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Mold Fact: Does It Die When It Dries Out?

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Facts About Mold: Does Mold Die When It Dries Out?

Are you worried about the mold that is growing in your home or business? Does it feel like no matter what you do, the mold never goes away? If you have ever asked yourself, “does mold die when it dries out?”, you are not alone.

In this article, you will learn everything about dry mold including its potential health risks, growth conditions, removal, and more. So read on to find out how to deal with dry mold and keep your home or business mold-free!

RPF Environmental can help you with mold identification and effective remediation planning with our mold inspection services. We serve various industries in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and other areas nationwide. Reach out to us now!

Overview: What Causes Mold to Grow & Where It Grows

Mold can be a troublesome problem for many businesses and homeowners. But what are the conditions for mold to survive and where can you find them in your home or business?

According to the EPA, mold can grow on organic materials like wood, paper, food, carpet, and insulation as long as oxygen (especially humid air) and moisture are present. You can find them anywhere from your bathroom and kitchen to your attic and basement if these conditions are met.

What Happens to Mold When It Dries Out?

Dried mold will become temporarily inactive like a colony in hibernation. They can remain dormant for years and won’t easily go away. But once the airborne spores land on damp surfaces, they will grow and spread more rapidly.

The only difference between dry mold and active mold is that dry mold can’t produce that many spores. However, being dry makes them lighter so they become airborne easier and spread faster throughout your home. Thus, there is a possibility that they can pose a greater threat to your family’s health and home or business compared to active mold.

Does Mold Stop Growing When Dry?

Mold spores won’t continue to grow when they are dry. But as we said, they will just become dormant (some even for centuries) and won’t die until the right environmental conditions form and cause them to grow back. 

Can Mold Grow Without Moisture?

Mold won’t grow without moisture because it is one of the basic requirements for mold to survive. However, keep in mind that there are different types of mold and their moisture requirements will differ depending on the species. In fact, some will only require minimal moisture to thrive.

A slight increase in humidity and a bit of moisture can reactivate dormant mold spores. Thus, simply getting rid of moisture and humidity won’t be enough to kill mold in your home. You need to clean up the mold completely.

Is Dry Mold Dangerous to Your Health?

Is Dry Mold Dangerous to Your Health?

Yes! Dry mold is just as dangerous as active mold because as we’ve mentioned, they can still release mold spores. This can endanger your family members with respiratory complications and compromised immune systems.

Moreover, inhaling the spores can cause them to grow in your body, especially inside lung cavities, and cause medical issues. Also, spores from inactive mold can still cause allergic reactions such as sore throat, wheezing, and itchy eyes. Symptoms will be worse for people with existing medical conditions and may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ulcers, blisters, or scabs on the skin
  • Sinus symptoms

How Can You Tell if You Have Dry Mold in Your Home or Business?

The most common signs of mold infestation in your home/business are stains, rotten smell, and allergic reactions to mold. So if you notice any unusual stains on your walls, floor, and other surfaces as well as experience the symptoms we mentioned above, better get your home inspected for mold infestation.

Read further on what mold in the house smells like here.

Best Ways for Removing Dry Mold From Your Home

Even dry mold can cause health concerns. So you need to remove any visible mold, dry or active, if you want to protect your loved ones. However, take note that mold cleanup will depend on the size of the infestation and type of the surface.

You can handle small mold colonies yourself, but EPA recommends consulting a specialist for ones that are more than 10 square feet. Also, you can clean hard and nonporous surfaces with water and detergent, but disposing of infested fabrics and carpets might be the best solution.

You can also read our blog about using bleach to kill mold here.

How to Prevent Dry Mold from Returning

The EPA recommends taking steps such as using exhaust fans, fixing leaky plumbing, and reducing humidity and condensation to help prevent mold infestation. So if you’re concerned about mold growth in your home, be sure to take these preventive measures!


Do mold spores ever die?

Mold spores won’t die even without moisture. The only way they do is when you completely get rid of them.

Does inactive mold need to be removed?

Yes, you need to clean surfaces with inactive mold because they can be reactivated by moisture. Disinfecting the surface alone won’t be enough. Also, since dry mold is lightweight compared to active molds, it can easily travel through the air. They can land on damp areas in your home where they can grow back and start colonies which can cause serious respiratory problems.

How long does mold last without moisture?

Mold can last for a long time even without moisture. They just become dormant until exposed to the right conditions which causes them to start germinating and grow within 24-48 hours.


Mold spores don’t die and will grow back and multiply after a long time of inactivity once moisture is introduced. They can still cause health complications and need to be removed before they start to grow back and spread throughout your home or business. In fact, dry mold can be more dangerous than active mold because they are lighter and can easily spread around your home through the air. Removing them completely is the only solution to kill mold.

Do you have a mold problem in your business or home? Contact RPF Environmental for affordable mold inspection services. We serve homeowners, businesses, government institutions, and other industries nationwide!

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