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What is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Did you know that mold and mildew are two different things? Many people don’t. While mildew is a mostly harmless gray or white fungus, mold is usually black or green and can cause many health issues including respiratory illness, nausea, fatigue, and allergies. Mold can also cause structural damage to your home. Because of these risks, we find it very important to share with you a few ways that you can tell the difference between mold and mildew, and what you should do if you find mold in your home.

How To Differentiate Mold From Mildew

The best way to distinguish mold from mildew is to look at the color. If the fungus is gray or white it is most likely mildew. Using a special cleaner and a scrubbing brush that you can find at your local store you can easily remove mildew. Mold, on the other hand, is usually yellow, green, or black in color. Green or black mold is a sign of a large infestation in your home. If not taken care of, this can begin to affect the health of your family and pets. Because of the health risks, we highly suggest getting help from a specialist to eradicate the issue completely. The sooner you find the mold, the cheaper it will be to deal with and the safer your family will be.

Types of Mold To Look For

While there are over 10,000 types of mold that we know can grow indoors, our IICRC Certified Mold Experts put together a list of the five most common types of mold to look out for.

    1. AlternariaAlternaria is usually black, gray, or dark brown and has a wooly or string-like texture. This tends to grow in moist places like showers, under sinks, and around windows. If not taken care of, Alternaria can lead to asthma and other breathing issues.
    2. Aspergillus – This type of mold usually grows on walls, insulation, paper products, and clothing. Aspergillus can appear in a variety of colors including gray, brown, yellow, green, white, or black. Prolonged exposure to this mold can lead to lung infections, allergic reactions, fevers, asthma, and many other serious health risks. Therefore, as a preventative action, you should make sure to keep your home well-ventilated, clean, and leak-free.
    3. Cladosporium – Unlike most molds, Cladosporium can actually grow in cooler areas. Fabrics (carpets and curtains) and woods (cabinets and floorboards) are common places to find this type of mold. Cladosporium is usually black or dark green in color. Along with causing respiratory issues, this mold can also cause skin and nail infections.
    4. Penicillium – This type of mold prospers in low humidity. Penicillium is often attributed to food spoilage but it can also be found growing within furniture, carpeting, insulation, wallpaper, mattresses, and other materials around your home. This type of mold is usually blue or green in color and has a strong, unpleasant odor.
    5. Black Mold (Stachybotrys Chartarum) – Black Mold is the most dangerous of the household molds as it can be extremely toxic. Common spaces to find black mold include basements, crawl spaces, air conditioning ducts, and other spaces that may be warm and humid. This mold produces an airborne toxin that can cause major respiratory issues, allergy symptoms, chronic fatigue, headaches, fevers, and more. The appearance of black mold is often dusty and is matched with an earthy smell similar to dirt or rotting leaves.

Why You Should Bring In The Experts To Have Mold Removed

While you can easily remove mildew from your home, it is not recommended to remove mold yourself. This is because mold spores can spread easily. By disturbing mold spores, you may generate tons of airborne particles which can just make the problem worse. By bringing in a professional, trained, and certified mold removal team you are investing in keeping your family and home safe and healthy. Restoration 1 will use the proper containment techniques to prevent the spread and transfer of mold spores. We will ensure that your home is properly ventilated. We will also use plastic sheeting to block off the affected areas.

Contact our mold specialists today if you suspect mold damage in your home. Our team will take care of the issue and return your home to you as good as new. Contact us today!

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