Spores could germinate in as little as 12 hours and with proper conditions could grow in 24-48 hours, but normally it would be 48-72 hours form the initial wetting period. The mold needs the right temperature, moisture and a food source. Houses provide food for spores with drywall, wood, and paper because when any of these get damp or wet the sporces can become mold.
There are many types of molds; they are all fungi and they have different life cycles. The mold that seems noticed by most people is black mold. Environmental conditions determine its rate of development. The presence of moisture is essential for mold growth, as is the right amount of humidity and light. Given a favorable environment, fungal spores can land on a surface, put out “roots” (hyphae strands), and grow into mycelium (the body structures that are visible to the naked eye)–all in a matter of 12-24hrs, depending on moisture levels and light exposure. I, coincidentally, cultivate mold as part of a biological pest control program. The type I grow is given optimal conditions and it takes up to 48hrs to show. So, it really depends on what species of fungi is being discussed in order to correctly answer the question.
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