Know the Differences Between Mold and Mildew
If you own a home in Reading, PA, chances are you have experience with mold damage or mildew growth. You might have found some mold growth on an old rug in the basement, or some mildew on clothes or rags left in a damp area. But are mold and mildew the same?
Mold and mildew are somewhat similar, in that they both:
- Thrive in moist areas
- Like warm environments
- Are fungi that spread through spores
- Can grow on a wide variety of surfaces
But despite the similarities, mold and mildew have very distinct differences.
Mildew is a specific form of fungus that generally forms on damp surfaces, and is powdery or fluffy in appearance. It's usually found in the home on moist surfaces, fabrics, paper, and on other organic materials. Outside of the home, mildew often causes a great deal of damage to agricultural products such as potatoes and grapes. There are two main types: downy mildew and powdery mildew. Downy mildew can vary in appearance but generally starts out with yellowish spots that turn brown after a time. Powdery mildew starts out as gray or white blotches that eventually become yellow-brown. Unlike mold, mildew can be removed fairly easily with a specialized cleaner and a scrubbing brush.
Mold is usually green or black with a fuzzy or slimy appearance. It is much more invasive than mildew, as it thrives under surfaces like the interiors of walls or under floorboards. Unlike mildew, mold damage can be far more harmful and much harder to get rid of once it's established. Also, there are a much wider variety of molds, the five most prevalent being penicillium, cladosporium, aspergillus, alternaria, and stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold. Unlike mildew, a mold problem is usually much more difficult to get rid of.
Mildew can be fully eliminated with a little effort on your part, but mold damage may require the skills of a professional mold mitigation company. Eradicating mold and mildew in your home is easy if you act promptly to get rid of it.