What is the Difference Between Mold & Mildew?

When bringing in a professional restoration company to conduct home inspections, you may learn that mold is infesting your property. While a simple visible inspection will identify infestations, some may refer to these outbreaks as mold and mildew interchangeably. Despite the common use of these terms to describe infestations in the home, there is a difference between mold and mildew. To determine what is lurking in your home, contact Inch By Inch Inspections for a mold testing in Toronto. Mold and home inspections will help you confirm the species of mold you’re dealing with and our team will determine the best plan of action.

Here’s what you must know about the difference between mold and mildew.

What is Mold?

mold testing TorontoMold infestations result from mold spores settling in surfaces with a water supply and no ventilation. Mold outbreaks often have a dark green or black appearance with a fuzzy or slimy texture. Aside from its appearance, mold infestations have a pungent odour that’s easily identifiable. While mold infestations often appear to be a surface problem, the spores burrow into materials, making them hard to eradicate.

What is Mildew?

Essentially, mildew is the early stages of a mold infestation. It grows solely on the surface of materials rather than burrowing into them. Technically speaking, mildew is a way to reference the flat surface growth of mold. While mold and mildew are similar, mildew has a stark difference in appearance. Mildew is usually white or grey, fluffy, and powdery, with small dots scattered throughout the affected area. If you discover mildew in your home and want to ensure there are no severe mold outbreaks behind it, contact Inch By Inch Inspections for a home inspection. Our team will determine the species of growth in your home and any conditions that may make it susceptible to mold outbreaks.

Dangers of Infestations

Both mold and mildew may cause adverse health effects, but the health issues associated with mildew tend to be milder than mold spores. Mold spores, especially toxic, may result in serious respiratory problems, migraines, memory loss, eye irritation, and fatigue. Mildew, however, may cause health problems that resemble seasonal allergies or a light cold, such as congestion, itchy eyes, or sneezing. If you notice any of these changes to your health, contact Inch By Inch Inspections for a comprehensive mold testing in Toronto. 

Where You Can Find Mold & Mildew

Mold can be found anywhere with a high water supply, low light, and inadequate ventilation. Attics and basements are a haven for mold spores to fester; the presence of organic material, like wood or insulation, paired with high humidity levels, creates the perfect environment. However, since mildew is seen as just the flat surface growth of mold, it’s often found in shower tiles, bathroom walls, windowsills, or kitchen tiles. 

Mold & Mildew Removal Toronto

One of the biggest differences between mold and mildew is how to go about eradicating them. Because mildew is flat surface growth, a simple wipe with bleach or a vinegar-water solution will eliminate it. However, since mold spores burrow within materials and are deeply rooted wherever they grow, professional mold removal is required. 

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