Is there a difference between mold and mildew? Can we prevent either or both from growing in our home?
Mold and mildew are not the same but they do share a number of key characteristics. Both are common types of household fungi and both thrive in damp, humid environments. They are both destructive and beneficial. They both spread from surface to surface easily. To better understand the differences, first we need to know what each is.
Mildew is a kind of mold and is known as a surface fungi. Mildew grows on top of flat surfaces and does not penetrate surfaces and grow into the material. Mildew needs the same elements (warmth, darkness, oxygen, and moisture) mold needs to grow. Mildew can grow and spread just as quickly as other molds, but it can be treated without much trouble. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), mildew is considered to be early stage mold.
Mold is a living organism that belongs to the kingdom Fungi, meaning mold is a type of fungus. Mold cannot make its own food like plants do so it must gain nutrients from other organic substances. Mold does not really eat its food, but it does absorb nutrition from other organisms by secreting enzymes that break down the food substance into smaller organic molecules that can then be absorbed.
Did you know that there are than 100,000 species of mold? Luckily, only about 80 have the potential to cause health effects to humans.
Now that we know the similarities between the two and what each one is, let’s look at what makes them different:
- They both affect the home but cause different types of damage. Mildew usually causes less damage than mold and the damage is usually more cosmetic.
- Mildew’s tendency to only grow on flat surfaces is another of the main differences that exist between the two.
Here is how we help can prevent both mold and mildew from growing in our home:
- Keep everything dry if possible.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity at a safe level for your home.
- Change air filters regularly.
- Use your eyes to look for signs of mold or mildew growth.
Why Choose SERVPRO of Point Pleasant?
We are highly trained mold remediation specialists and have the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. We also use advanced mold remediation techniques and equipment