Mildew is a surface fungus that can easily be identified as a patch of gray or even white fungus that is lying on the surface of a moist area. Mildew is easily treated with a store-bought cleaner and a scrubbing brush. Mold, on the other hand, can be black or green and is often the result of a much larger infestation.
The Difference Between Mold and Mildew
Mold penetrates the surface of a material. It grows inside walls and crawl spaces, or on food. Mildew can be specified as a subtype of mold. It does not penetrate the material on which it grows it stays on the surface. You can find mildew on paper, fabrics, or on damp surfaces.
Most Common Types of Mold and Mildew
The most common types of mildew are powdery and downy mildew. Downy mildew grows on flowers, while the powdery mildew is more commonly found in potatoes and grapes.
6 Types of Mold That Can Be Lurking in Your Home
- Stachybotrys – Commonly referred to as “black mold,” Stachybotrys is one of the most dangerous types of mold and can cause flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, headaches, memory loss, and severe respiratory damage.
They differ in color, place of growth, and the amount of danger they pose to your home.
The Difference in the Appearance of Mold and Mildew
Mildew is typically white, gray, or yellow and grows on the surface of moist, warm areas. Its texture is fluffy or powdery. Mildew grows in a flat pattern. On the other hand, mold tends to be green or black and it usually grows underneath the surface of anything that has gotten wet. Its texture can be fuzzy or slimy. If you see random irregularly shaped spots on your wall or other solid surfaces it is safe to assume that it is mold.
Effects…Can You Get Sick From Having Mold In Your Home?
Mold can be quite dangerous if left untreated for a long time. It has the potential to cause certain health issues. Touching or inhaling mold spores can cause allergy-type symptoms such as…
- Runny nose and congestion
- Eye irritation
- Sore throat
- Skin rash
- Lung irritation
Mildew, on the other hand, mostly affects plants and crops. If it does form indoors, it can cause coughing, sore throats, respiratory problems as well as mild headaches.
Testing for Mold and Mildew
Consumer Reports recommends against using mold test kits. All those we’ve tested have had major problems and are not reliable. What’s more, identifying the mold species growing in your home is less important than eradicating it. The best thing to do is to hire a professional to ensure you know exactly what you are dealing with. A quick DIY is to pour a few drops of household bleach on the fungi, you will be able to tell mold and mildew apart. If the fungus turns white, it is mildew. If it remains dark, it is mold.
How to Get rid of Mold and Mildew
Mildew is easy to remove. Spray it with cleaner, and scrub it with a brush. Wear gloves and a mask so you do not irritate your skin or inhale any fumes from the cleaner. Mold on the other hand is not that easy to get rid of. It spreads quickly and penetrates the surface. It can cause structural damage and is hard to see. DIY remedies are rarely effective.
How to Prevent Mold and Mildew
- Keep Healthy Humidity Levels – Mold and mildew thrive in a humid environment, so it is important to keep your humidity levels down.
- Fresh Air – Open windows help increase the ventilation in your home – and are a good way to lower indoor carbon dioxide levels.
- Green Products – Use green cleaning products.
- Dry Wet Areas – Don’t let wet areas stay wet.
- House Plants – House plants are a good way to help alleviate the problem naturally, by bringing moisture levels down in the air.
Contact us (859-525-2379) for more information or to schedule an appointment
We’re available 24/7 for questions, estimates, and emergency services. Call us day or night to speak to a technician.
Paramount Restoration performs emergency remediation throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for water, storm, fire, mold sewage damage and more seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call us day or night for an estimate – we waive 100% of the estimate fees for all calls between 8 am and 5 pm!