The Main Differences Between Mold and Mildew
Mold and Mildew Are Both Types of Fungi That Are Commonly Found in the Home.
They thrive in moist environments, spread easily, and live on various surfaces which makes them very difficult to get rid of. If left unattended, however, the harmful microorganisms can quickly affect large areas of your property and may even result in health problems and structural damage. While the two types of fungi share many common features, they pose different risks and respond to different treatment.
So, in order to come up with an efficient cleaning strategy and ensure the safety of your living environment, you need to understand the difference between mold and mildew.
What Is The Difference Between Mold And Mildew?
Mildew can be described as a specific type of mold. Mold is a fungus that contains multiple identical nuclei and grows in the form of black or green patches which penetrate beneath the surface of the affected material. Mildew, on the other hand, has flat growth that remains on the surface where it can be easily removed. While mold usually grows on food or inside permanent structures, such as walls and crawl spaces, mildew is to be found on damp surfaces, paper, fabrics, and various organic materials in your home.
Common Mildew Types
Primarily, mildew is a plant disease that causes great damage to crops and plants. It is classified as powdery and downy:
Mainly affects flowering plants and first appears as white or gray patterned splotches that gradually become yellowish brown or black as the fungus grows
Commonly found in agricultural products, such as grapes and potatoes. Its appearance varies depending on the type of surface it grows on, but usually downy mildew starts as yellow spots that eventually turn brown.
Common Mold Types
Although the number of mold species that can live indoors exceeds 10,000, most household molds belong to one of the following five types:
Grows on walls, in showers, around windows, under sinks and in various other damp places. It is often found in buildings that have suffered some kind of water damage. Alternaria mold can appear black, grey, or dark brown and has a wooly or down-like texture.
The most common type of mold found indoors. It can look grey, brown, yellow, green, white, or black. Aspergillus mold usually grows on walls, insulation, paper products, and clothing.
Unlike many other molds,Cladosporium can grow in cool areas. It usually appears on fabrics, such as carpets or curtains, and on wood surfaces, like cabinets and floorboards. It has a characteristic black or olive-green color and can cause a variety of respiratory problems.
Can be found on various materials that have been in contact with water, including carpeting, wallpaper, insulation, and mattresses. It looks blue or green and produces strong musty odors. Penicillium spores spread very easily.
Is often referred to as “black mold” because of its color, is the most dangerous kind of household mold – it produces toxic compounds called mycotoxins that can cause severe health problems. The toxic black mold has a characteristic musty odor and usually grows in areas that are constantly damp – around leaky pipes, inside air conditioning ducts where there is a lot of condensation, etc.
How To Tell The Difference Between Mold And Mildew?
There are several crucial differences in the appearance and properties of mold and mildew that will help you recognize the type of indoor fungi you have discovered in your home:
Differences in Appearance
Typically, mold appears black or green while mildew looks gray or white. Yet, there are some more detailed specifics in the appearance of the fungi:
Usually grows in a flat pattern and appears either powdery or fluffy. It can be easily identified as a patch of white, gray, or yellowish fungus that is lying on the surface of a moist area. Mildew usually turns black or brown over time.
Usually fuzzy or slimy in appearance. It appears as irregularly shaped spots that can have different colors – blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black, or white. Oftentimes, surfaces that are covered in mold begin to rot.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE Today – (302) 392-6000
Differences in the Effects
Both mold and mildew need to be taken care of in a quick and efficient manner as they can cause a lot of trouble over time:
Usually affects plants and crops. If it develops indoors, however, it can also pose health risks.
Can result in considerable structural damage when left unattended for a long time. Prolonged exposure can cause a variety of health problems, depending on the strain of mold.
How to Prevent Mold and Mildew
The most efficient way to prevent mold and mildew in your home is to keep all the areas dry and moisture-free. Maintain a humidity level of about 40-50% inside the house (a dehumidifier provides the most advantageous solution for ensuring appropriate indoor humidity), have your heating and cooling systems regularly inspected, keep air ducts clean and in good condition, ensure good air circulation inside the premises, fix any leaks in the bathroom, kitchen or other areas.. Remove any mildew-affected plants and weeds as soon as you notice them in order to prevent mildew infestation.
How to Clean Mold and Mildew
The safest and most efficient way to get rid of a mold and mildew problem is to call a SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE. Our highly trained professionals will come to your home to assess the situation and determine the extent of the damage and appropriate actions.
A surface fungus that can be efficiently treated with a commercially available cleaner and a scrubbing brush. Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a facial mask to prevent inhaling mildew spores, as well as to avoid breathing in fumes given off by the cleaning product you use. Clean all the surrounding areas carefully as well, to ensure that all the fungi have been successfully removed.
Mold, on the other hand, attaches to the affected materials with microscopic filaments that penetrate beneath the surface. The mold spores spread very easily and can quickly affect large areas of your property and result in permanent damage. Despite its characteristic musty smell, mold is only visible to the eye when the colonies start growing, so early detection and prevention is very difficult. Mold can have a very negative impact on your health, so DIY removal attempts are not recommendable.
Mold Remediation and Restoration
If you suspect that your Bear home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE can inspect, assess and remediate your property.
Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by reviewing these mold damage tips.