These fungi also differ in appearance and potential health risks. Mildew is typically a gray, white, or light brown color and rests on the surface of a moist area. It has a powdery appearance and may be accompanied by a foul odor. Mold is usually black or green and has a fuzzy appearance and a distinctly musty smell.
Mold tends to have a higher profile and can even become fuzzy, while mildew is usually flat. Mold exhibits darker colors such as deep green and black; mildew may begin as white, then turn brown or gray.
Without a doubt, mold is worse than mildew. According to American Home Shield, “the difference between mold and mildew is that unlike mildew, certain types of toxic molds can result in serious health problems for you and your family.” Black mold, in particular, is dangerous for humans.
Mildew is a specific type of mold; FEMA describes it as early-stage mold. Like other kinds of mold, mildew is a microscopic fungus that travels through the air in the form of tiny spores. When these spores land in damp or humid environments, mildew begins to colonize and grow.
Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse. Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water.
Simply mix one part bleach to four parts water. Using a damp cloth gently scrub and wipe the mould until the mould is gone. Once finished, dry the area well with a soft cloth.
Mildew usually looks white or gray and dry, or even powdery. It always appears flat. Mold, on the other hand, often is raised and can be green, red, blue, or black. Plus, it generally looks either slimy or fuzzy.
It is often simply caused by humid conditions and lack of ventilation, but sometimes mould on walls can be due to plumbing leaks, both inside and outside the property. Badly insulated heating pipes can also cause a build-up of moisture behind the walls.
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 have a mold allergy, your immune system overreacts when you breathe in mold spores. A mold allergy can cause coughing, itchy eyes and other symptoms that make you miserable. In some people, a mold allergy is linked to asthma and exposure causes restricted breathing and other airway symptoms.
Mix one part bleach with three parts water in a bucket. Using a scrub brush or heavy-duty sponge, vigorously scrub the mold-affected wall with the bleach/water solution until the mold spots have disappeared.
Toxic mold can also have a grayish, soot-like texture, or a slimy, wet surface. In some cases, you may even notice furry orange or brown spots. If you find mold with any of these qualities in your home, don't get too close, and call a professional right away.
Mildew is typically a gray, white, or light brown color and rests on the surface of a moist area. It has a powdery appearance and may be accompanied by a foul odor. Mold is usually black or green and has a fuzzy appearance and a distinctly musty smell.
A few things to remember about painting with mold in your home: Paint over mold does not kill it. Mold-resistant paint only works to proactively prevent mold, NOT reactively kill mold. Kilz and Zinsser make primers that claim to kill mold, but you should still remove the mold before using either of these products.
Mold testing kits help you detect and identify growing spores in your home through samples collected via the air or from the surface in question. Some give you results right away, while others ask you to package the samples and send them back to a lab for a professional examination.
While mold can grow on food and damp surfaces, mildew forms in humid and poorly ventilated areas like bathrooms, windows, attics, and basements. Unlike black mold, mildew can easily be wiped off surfaces, especially nonporous ones.
Reduce Mold and Mildew
A dehumidifier is designed to reduce the moisture level in the air by extracting the excess water. By doing so, dehumidifiers can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew and improves the indoor air quality of your space.
Hydrogen peroxide is just one of many household ingredients you can use to clean mold. Using vinegar is another effective way to clean mold in your home. However, it's important not to mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together.
Is Vinegar More Effective Than Bleach? Vinegar truly is better than cleaning with bleach when it comes to killing mold. The EPA does not recommend using bleach to kill or remove mold, except in special circumstances. In most cases, “a background level of mold spores will remain” after the application of bleach.
You can use bleach to remove traces of mold on tub and tile surfaces, which are hard and impermeable. However, bleach can't kill mold on porous surfaces, such as those made of wood.