How Does Temperature Affect Mold Growth?

Temperature can either inhibit or encourage the growth of fungi like mold. Most common molds cannot grow at or below 39 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it is recommended to keep freezers and other refrigeration equipment at this temperature or lower as needed. Higher temperatures can encourage mold growth, especially on food items or moist surfaces, which high temperatures can cause due to condensation.

Temperature is the smallest factor in controlling mold growth outside of refrigeration. The majority of the most common types of mold grow at the same temperatures that humans prefer. It is the other issues, like moisture, spores in the environment and food that play the largest roles in the growth of mold. Wet or damp conditions are very good breeding grounds for mold as fungi generally like 70 percent humidity because it creates so much moisture, especially in porous material.

Any type of surface that contains carbon atoms, basically an organic substance, can be food for mold. These kinds of organic substances can be smaller and easier to spread than realized. The oil from a person’s fingers when they touch a surface can give mold a place to grow. Even soap that is not washed off of surfaces properly provides a breeding ground.