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Mold VS Mildew

If you’re familiar with the term mildew, you are also no doubt familiar with mold. The two virtually go hand in hand. Well, just because you’ve heard of mold or mildew, it doesn’t necessarily mean you know the difference between the two. In fact, you’d be surprised at the number of people that get them mixed up or think they are the same thing. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Being a specialist mold remediation company with years and years of experience in the industry, we are here to help you distinguish the major differing factors.

Mold And Mildew

To make things even more confusing, mold and mildew are both technically fungi. However, the biggest distinguishing difference goes to appearance, color in particular. Mold is generally black or green, whereas mildew is gray. To even further confuse matters, both fungi thrive and are commonly found growing in dark, damp areas. Think bathrooms, closets, basements, or crawlspaces. Mold, however, can grow on food products where mildew doesn’t.

Mold also grows in the form of multicellular filaments or hyphae while mildew has a flatter growth pattern. Knowing these differences is what will help you distinguish between the two organisms.

The Appearance

While mold and mildew can both give off foul, musty odors, it is typically the appearance that catches most people’s eyes. Most homeowners won’t realize their home has been infested with either substance until it starts to show. This can be considered a positive and a negative because appearance is the main distinguishing factor between the two.

As was previously stated, mold is generally black or green, but some species can grow anywhere from orange to brown, pink, and even purple. It also gives off a fuzzy, hairy-type appearance. Although mildew growth starts in the color of yellow, it has generally transformed into a gray color before most people recognize it.

With all that in mind, mildew can also grow to a brown, yellowish-brown, white, and even in rare cases black. Any and all presence of these two substances should be taken seriously and considered potentially dangerous until deemed otherwise by a mold specialist.

Biological Differences

In addition to a physical difference, there is also a biological difference between the two fungi. What exactly does this mean? In the simplest of terms, it means that mold is only visible to the naked eye when it starts to grow and reproduce on a surface. Mildew, on the other hand, is always detectable to the naked eye.

Along with growing on porous surfaces, mildew is typically discovered on plants, beans, maize, potatoes, tomatoes, rice, leather, paper, shower curtains, doors, window seals, and a variety of other various surfaces and materials.

Mold can be found on these surfaces and materials as well, but it is more often than not found where there is excessive moisture. The reproductions of both fungi are considered sexually and asexually.

Which Is More Dangerous

Both mold and mildew should be considered dangerous. Both will have negative health effects on those exposed for prolonged periods. After long-term exposure to both substances, one might start to notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Exacerbated allergy symptoms
  • Difficulties breathing along with additional respiratory complications
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Similar symptoms in pets
  • Dying houseplants

As for the severity of the two substances, it honestly comes down to the species and size of the growth. It is best left to a professional to make these final determinations, as disturbing growths to test them can cause the release of spores in the air.

Let The Pros Tackle Mold And Mildew Growth

Although you’ll find all kinds of home remedies, guides, and products for treating mold and mildew, these substances are best left for the pros. The reason for this is that not all species are dangerous. The only good thing about spotting the fungi is that means what you are seeing isn’t currently releasing spores. It usually isn’t until someone disturbs mold and mildew that it becomes potentially dangerous.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should just let it grow for fear of disturbing it. It just needs to be approached in the safest most efficient manner possible, and this is something we are more than familiar with. Our techs typically have to build plastic tents and barriers around growth to prevent the release of spores into the atmosphere. Give our local offices a call today to schedule your free in-home consultation.

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