Updated: Feb 22, 2019
You’re cleaning your home and find spots that may possibly be mold or mildew, but you just aren’t sure how to tell the difference. This is a common occurrence and understandably so, since both of them flourish in environments conducive to moisture and warmth. The main concern is that you are aware it could affect the health of you and your family, so getting rid of it as soon as possible is your goal. Here we will explain the differences.
What is the Difference between Mildew and Mold?
The easiest way to determine if what you’re seeing is mold or mildew is in its appearance. Mildew forms on surfaces and has a powdery appearance, with a tint of yellow or sometimes white or gray color. Mold, however, develops below the surface and when it makes itself visible by seeping through walls, wood, etc., it will be slimy or fuzzy with tints of black or green.
The Effects of Mold Vs. Mildew
Both mildew and mold are fungi, but mold is much more dangerous than mildew. It is common to find mildew growing near food in the kitchen, or clothing in the laundry that has been exposed to moisture for extended periods of time, basically destroying these types of items it comes in contact with. However, although it will develop in moist rooms around the corners of windows, mirrors, or even the tile floors, it will not cause long-term damage to surfaces. The presence of mildew may cause breathing difficulties, headaches and coughing, so disinfect to prevent health issues.
On the other hand, because mold is underneath the surface, it is much more difficult to clean up. Oftentimes, mold remediation treatments are necessary. The effects of mold can be long lasting and not only will it damage vehicles, buildings, homes, and entire structures; it can be harmful to your family. Mold has been linked to various health issues, which include migraines, depression, heart and respiratory issues, and inflammation. Some individuals have experienced allergic reactions to mold and suffer from symptoms such as sneezing or throat and eye irrigation.
How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew
Another notable distinction between mildew and mold is getting rid of it. Mildew can be removed from surfaces by applying some elbow grease with a scrubbing brush and a cleaner designed to tackle mildew. However, mold is much more difficult. As stated earlier, mold occurs below the surface and because it is a fungus it will spread. Mold will cause damage to foundations and interior walls and the only reliable way of determining the extent of damage and ensure it is properly removed is to seek the advice of professionals.