What is the difference between mold and mildew? Read on to find out!
Mold and mildew are often found growing inside and outside our homes. When left unattended, mold and mildew can wreak havoc in your home and damage the structural integrity of your house. Furthermore, they might cause different allergic reactions in people. This is why you must get rid of these fungi right away.
With that said, there are multiple types of mold and mildew and often, it gets hard to differentiate between the two. Moreover, when dealing with these fungi, it’s only natural to think about which one is more harmful, which one’s easy to get rid of, etc.
So, here are the common differences between mold and mildew and everything else that you need to know about these two fungi.
What Is the Major Difference Between Mold and Mildew?
Mildew is typically flat, which makes it hard to spot. It only grows on the surface of the materials rather than penetrating them. Common surfaces that mildew grows on include compost, plants, grout, and even glass. It’s comparatively easier to clean and get rid of than mold because it doesn’t grow as quickly as mold and doesn’t penetrate the surface that it’s growing on. You can simply wipe it clean or even blow it away.
As for mold, it’s a type of fungus with numerous varieties. Typically, mold tends to penetrate the porous surfaces that it grows on such as wood and drywall. This is what makes it much harder to clean and eliminate than mildew. It also affects the structural integrity of your home and tens to spread rapidly. Some types of mold are also allergenic and certain varieties are even toxic such as black mold.
How Do Mold and Mildew Grow?
Even though mold and mildew both grow under similar conditions such as dampness, moisture, stale air, and darkness, there are a few key differences between the two. For instance, mildew often grows on crops and plants in your garden in the form of white spots, however, it can also grow indoors. It grows in seasons when the moisture level is incredibly high and there’s limited sunlight.
On the other hand, mold grows most often in indoor areas where there’s bad air circulation, excessive moisture and limited light. The most common places for mold to grow include your basement, attic, bathroom, and kitchen.
Difference in Appearance
Mold and mildew have different appearances. For instance, mildew appears in powdery form on plants. It’s gray and white and appears in small circular spots that tend to change their hue as the mildew grows, eventually turning black. Meanwhile, downy mildew appears as yellow spots and turns into brown spots. As for mold, it has more than 10,000 species, which fit into 5 main types. Mold usually appears in green or brown hues and grows in splotches that are often fuzzy to the touch.
Difference in the Effects on Humans
Mildew’s effects on humans are quite limited. Exposure to mildew might result in respiratory issues, such as trouble breathing or common allergy symptoms such as congestion, coughing, headaches, wheezing, and skin irritation.
However, prolonged exposure to mold might exacerbate preexisting conditions such as asthma. Toxic kinds of mold can lead to some pretty bad health effects on humans such as damage to the lungs, brain, and intestinal lining. These effects can eventually lead to neurotoxicity, pulmonary bleeding, and lasting respiratory damage.
Due to the aforementioned effects on human health, it’s important to get rid of mold and mildew growing in your home.