Mold Vs Mildew What Is Mold
Molds are organisms which are neitherplant nor animal. They are part of the fungi kingdom. Molds also digest oreat the material they are growing on. The role of mold is to breakdown decaying organic matter such as dead plants, leaves or dead animals.
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors but is considered most dangerous when found growing indoors. There are hundreds of thousands of species of mold ranging from toxic, to allergenic, to pathogenic.
Mold needs moisture, oxygen, a comfortable temperature, and a food source to grow.
For more information about the basics of mold, please check out my Mold Facts page.
Advantages Of Professional Mold Inspection Services
Unlike ordinary mildew with its flat growing patterns, molds attach to materials with microscopic filaments that penetrate beneath surfaces. Its invasive growth quickly spreads through sheetrock and wood causing permanent damage to your homes structure.
Its hard to tackle mold with DIY remedies because the fungus grows in areas that you cant see or access.
The safest way to determine the extent of a mold problem is to call in a company that handles inspections and mold testing here in Chicago, IL or your area.
A mold remediation contractor determines the type of mold in your home, its location throughout the house and the best course of action for addressing its source.
Professional mold removal services are often the safest way to eliminate this potentially dangerous problem.
Why Test For Mold
Sometimes odours, stains and discoloration that you think are the results of mold can, in fact, be caused by smoke, dirt and debris, minerals or insects. Other times, symptoms you attribute to the common cold are actually caused by exposure to mold.
If you suspect that you have a mold problem, a mold test is the only way to get reliable answers to your worries. Only after professional testing will you be able to confirm the presence of mold and to move forward with remediation, which is absolutely crucial.
Remember, its not mold until its tested, so contact the mold experts at Mold Busters today to book your appointment!
Read Also: Ultraviolet Light Mold Removal
How To Clean Mold
To clean surface mold, you can also reach for plain white distilled vinegar. Spray the area liberally and let it sit for a while before wiping or scrubbing. You can also reach for hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach as you would with mildew . Or, try a product like RMR-86 which can be used to combat both mold and mildew.
If youâre painting a room in your home that is generally prone to humid and moist conditions , you can also reach for Mold Primer to help prevent fungi from growing before it starts.
And, if you are asthmatic or have allergy issues, it is a good idea to consider investing in an air purifier or dehumidifier to help keep the air clean and breathable. Also, check for any leaks in your home. The EPA says moisture control and prevention is key in the case of mold, which may be practically impossible to remove entirely if it has infested walls and interiors.
Please note that there are some cases in which professional services are required for cleaning mold. If you are experiencing symptoms, if you have a large area of mold in your home , if you canât find the source of a moldy smell, if your home has been flooded or if you donât think you can do the job effectively yourself, you may need additional help.
Black Mold Vs Mildew How To Diy
Removing mold and mildew can be a DIY project, but its a good idea to know when to call the pros. Our tips for mold and mildew removal help you know what products to use, and what not to use. We can help you clean up the problem area safely. Whether you choose to DIY or have us help you, we want to help you get back to living your best life!
You May Like: How To Remove Black Mold From Shower Grout
Characteristics Of Mold And Mildew
As mentioned previously, mildew is a type of mold. Due to this, mold and mildew have more similarities than differences. Both mold and mildew are fungi that can be found in homes, thrive in moist conditions, and may cause symptoms such as stuffy nose, itchy eyes, wheezing and skin irritation from exposure. The differences between mildew and mold can be found in the way they grow and where they may grow.
Is It Mold Or Mildew
As soon as we see something black growing on our bathroom tiles, the immediate assumption is mold growth. It could also be mildew, you know! Do not worry if you thought mold and mildew are the same.
A lot of people do, too. They do have a lot of similarities between them, maybe because both belong to the fungus family.
Commonalities start from their appearance to their preferred living conditions. There are some differences that you can keep in mind so you wont be confused.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Mold From Leather Bag
How Does Mold Grow
Just like any other living being, mold needs water to grow. As a matter of fact, without water, mold cannot grow at all. Other factors that are crucial for mold growth are food source, oxygen and temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does that mean that by removing the main mold growth factors, we can eliminate mold once and for all?
Sadly, the answer is no. It is almost impossible to keep a place mold-free mainly because you cannot eliminate oxygen from a place and actually stay at that place, nor can you build a house without any organic materials such as wood, carpet, plants, etc.
What you can is focus on:
If you want to ensure a healthy living environment, its important to know the common causes of mold and repair them sooner rather than later. And when in doubt, contact the mold experts at Mold Busters.
Issues That Cause Mold And Mildew
Moisture is the chief cause behind the growth of mold and mildew. Mold spores entering your home are inevitable this is difficult to stop. But you can stop the factors that help mold and mildew to grow. Besides moisture, lack of sunlight, poor ventilation, and dirt and debris can cause mold and mildew to grow. Because of this, mold and mildew tend to develop in the home:
- Under carpeting
Also Check: How To Mold A Leather Holster
Know When To Clean And When To Call
Its easy to take care of mold and mildew as a homeowner, but its also a good idea to know when to call in the pros. You should be able to take care of mildew yourself, but if it keeps coming back, or is causing health problems for your family, you may want to call in the pros. It might just be mold, not mildew.
Mold is great at hiding in hard to detect locations such as in drywall, under sinks, and in carpet. If the area of mold covers more than about 10 square feet, there is a good chance the mold problem is more than an isolated issue. If you smell a musty odor in your home you cant identify, or have health problems associated with mold, its time to call in the professionals.
To learn more about what mold removal really looks like check out our post: Home Mold Remediation.
Especially if you dont live in our service area, check out our post: How to Choose the Best Black Mold Removal Company. We help you know all the questions to ask and all the answers!
Mold And Mildew Prevention Tips
The best way to handle mold and mildew? Make sure it can never grow in the first place. With a few basic preventative measures, you can protect your home from these harmful fungi:
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Mold In Basement
Mold Prevention And Removal
The best way to prevent mold is to remove water and moisture sources. Fix leaks, dry damp areas and remove humidity from the air to help stop mold growth and keep it from coming back.
To remove mold:
If the mold returns quickly or spreads, there may be an underlying problem, such as a water leak. Report repeated mold problems to your landlord.
If large areas of mold are present, you may need outside help such as a professional mold abatement company. Be sure your contractor is licensed and follows NYS Labor Law requirements.
To report a large amount of mold in an apartment if you are a tenant, or if the mold is in a non-residential location, submit a complaint online or call 311.
Different Types Of Mold
Unfortunately, not all mold types are the same, but we can roughly divide them into 3 big types:
Now that you know what mold actually is, you should also understand what causes it.
Read Also: Mold On Shower Ceiling
What Are Mold And Mildew
Both mold and mildew are fungi, meaning they are from their own taxonomic kingdom between animals and plants. Unlike plants, fungi dont contain chlorophyll, and therefore cant produce their own food from light. Instead, they need to absorb nutrients from their external environment. Fungi take nutrition from organic substances.
Both mold and mildew reproduce either sexually or asexually by generating spores. The spores are released and, if they find a suitable environment, are able to create a new fungal body elsewhere.
Spores can travel by air or by water. Mold and mildew can start to grow within 24-48 hours, and release spores within 3-12 days.
Mold Vs Mildew: The Main Differences Between Mold And Mildew
· Updated 03/27/2020
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.
Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that can thrive indoors and affect your health or cause structural damage to your property.
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.
Recommended Reading: Remove Mildew From Bathroom Ceiling
Differences Between Mold And Mildew
Though we list how mold and mildew differ by appearance, where they like to grow, and the effects they can have on surfaces and your body, we should note that its essential to take all fungal growths seriously. Knowing what type of fungus is growing in your home is not as important as taking immediate steps to remove it.
How To Prevent Mold And Mildew
- Keep things clean.
- Increase ventilation in the affected area with exhaust fans.
- Install dehumidifiers to reduce humidity.
- Ensure that sources of natural ventilation such as windows remain open, if possible.
- Make sure that sources of mechanical venting such as HVAC vents remain open and unblocked.
- Inspect vents for clothes dryers and ensure that vents are clean and that they are attached.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling
Hiring A Mold Remediation Specialist
According to the EPA, if you find mold spores growing on studs, subflooring, your HVAC system, or drywall in an area that exceeds nine square feet, its best to hire a professional mold removal service. Improperly treating serious infestations can cause cross-contamination to other areas.
Factors to consider
- When hiring someone to clean mold, check references and ask about their approach. You want to make sure theyre as thorough as possible.
- The mold remediation cost will vary by where you live and the seriousness of the infestation, but you can expect to pay between $500 and $4,000.
- The time it takes to remediate mold will depend on how much mold is present, where its growing in your home, and the type of material its growing on. Most mold remediation takes one to five days, but very serious cases of toxic mold can take weeks or months.
Where Does Each Type Of Fungus Grow
Both mold and mildew can grow quickly in warm, moist places. But each type seems to have a preference when it comes to where to start growing. Mildew is often found on items that have damp surfaces, with fabric, paper and leather being some common household items that might end up with mildew after they get wet. Mildew is also sometimes found on the floors, walls or ceilings of areas with lots of humidity, such as bathrooms, kitchens or basements. While mildew can also grow on the surface of agriculture such as potatoes or grapes mold is most often the type of fungus found on food, such as cheese, bread or meat. Additionally, its not uncommon to find mold in indoor or outdoor spaces that have gotten wet, such as sheds, crawl spaces, garages and boats.
You May Like: How To Remove Black Mold From Bathroom Ceiling
How Can You Prevent And Treat Mold And Mildew In Your Home
Now that we have gone over how mold and mildew are different, you probably want to know how you can prevent and treat both in your home. Prevention is always the best method for keeping your family healthy and your home free of damage.
How can you prevent mold and mildew from growing?
- Keep all surfaces dryYour bathroom and kitchen are prone to damp surfaces. Keeping them dry will go a long way in preventing mold and mildew. Also, remember to leave your washing machine open between uses so it can air out.
- Use a dehumidifierTo prevent mold and mildew from growing, keep your home at an ideal humidity level .
- Change your air filters regularlyHVAC filters, as well as HEPA filters, are prone to growing mold and mildew. When you change them often, you are preventing this.
- Inspect for mold and mildew regularlyThe earlier you catch it, the easier it will be to treat.
- Keep the air in your home circulatingStagnant air traps humidity, which creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. Keep the air flowing in your home by opening windows and using fans.
- Use an indoor air purifierIndoor air purifiers like the Molekule device can remove mold spores from the air in your home, helping to prevent them from forming clusters and growing. The Molekule unit is especially a good choice for mold, because it will destroy it completely, leaving no risk for it to grow on the filter surface and be released back into the air.
Symptoms And Health Risks
There are some common symptoms that youll begin to suffer from when exposed to mold & mildew:
- Allergic reactions: Fever-type symptoms
- Asthma attacks triggered
- Eye, skin, nose, throat, and lung irritation
- Excessive coughing or difficulty breathing shortness of breath or tight chest
- Headaches, various pains, and more
These are some of the less serious side effects of exposure. More serious and extreme consequences can include:
- Infections of the skin or mucous membranes
- Vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss
- Chronic bronchitis
- Memory loss, brain fog, bleeding lungs, blindness, and brain damage
While less common than the first ones I listed, dont take it for granted. In fact, Ive had a reader message me about the second list these symptoms have to be taken seriously!
Don’t Miss: Cleaning Mold In Basement
Health Effects Of Mold Vs Mildew
Prolonged exposure to mold spores can cause health problems such as allergic reactions and respiratory problems, due to the toxins it produces.
Mildew can cause damage to crops and other plants it infests. Inhalation of mildew can cause coughing, headache, scratchy throat and lung problems. Mildew can also start growing in lungs and cause other serious health problems.