How to Tell the Difference Between Mildew and Mold
While any fungal growth in your home or business is unpleasant, knowing the difference between mildew and mold is important before starting a remediation project to remove the fungi and prevent further damage.
Differences between Mildew and Mold
Telling the difference between mildew and mold can be difficult, but there are some clues that can help you determine the type of fungus in your property. Mildew commonly has the following characteristics:
- Powdery or fluffy appearance
- Gray or white color that darkens with time
- Relatively easy to remove
Mold, on the other hand, is often described by the following adjectives:
- Slimy or fuzzy
- Black, green or other color depending on the type
- Invasive and harder to remove
In some instances, a homeowner or maintenance staff may be unable to determine the type of fungus present. In such cases, a professional hygienist or air quality inspector can determine the best course of action to take.
So while there are many differences between the two fungi, they do share a key similarity: Both mildew and mold need moisture to thrive. This means that mildew and mold can both be prevented by keeping your home dry, with an indoor humidity below 50%. If necessary, run a dehumidifier to keep within those levels. Air conditioning can also help dry out your home. Mildew and mold easily grow in higher moisture areas of a home or business, such as in a crawlspace, bathroom, wash room, etc. Look for signs of fungal growth in these areas when doing routine cleaning or inspections. Both mildew growth and mold damage are easier to mitigate if caught early.
Generally speaking, mildew is easier to clean than mold growth. There are a variety of cleaners available that can kill mildew. As long as you work in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask and gloves, you should be able to safely clean mildew growth yourself. However, mold growth often needs to be professionally cleaned, especially if the infestation is large.
If you need help with either mildew or mold damage in your Venice Florida home, a certified restoration company such as SERVPRO of Venice can help. We have the equipment and experience to address the issue safely and get your home back to normal. Call 941-484-7777 for fast response to your mold problem.