What are the Different Stages of Mold Growth?

Mold isn't choosy about where it grows. It can flourish on carpet, food, insulation, paper and wood. The crawl space under your home is a prime target because it has organic material, moisture, oxygen and the right temperature. Understanding the phases of mold growth can make it more clear why professional treatment is necessary to get rid of it.

The Process of Mold Growth

When the conditions are right, mold begins to reproduce. It has a four-phase growth cycle that loops.

Stage 1

Mold growth starts with hyphae, which are thread-like cells that feed on cellulose, wood and other carbon-containing materials. They release enzymes that degrade and absorb nutrients like plant roots absorb nutrients from the ground. Then, the hyphae grow into a cluster or mycelium that forms the main body of the fungus that you see.

Stage 2

Next, some of the hyphae in the mycelium develop spores on the ends. The spores are cells that asexually reproduce in certain plants and fungi. Their formation, however, depends on the ambient temperature and available light and oxygen in the environment.

Stage 3

The third phase involves the mycelium releasing the spores into the air. They land in other areas but are pretty durable and resilient to inhospitable environments. The cells can stay dormant for years before they begin the growth process all over again.

Stage 4

When the environmental conditions are right, the spores begin to reproduce and germinate into new hyphae cells. Then, the cells repeat the previous stages.

Why It's Important to Eliminate Mold

Since hyphae are like plant roots, simply wiping down infested surfaces doesn't get rid of the problem. It's similar to how mowing over weeds doesn't kill them. The mold might appear to be gone, but it will return because the hyphae remains.

Although that's one reason why eliminating mold is important, it's not the only one. Mold spores can cause structural damage too. This sounds extreme, but mold only grows by feeding off of organic materials. If you don't take care of the problem in a crawl space, for example, it can degrade the integrity of your home.

In addition, some mold strains pose great risks for human health. Even if the mold in your home isn't a significant health risk, it could trigger allergies and asthma. Some of the symptoms that could arise from mold or spore exposure include

  • Cough and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Itchy, red and watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion and sneezing
  • Trouble breathing or wheezing

Since you can't just wipe mold away to get rid of it, you need expert mold treatment services. Not even bleach works because it doesn't remove airborne spores. Jersey Shore Crawlspace Enhancements can interrupt the mold life cycle and eliminate the problem at the root.

Contact Jersey Shore Crawlspace Enhancement today for an evaluation.

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