The Difference between Mold and Mildew and How They Can Be Removed From Your Home

Updated: Nov 21, 2019


Many people do not know the difference between mold and mildew. Similarly, there are many questions asked about how they can be cleared. Both mold and mildew are types of fungi with similar characteristics and can be found both outdoors and in the home. Often these fungi enter the home through open doors, windows, heating ducts, vents and air conditioning systems.

Mold and mildew are found in places that have a lot of moisture, especially near leaks in roofs or pipes, near windows or areas that have experienced flooding. They flourish on ceiling tiles, paper products, wood and cardboard. Mold is also found on paints, in dust, drywall, fabric, upholstery and carpets, where it causes many homeowners grief due to the ugly stains it forms.

Differences between Mold and Mildew

While mold and mildew have many similarities - both require a moist, warm environment to thrive, not to mention that they grow on a variety of household surfaces and are always an irritating and troublesome eyesore. Still, there are several notable differences.

Mildew is exclusively a surface-hugging fungus that is easily identifiable as a patch of growth that lies flat on a moist area. Mildew is often powdery and normally starts out white in color but can later turn brown, black or yellow. Downy mildew appears yellow at first and gradually turns brown.

On the other hand, mold has a fuzzy appearance and is usually the result of a much more extensive fungal infestation. It can take on a range of different colors that include white, brown, green, black, blue, gray or green.

Common Types `of Household Mold

There are many different types of mold that can grow within your home, each of which results in different health problems and all of which cause unsightly stains and discoloration of walls, upholstery, fabric and wood. The most common types of mold found in household infestations include:

• Alternaria: While this fungus is most often found outdoors, it can also grow indoors in damp places such as under sinks, near leaky pipes or in showers. The alternaria mold also infests buildings that have suffered water damage through flooding, and spreads quickly from room to room. Exposure to it can trigger asthma attacks or cause allergic reactions.

• Aspergillus: This mold is very common both outdoors and indoors, which means that many people breathe in its spores on a daily basis. Indoors, the spores, which can be found in certain foods and spices, thrive in heating ducts and air conditioning.

• Cladosporium: Cladosporium is among the most common types of mould, consisting about 40 sub-species found in the soil, as plant pathogens and on decaying plant matter. It occurs in colonies that are olive-green or black in color with dark conidia that form as simple or branched chains.

• Penicillium: There are about 200 species of this fungus. Because of their characteristic blue or yellow spores, they are commonly referred to as blue or green mold. This type of mold is found everywhere in both the air and in the soil.

• Stachybotrys chartarum: Because of its slimy black look, stachybotrys chartarum is known as the 'black mold.' It grows in damp places such as around leaking pipes and air conditioning ducts and causes respiratory problems for people who come into contact with it.

Health Effects of Mold and Mildew in Your Home

Because some people are sensitive to the spores produced by mold, it is a common cause of health

problems. Some of the issues that arise from exposure to mold include coughing and wheezing, nasal stuffiness, skin irritation, eye irritation and throat irritation. In people with allergies, more severe reactions are likely to occur.

People who suffer from chronic lung illness as well as individuals with compromised immune systems may suffer serious infections as a result of exposure to mold. Research has offered sufficient evidence linking exposure to mold with an upsurge in upper respiratory tract disorders in otherwise healthy people that include coughing and wheezing.

Mold Damage in Your Home

Mold, whether in a commercial building or home, is unsightly and the damage it causes may necessitate costly repairs to the structure. Occupants of the building may also need medical assistance. For this reason, it is important for homeowners to take precautions to prevent the growth of this destructive fungus.

Mold breaks down organic matter by feeding on it. For this reason, whenever there is a mold infestation on walls, paper backing, carpeting, piping or insulation, it is essential that the affected materials be removed. A fungus infestation results in water stains and discoloration of internal walls and ceilings. It also damages expensive household fittings and is an eyesore.

Need Help Clearing Your Home Of Mold And Mildew?

If you are a home owner and require assistance in removal of mold and mildew from your home, you can consult one of our mold removal certified professional. CentrePoint Construction operates in the communities across Los Angeles County and will schedule a visit to your home, assess the damage caused, determine the type of mold that has infested your home and offer advice on the best course of action to take to remove the unsightly mess caused by a fungus infestation.

CentrePoint has professionals on hand to deal with the situation on your behalf, which is recommended if there is an extensive mold or mildew infestation covering a large area of your home or if you are suffering from infestation-related health problems. Call 1-800-465-1403 for professional advice on mold removal or to have mold removed for you we're IICRC certified firm

CentrePoint is a general contracting company serving the Southern California region with over 15 years of experience. Serving Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Calabasas, Calabasas Hills, Chatsworth, Culver City, Encino, Glendale, Granada Hills, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Hollywood, Long Beach, LA, Los Angeles, WLA, West Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Fernando Valley, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Studio City, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Universal City, Valencia, Van Nuys, Venice, West Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Toluca Lake, Westlake Village, Westwood and Woodland Hills.


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