Mold and Moisture

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Put simply, mildew is a kind of mold that tends to grow on flat, moist surfaces. This tendency to grow on flat surfaces is one of the main differences that can exist between mold and mildew. While mildew can cause damage to a home, the damage is usually more cosmetic. In nature, however, mildew can be very destructive to plants and food crops. Similarly, mildew may pose health risks but, again, not quite to the same extent that mold does. Certainly, it is less harmful and much easier to treat than fully grown mold is. While mildew is mostly known for its negative effect on plants and crops when it grows outdoors, it may also impact your health the same as mold if you breathe in the spores.

The same potential health issues exist with mildew as they do with mold. Some of these symptoms according to FEMA include respiratory issues like wheezing, nasal and sinus congestion, eye, nose or throat irritation, and headaches. If mildew is not removed, it will continue to grow and these symptoms may become worse. If you or someone in your household is experiencing these symptoms and is sensitive to mold, it is a good idea to inspect your home to find any problem areas. Most often, you can find mildew on window sills and shower walls, to name a couple of places—wherever moisture levels are high.

It needs the same elements mold needs to grow—warmth, darkness, oxygen, and moisture. When these conditions are present, mildew can readily grow on a surface. Mildew grows and spreads just as quickly as other molds, though the damage caused by it is usually cosmetic and can be treated without much trouble more on how to treat mildew below. Sight and smell are still the two easiest ways to identify whether mildew is growing in your home. Mildew either has a powdery or downy texture. The powdery type of mildew is white when it first begins to grow but can turn yellow, black, or brown.

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Downy mildew starts out yellow and turns brown as it ages. Both types of mildew growth appear flat as they grow on flat surfaces.

Mildew, like other molds, has a musty smell that is caused by MVOCs. If your home smells musty, it could be mildew or other molds. You will have to visually confirm which one it is, or have a professional come to your home to test for both. Now that we have gone over how mold and mildew are different, you probably want to know how you can prevent and treat both in your home. Prevention is always the best method for keeping your family healthy and your home free of damage. Though mildew does tend to be less severe than mold, both should be treated as potential health risks.

Preventive measures will go a long way in keeping your home and family healthy. If you do find mold or mildew, there are plenty of ways to remove it —either by yourself or with the help of a professional. Air Quality. Air Purifier Technology.

What Are the Differences in Appearance Between Mold Vs. Mildew?

Inside Molekule. View Product. Mildew vs.

Mold and Moisture Dynamics | WBDG - Whole Building Design Guide

Mold: What Is the Difference? By Christina Vanvuren Contributor. January 26, Mold vs. When cleaning a large amount of mold, consider the following:. Identify and Fix the Moisture Problem - This is the most important step. If you don't correct the moisture problem the mold will likely return.

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  • Dry Wet Materials - Begin drying wet areas as soon as possible. Materials dried within hours will often not have a chance to grow mold. Porous materials contacted by sewage should always be removed. Remove Mold Growth - Your approach depends on the type of material or surface contaminated. Porous materials: Items like carpet, drywall, insulation and paper should be bagged and thrown away if they are growing mold.

    Non-porous materials: Items made of hard plastic, solid wood, concrete, metal, or glass can be cleaned if they are structurally sound. Cleaning steps include: Scrub surfaces with a stiff brush, hot water and household detergent.

    Addressing moisture and mould in your home

    The goal is to remove the physical mold growth. Collect any cleaning solution. Rinse area with clean water. Dry the area completely. Optional Treatment with Bleach - After cleaning has removed the mold growth, bleach may be used to kill mold missed by Step 3. Always handle bleach with caution. Never mix bleach with other chemicals and only use it in a well-ventilated area.

    Protect your eyes and skin from solution. If the water damage and mold growth are due to overland flooding or sewage back-up, then use bleach. Remain on Mold Alert - Keep an eye out for signs of moisture problems or mold growth. If mold returns, fix the moisture problem and repeat the cleaning steps again.

    Rebuilding - Reconstruction needs to wait until the affected areas are completely dry. This may take several days, weeks or even months. Some air cleaners are designed to produce ozone which is a strong oxidizing agent and a known irritant of the lungs and respiratory system. Studies have shown that ozone, even at high concentrations, is not effective at killing airborne mold or surface mold contamination.

    Mold and Moisture Dynamics

    Even if mold was killed by ozone, the health threats would not be reduced until mold contaminants are removed through cleaning. Mold can damage entire structures, including homes and vehicles, and it can cause long-term health problems for people. The difference in the effects of black mold vs. In addition, anyone who has a mold allergy may experience congestion, sneezing, and irritation of the eyes, throat and skin. Yet another difference of mold vs. With mildew, all it typically takes is a mildew cleaner and a good scrubbing brush. However, mold is not an issue that most people should be dealing with on their own.

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    Mold removal is best left to professionals. That being said, it is possible to prevent mold without hiring anyone for the job, since there are mold prevention tactics to try. In fact, Gold Eagle is a great source of such products, making it easy to prevent fungal growth after learning the basics on mold vs. Skip to Main Content.

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