to help keep it from coming back.

Dehumidifiers are just one part of a broader strategy for preventing mold.

It’s also important to fix any leaks, dry out wet areas quickly, and ensure good ventilation in your home.

Is Mold From Water Damage Harmful?

Mold is not just icky, it’s harmful too. It can cause health problems like allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues.

While we can make jokes about it, mold is no laughing matter. It can lead to health problems, so don’t ignore it.

If you suspect you’ve got a mold problem, it’s time to call in the pros for a proper inspection and cleanup.


Mold growth following water damage can be a pesky problem, but it’s one that needs quick attention.

Addressing the source of moisture is key, followed by thoroughly drying, cleaning, and potentially replacing affected materials.

Remember, mold can lurk unseen, so regular inspection and maintenance can go a long way in keeping your space mold-free.

When in doubt, always reach out to a professional to ensure a safe and effective mold cleanup.

Scroll to top