General Question

Jude's avatar

Say, that you had a water leak in your basement and water damaged the drywall, how long would black mold take to develop?

Asked by Jude (31980 points ) September 29th, 2010

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think I would wait to find out. I think insurance should cover fixing the damage. If black mold gets in—well, you probably already know how bad that is.

I would think it could arrive in a few months. I have a sink in my basement where the water from the clothes washer drains. There’s usually a coating of water there, and every few months or so, the mold gets populous enough that I can smell it upstairs, and I have to go clean it out. I don’t know what kind of mold it is, but it goes when I clean it.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It depends on so many other factors that it’s really not possible to say.

If it was a small leak, and temporary, then it might damage the drywall only, and never do more. If it’s a big leak and keeps flowing with some speed (and filling the basement, or making the sump run continuously), then it might never form mold (mold doesn’t grow in a “stream”). And if the basement is maintained very dry (low humidity) then the mold also may not form.

So you can’t say with any assurance.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It can grow pretty quickly depending on the conditions. In your climate I would guess within a week maybe. The problem is by the time you can see it, it’s pretty serious. Have a professional take a look if your at all suspicous it may be there.

JLeslie's avatar

Even if mold does grow, it doesn’t mean it will be black mold. I agree with people above, depends a lot on the ongoing conditions of the property.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I used to inspect hotels and worked fairly closely with the design and construction architects who knew about mold issues more than I did. Here is what I’ve learned from them and seeing some serious mold problems in action.

Water can cause wall and floor damage, but it isn’t a given that it will be a breeding ground for mold. If the water leak is stopped quickly and the structure is allowed to dry quickly, there is a good chance of preventing mold.

It is more likely to occur when:
* structures are subjected to water for a period of time
* there is a large variance in temperature between one side of the wall and another
* there is a material that the mold can feed on, such as wall paper adhesive or floor tile glue

And JLeslie is correct. It isn’t always black. Keep an eye out for pink spots if there is wall paper involved.

john65pennington's avatar

There is a house close to where i live, that has at least 12 families move in and out of it. wife and i could not determine why this was occuring, until one day a contractor began taking dark drywall out of the house. then it hit us…..mold. one family had eight children and i am amazed that none of the children were seriously sick, because of the mold.

Mold and mildew does not show immediately. the variables are great. but, some mold and mildew will produce runny eyes and noses in some people. i would think this would be a major clue as to when you either need to move or call a contractor.

perspicacious's avatar

It depends on the climate but it will not take long. Generally wet sheet rock should be replaced.

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