Mold is a living organism, and just like any other living organism, it needs food to grow. Chances are good you’ve seen mold growing on foods like fruit or bread, but there are many other “foods” mold can eat to survive. So what does mold feed on, and what does mold need to grow? The answers always surprise our MoldGone customers! 

What Does Mold Feed On?

Because mold is a living creature, it needs food in order to survive. This is why foods like fruits, vegetables, bread, and meats are also great “food” for mold. However, mold can feed off of almost any type of organic material or natural substance that will eventually break down and decompose.  

Other types of organic materials that can feed mold include:

  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Textiles

Clients ask us all the time, “how does mold grow on walls?” Most walls contain cellulose materials such as wood and paper, making them the perfect food buffet for mold. For this reason, we suggest our clients protect their walls with mold-resistant paint if possible. 

How Does Mold Grow? 

In addition to food, there are a few other elements that mold needs in order to survive. These include moisture, warmth, air, and darkness. 


Water is vital to mold growth, but it doesn’t need much. Just a bit of condensation around a window or collected on the ceiling of a bathroom is all mold needs to latch on and grow. If you’ve had any flooding in your bathroom, kitchen, or basement, you will definitely want to check for mold right after cleaning up as it makes the perfect breeding ground for mold. 


Mold enjoys warm indoor temperatures because warmth helps it latch on to damp, organic materials. When a home’s temperature is high, it takes longer for any humidity or lingering dampness to evaporate. Running the fan or opening the doors and windows in a bathroom after a hot shower will help collected moisture escape and lower the room temperature. 


Just like all living creatures on this planet, mold needs air—mainly oxygen—to live. It does not need a ton of oxygen to survive, which is why it can still grow in closed-off spaces. While good ventilation is important for preventing mold, good insulation is important, too. Your insulation helps keep outside air from carrying mold spores into your home. 


Sunlight is the natural enemy of mold and will kill most molds and spores. Mold grows best in dark places—behind the walls, under rugs, in basements, and in the darker corners of your home. No matter how many windows you have in your house, there will always be dark spots for mold to thrive, which is why it’s important to prevent dampness. 

Mold Remediation in Maricopa County 

What does mold feed on? Any organic material! From drywall to wood flooring, a house is almost entirely built of potential “food” for mold. This is why it’s very important to keep an eye out for mold—especially toxic black mold—spreading in your home. 

The qualified team at MoldGone can provide a mold inspection of your entire house, top to bottom, inside and out. Call us today at 480-418-7228 today to schedule a free informal inspection to check for any mold growing in your home.  

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash