Mildew vs. Mold: What's the Difference?

When you hear about potential problems that could manifest following a flood, roof leak, or severe storm, you probably hear much about mold and mildew. Because the two terms are usually used right next to each other, it is easy to assume they are the same. In reality, they are two different types of fungi, but they are commonly found in the same situations. What must you know about mold and mildew, and how can you protect your home from these problems? Here is some key advice below:

Comparing the Appearance of the Two

First, you need to understand how the two look different. You need to figure out which one you are dealing with before the issue can be addressed. Of course, you might be dealing with both of them simultaneously.

In general, mildew looks dry, gray, and white. There are some situations where it might even look like powder. It is very flat and should not rise much above the ground’s surface.

On the other hand, mold is typically green, blue, or black. In addition, it might look slimy and fuzzy. There is also a chance that mold might rise significantly above the surface of the ground.

You may want to keep your senses open for potential odors as well. Mildew has a noticeable, musty, but mild smell that many people compare to damp socks. On the other hand, mold has a very powerful odor that can smell incredibly pungent. Mold produces a lot of volatile organic compounds that can also lead to health issues.

Mold Burrows, But Mildew Does Not

One of the reasons mold can cause structural issues is that it can burrow into the structure itself. Mold and mildew-like natural materials. A few examples include:

  • Leather
  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Fiberboard

Both tend to show up on bathroom walls, basements, and anywhere in locations that have serious water damage. Because mold can burrow underneath the surface, it can also make eliminating it much more challenging. Mildew tends to stay on the surface, making it easier to pick out.

The Health Risks With Mold Are More Serious

Another important point to remember is that the health risks of mold are much more serious. That is not to say that mildew is harmless. It is possible for people to suffer mild respiratory problems if they are exposed to mildew, particularly if they already have chronic respiratory conditions.

On the other hand, the health effects of mold are much more serious. For example, mold can cause headaches, mood changes, and depression. It can also lead to severe respiratory illnesses, general aches and pains, congestion, and eye irritation. If you believe you have mold or mildew in your home, contact an expert who can help you eliminate them quickly. You may also consider briefly going somewhere else to protect your health and safety.

Mold Is Much More Difficult To Remove

Finally, mold is also much more difficult to remove. With mildew, getting rid of this pest is possible by using a few household cleaners. On the other hand, if you have mold, it is much more challenging. Even though you might be able to eliminate the mold you see, remember that mold can burrow into the structure. That makes it much more difficult to remove.

In addition, mold is resistant to various routine household products, and you will need to use special safety gear to get rid of it without exposing yourself to some of the health effects. 

How Can Mold Be Removed?

To get rid of mold and mildew, it’s important to identify and address the source of moisture that’s causing it to grow. Once the source of moisture is eliminated, the affected area should be thoroughly cleaned with a mixture of water and detergent or a specialized mold and mildew cleaning solution.

Professional mold remediation services may be necessary if the mold and mildew are extensive. Additionally, it’s important to maintain proper ventilation and humidity levels in the area to prevent future growth. Regular cleaning and maintenance can also help to prevent mold and mildew from returning.

Trust OKC Restorations for Help With Mold and Mildew Removal

In the end, if you are looking for a professional team to help you take care of your home, it would be our pleasure to assist you. We are OKC Restorations, and we understand that it can be frustrating if your home has mold or mildew. We have a wide array of tools and techniques that we can use to help you get rid of mold and mildew in your house. Our experts will follow all the field’s best practices to ensure your property is restored. Contact us today to speak to a team member, and let us address mold and mildew on your behalf.

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