Mold VS Mildew – What’s the difference?
Most people often mistake mold and mildew for each other. Even though they are naturally occurring fungi that can significantly impact health and well-being, they are not the same thing. Knowing what is mold and what is mildew can help you in distinguishing between the 2 and using the necessary techniques to eliminate them. As such, the team at All Clear Environmental would like you to know about the differences between mold and mildew.
Mold VS Mildew: Differences
Mold is a type of fungus that produces three-dimensional hyphae as it grows. These multicellular filaments appear as patches (usually black or green in colour) on various surfaces in warm but moist environments. Mold can have a deteriorating effect on surfaces, causing them to lose physical stability and break down quickly. It can also create serious health problems, especially for those with allergies or weak immune systems. Mildew, on the other hand, is a specific type of mold that visually presents as a powdery or soft growth on surfaces (usually white, gray, or yellow in colour). It can be usually found in damp places such as bathrooms and basements. Even though mildew is less likely to affect health, it still has serious impacts on the stability and integrity of objects. Therefore, while mildew is a type of mold, the two fungi have very striking contrasts in how they appear, how they grow and their effects on their surroundings.
How to remove mold and mildew
Mold and mildew can be handled with some simple DIY techniques. These include:
- Using soap and water to scrub the affected area and rinsing with water is an effective technique. However, it is not recommended for toxic growths.
- A mixture of vinegar and water sprayed on the affected area will kill the growths and then the area can be scrubbed clean.
- A paste made by mixing baking soda and water can also be used to scrub away mold and mildew.
- Hydrogen peroxide mixed with water and sprayed on the affected area can also cleanse it of fungi. Wait 10 minutes after application, then scrub the area and rinse thoroughly.
- Many mold and mildew cleaners are available commercially.
However, these chemicals can be toxic and corrosive so you should handle them with care. Do note that these are all short-term fixes and cannot address the underlying cause that led to the mold and mildew problem in the first place.
Why mold and mildew removal should be cleaned professionally
Even though it can be done by the average person, cleaning up these fungal growths is a task best left to professionals. There are a few reasons for this determination.
- Mold and mildew have been known to create aerial particles that trigger allergies, irritation of respiratory passages and even poisoning. This can have severe health consequences, especially for those with existing conditions like asthma and allergies. Professional cleaners come equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to fungal particles.
- Without the proper measures to contain and remove the growths, mold and mildew grow and spread at an alarming rate to all areas of your building. In doing so, they increase the risk they pose to health and property. This makes it dangerous for the typical person to handle without expert help. Experts will have the necessary equipment and techniques to properly corral and eliminate the fungus.
- Mold and mildew tend to grow in spaces that are hard to find and hidden like ducts and behind walls. These areas are very difficult to access and might be overlooked by the average homeowner or building manager. An expert cleaner can search the building thoroughly to find these hidden growths and remove them safely.
- The damage that these fungal growths can cause is extensive. Fixing that may require some renovation like replacing insulation, drywall and the like. The professionals are capable of assessing the damage and carrying out the necessary fixes to fully resolve the problem.
ALL CLEAR ENVIRONMENTAL – Ontario’s leaders in mold removal
Identifying and removing mold and mildew in your house is necessary to maintain the structural integrity of your home and the health of its residents. While mold and mildew removal can be handled by anyone, it is best left to those with the tools and expertise required. Please contact us if you have any concerns about mold removal. All Clear Environmental has eliminated all kinds of mold and mildew from various buildings in Ontario for over 10 years. Our team’s skill set in mold removal and deep cleaning is top-notch, as is our dedication to keeping your family and property safe.