Mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, with the assumption that they mean the same thing. Mildew and mold are types of fungi. However, mildew is also a type of mold.
While both are types of fungi commonly found in the home, they are quite different on the types of risks they pose and where they are often found. The treatments used for molds and mildew are also different.
Where do molds and mildew occur?
Molds often thrive on organic matter, such as clothes, paper, leather, walls, ceilings, and floors. They usually occur on surfaces where moisture is not adequately wiped off. Hanging clothes in the closet when they are still damp increases the likelihood of molds growing.
Mildew, on the other hand, occurs in shower walls, windowsills, and other places where moisture levels are high. Both fungi spread easily and quickly, often unnoticed. If left to continue growing, these fungi can cause health problems for you and your family.
How to differentiate molds from mildew
Since they both occur indoors, it is natural to confuse one for the other. Molds and mildew are different in appearance, and they also have different properties. Contact us https://www.silvercleanairatlanta.com/ for air duct cleaning services in Atlanta.
Molds have multiple identical nuclei that grow in patches, often black or green, underneath the surface of the affected material. For example, you will find molds at the corners of doors which have had moisture for a prolonged period. Mildew typically takes on a grey or white appearance. If you have house plants, you have probably noticed white or grey growths on plant leaves.
The growth patterns of mold and mildew also vary. Mildew follows a flat pattern and is usually powdery or fluffy. However, if not removed quickly, mildew changes colour to black or brown.
Molds occur in more colours than mildew, including green, blue, black, grey, white, yellow, and brown. Often, surfaces that are covered in mold start to rot if the problem is not solved.
The Impact of Mold and Mildew Growth on Affected Areas
Mildew affects plants and crops, both in the outdoors and indoors. You should, however, be more concerned about the growth in your house. When you inhale mildew spores, you can easily develop a cough, headaches, and respiratory problems.
Mold, on the other hand, can affect the structural integrity of your furniture and the various surfaces in your home, if it is left to grow unabated. The health effects of prolonged exposure to mold growth vary, from mild to severe complications. Your reaction to any given mold will depend on the type of strain. Some molds cause allergic reactions, such as sneezing, skin irritations, nasal congestion, and the irritation of the eyes and throat.
You may also experience respiratory problems, such as difficulty in breathing, pneumonia, asthma attacks, and coughing. You may also experience joint pains, migraines, extreme fatigue, inflammation, and depression. Black mold has one of the most adverse long-term health effects, especially for people with weak immune systems.
How to Test for Mold and Mildew
If you are still not sure if you have a mold or mildew problem, pour some household bleach on the affected area. After about five minutes, examine the surface to discover the fungi’s reaction to the bleach. If the growth is lighter in colour, then you are dealing with mildew. If the growth remains dark, then you have a mold problem.
When you discover the presence of mold or mildew in your home, you need to clean the surfaces properly. Ensure the ventilation in the rooms is sufficient, and that you adequately remove all the moisture from surfaces. It is always best to prevent the growth of mold and mildew because sometimes it is easy to miss it. You can do this by ensuring all moisture is wiped from surfaces, and that the rooms in your home are well aerated.