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What is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

mold and mildew

The terms “mold” and “mildew” are often thrown around together and with water damage claims on the rise, we hear a lot these days about the dangers of mold.

Within 24 to 48 hours of a water damage event, mildew and mold can start growing on drywall, carpet, and other materials. Even worse, it will continue to grow until the proper steps are taken to eliminate the source of moisture.

Mold and Mildew: Similarities and Differences

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that are commonly found in the home. They thrive in moist environments and can live on various surfaces which can make them very difficult to get rid of. But mold and mildew also have striking differences.

Here’s what you need to know about mildew:

  • Mildew is typically white, gray or yellow and grows on the surface of moist, warm areas.
  • Its texture is fluffy or powdery and it usually grows in a flat pattern.
  • Mildew is often found on items that have damp surfaces.
  • Mildew is sometimes found on the floors, walls or ceilings of areas with lots of humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

Compare this with some facts about mold:

  • Mold tends to be green or black, and it usually grows underneath the surface of anything that has gotten wet.
  • Mold is commonly fuzzy or slimy in appearance.
  • It appears as irregularly shaped spots that can have different colors beyond the regular green or black that people are accustomed to seeing.
  • Surfaces that are covered in mold can also begin to rot.

One Commonality: Harm to Your Health

Mold and mildew may be different, but they can both be harmful to your health. They should be removed when detected, and every homeowner should take steps to prevent their growth. When people are exposed to mold, it can create mild to severe health issues, including sinus problems, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, sore throat, migraines, itching, rashes, fatigue, and much more. Mildew exposure can cause similar problems, but not as many. Usually mildew symptoms are limited to coughing, headaches, sore throat, and trouble breathing.

The best way to prevent mildew and mold is to keep areas in your home as dry as possible. Having ventilation in areas of higher humidity such as bathrooms and kitchens is highly recommended. Drywall, for example, once it becomes wet, it is extremely difficult to dry out. Moisture gets trapped between the layers and is a prime area for mold and mildew to develop. Should you experience a water damage event in your home, and have questions regarding mold or mildew, contact us at AAA Restoration. We have crews available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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