mold behind wallpaper

What is the difference between mold and mildew?

Mold and mildew are the great enemies of every home. If you live in a humid region, you must have encountered this problem at least once and you had to find a way to deal with these fungi that destroy everything in front of them. However, did you know that mold and mildew are not the same thing, but represent two completely different types of fungi? Also, they cannot be eliminated in the same way, so you need to approach the situation completely differently depending on which kind you’re dealing with. But what they have in common is that they are not desirable in any home and it is important to eliminate them as soon as possible in order to protect all members of the household. Here’s how to tell the difference between mold and mildew.

What exactly are mold and mildew?

mold by window

Mold and mildew are fungi that inhabit enclosed spaces and occur as a result of increased humidity. They can grow at different temperatures, and some of them especially prefer very warm conditions. There are many characteristics by which they differ, so if you are properly informed you can easily recognize which species it is. What they have in common is that they cause numerous problems in the household because they damage the walls and other structures, and they can also cause various conditions and diseases.

What’s the difference in the appearance of mold and mildew?

mold and mildew

Although you maybe couldn’t tell, there are significant differences in the appearance of mold and mildew. Yes, they are both fungi that require food, water and oxygen for life, but if you are familiar enough with them you can see that they don’t really look THAT similar.

The mold is usually green, red, or black. They have a fuzzy texture and are often mistaken for dirt. Mildew differs from mold because it initially has a light color (white or grayish), and then turns brown over time. They usually have a low profile and resemble flour due to their powdery texture. You will recognize mold by the fact that they form small dots that become darker over time.

Growth of mold and mildew and common problems

mold behind wallpaper

Like all other organisms, fungi need the right conditions to be able to grow optimally. Their development starts from the stage of spores which further germinate and grow. As we have mentioned, there are several key factors whose presence is necessary for spores to develop: water, food and oxygen. When all conditions are present, the growth of fungi is maximally supported, while the absence of any of them adversely affects fungi, and can even lead to their complete elimination.

Spores can stay for a short time on a surface that is dry, but as soon as it gets wet, they start to grow rapidly, so after a day or two you can notice mold or mildew on the wall. At this stage, the difference between these two types of fungi becomes noticeable due to the different way they grow. Mildew dots spread to the outside, without separating from the surface on which they have settled. On the other hand, mold develops so that its base remains unchanged, and fungi sometimes grow upwards. For this reason, it is often much harder to eliminate mold than mildew.

The fact is that you cannot do much to prevent the transmission of mold and mildew spores through the air and reaching your home. However, what you can do is eliminate the factors that help the growth and development of fungi. First and foremost, you need to do everything you can to eliminate excess moisture. You can conclude to what extent moisture has a favorable effect on the development of mold and mildew by which regions of this fungus appear. These are usually parts in the bathroom, around the shower or bathtub, gutters and other parts that are constantly exposed to dripping water, floors in the region under the carpet… etc. If you want to prevent the appearance of these pests, it is necessary to eliminate moisture from the room, provide better ventilation, access to sunlight and optimize hygienic conditions.

What are the health risks of exposure to mold and mildew?

sick woman

Mold and mildew can cause various consequences for health, and how much these consequences will be expressed depends on the individual person. Some people are very resistant, so they show zero reactions to these fungi. Others have mild reactions such as tingling or itching of the eyes, coughing or sneezing. People with allergies or asthma are usually the most affected and can develop serious reactions, such as difficulty breathing and fever.

How to keep mildew and mold away from your home?

The best way to prevent the appearance of these fungi in your household is to maintain high hygiene, adjust the ventilation of the room and get dehumidifiers to ensure the elimination of excess moisture, since moisture is very significant for the development of mold. It would be best to have natural ventilation available in all rooms, which means that the windows are open and that the air (together with the moisture) circulates freely, instead of staying in the room.

How to get rid of mold and mildew?

For starters, make sure you have the optimal equipment before embarking on the process of eliminating mold and mildew. Wear gloves, goggles that will protect your eyes and use breathing protection. Depending on the situation, you can use different cleaning agents. We suggest that it be water to which you have added a mild detergent or vinegar.

Start by removing material that is irreparably damaged and rotten, such as wallpaper, fabric and wood. Spray the region with clean water to prevent further spreading of the spores. Then spray the cleaning agent in the same place and start the process of eliminating the fungus with the help of a sponge. Periodically replace the sponge and cleaner with a new one to completely remove any mold or mildew. When you are done with this, leave the space to dry for two days to ensure it is completely safe to stay in again.

If you are not skilled with this, it is a good idea to call Elite Moisture Solutions to help you permanently eliminate all mold and mildew from your home and prevent their adverse health effects.