Mold & Mildew 101

When it comes to mold and mildew, most people are puzzled about the differences between both and wonder if there even is one. The fact of the matter, is that there are a few simple differences between mold and mildew, and it is critical to know that difference when treating your home or space. Both mold and mildew, can have a negative impact on your health and learning how to prevent/treat these hazardous elements, is vital for your health and home.

What is the difference?

Mold. Simply, mold is a type of fungus that grows from spores which float around in the air. These different types of molds can be found anywhere in nature, especially here in Central Florida due to the tropical weather and high percentage of humidity. When we hear the word “mold” we automatically assume something negative, however mold plays a vital role in the environment and is a very important factor in the ecosystem. Mold acts to decompose organic matter, which then allows nutrients and natural material to be released back into the ground, providing living organisms with food. Although mold is very beneficial to other living beings, when indoors, mold poses a hazardous risk for humans. It can cause significant health issues, and when it comes to a building or home, it can bring it down and cause structural damage.

Where does mold grow?

Mold can be carried indoors from outside through your clothes and even your pets. Mold is more often found as a result from an in-home flood or a home with high humidity levels. Your home’s bathroom, attic and even bedroom are all common places mold can be found because it can thrive in dark, warm and moist places. It is important to know how to notice and smell mold in your space, due to it being able to grow so quickly, which get out of hand fast. If you happen to see fuzzy, colored spots in your home and smell a musty type of odor, call a professional immediately to avoid health and home issues.

Mildew. Mildew is a type of mold, but basically mold in their early stages. Combined, they are found in the same environments and spread very easily. Mildew is more cosmetic, and is very destructive to food crops and plants. Mildew can still pose a health risk to humans, but not to the extent of mold. You may be wondering, since mold and mildew are one in the same, if there really is any difference between the two? There are certain characteristics that separate these two fungi, but regardless they are equally hazardous to your health and home.

Where does mildew grow?

Mildew often grows on window sills and in showers. It needs the same elements and environments as mold in order to thrive, but can be treated fairly easily. It is still as important to be able to detect mildew as much as mold, and of course sight and smell are the only ways. Mildew looks powdery in texture and can also be different colors and it also smells of a musty scent similar to mold. Either way, call and have a professional come out and inspect and clean as soon as possible.

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