The life cycle of mold includes four stages.
1) Spore lands on a moist surface; secreted enzymes dissolve food (dead organic material.)
2) Spore germinates producing hyphae (a root system) ; enzyme process continues.
3) Hyphae grows and dig into the surface.
4) Mold grows and releases spores into the air.
To understand the life cycle of mold,
a simple analogy with a dandelion can be made.
Mold reproduces itself by releasing microscopic spores into the air, similar to a dandelion releasing seeds. Generally, a dandelion has a root structure, a stalk, and a seed releasing body at its top. Similarly, mold has a stalk-like structure with a spore-releasing body at the end. Mold even has root-like structures, although they act more as a digestive lattice than the benign roots of a dandelion. As wind blows across a dandelion, it releases its seeds to propagate itself; so too with mold. The least disturbance will cause the release of spores into the air. Some molds do not even need a breeze, and the spores simply fall around the main structure. This explains why mold often appears as small spots, or as a sort of ring. Other molds do not aerosolize easily and require active disturbance for spores to become airborne.
When spores floating in the air land in a suitable environment, they start to germinate, much like the seeds of a dandelion. The root-like structures of mold, called hyphae, then emerge. They anchor themselves into the substrate and start secreting enzymes to help it rot so that it can be absorbed. This life cycle of mold then repeats again and again.
Many people try to wipe a moldy area clean with all kinds of cleaning products, and to their surprise, they find a week later that mold reappeared. The life cycle of mold helps us understand this phenomenon.
Wiping the surface of a mold contamination
does not remove the root system (hyphae.)
As a rule, seeing mold-like substance on a wall is the tip of the iceberg, behind the wall is the real problem. If you see mold-like substance on a wall, call a professional mold assessor in your area.