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The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

[ 1 ] June 25, 2010 |

Mold and Mildew

Most people don’t realize there are different types of mold. In fact, there’s even a difference between mold and mildew. They are similar in appearance, and most people can’t tell them apart. Mold and mildew are actually different types of fungi. They are also different in texture and color. One thing they have in common is they’re unwanted. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone happy about mold or mildew growing in their home.

Mold and mildew both like warm and moist areas. They also grow in many of the same places. That’s why people get confused about them. Both types of fungi can grow in showers, and on paper and fabrics. However, mildew grows in showers and on fabrics more often than mold does. Both types of fungi can also grow on food items, but mold affects food more often than mildew does.

They both spread when their spores are disturbed. The spores travel through the air and grow wherever the situation is right. Mold is usually black, sometimes green or even blue. Mildew is normally white or gray in color.

Mildew Characteristics

There are basically two types of mildew. Powdery mildew has the appearance of gray or white patches. You might see this type on flowers and other plants. Downy mildew is often found on food. The way it looks will vary depending on the food item. It might look like a hunk of powder or sugar is on the food. It can also appear as chalky looking spots on leaves.

Mold Characteristics

Mold usually looks slimy or fuzzy, and that depends on what type it is. Although it’s usually black, mold actually comes in a variety of colors. It comes in a variety of shapes as well. Usually, it appears as black or green spots in a shower or bathroom. Sometimes it grows in the crevices of bathroom tile. This is usually not a serious health threat. However, it is a serious threat when the situation turns toxic, and mold removal becomes very important.

Toxic mold contains mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can cause all kinds of illnesses. Some people aren’t affected by it at all, but others become seriously ill. Symptoms include headaches, asthma and coughing. Eye and throat irritation can occur as well.

In serious cases, a person could experience trouble with their lungs, rashes, blurred vision or worse. This doesn’t mean you should run screaming whenever you see mold. Just be aware of these symptoms, and take action if you think you’re in danger.

All types of mold and mildew thrive in wet, dark places. Get rid of their breeding grounds, and you’ll get rid of them. Bathrooms are a common problem spot. They are often wet and not well ventilated. Those create perfect conditions for mold and mildew to thrive. Dry the area after each use, and open a window to admit fresh air. If you do this you should not develop bathroom mold in the first place.

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Category: Mildew, Types of Mold

About Editor: The Mold Removal Review is a division of a U.S. Gulf Coast based consumer advocate information provider whose goal is to provide consumers with up to date information on high-demand goods and services related to mold removal. View author profile.

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  1. Sarah says:

    One effective way to combat mildew problems is by the use of desiccants like Silica Gel. These are the same small sachets you find in packaging of various products like electronics, garments, etc.

    Silica Gel works by absorbing the moisture in its surrounding area. For most mildew challenges, it does the job pretty well. Small sachets cost less than a dollar. It truly is a cost effective way of protection from moisture.

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