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Mildew and Mold: When to Wipe it Away and When to Worry

A business owner checks if a discolored growth is mold or mildew.There can be a small difference in how two things or animals look, but a huge difference in the danger they present. The Arizona mountain kingsnake and the Coral snake look similar, but the difference is in their bite. The kingsnake is not venomous, whereas the Coral snake has a deadly bite. If you look closely at the color patterns, you can notice telltale differences.

Similarly, mildew and mold have many similarities. Though neither are good for your home, black mold can be deadly. Sometimes, professional mold remediation will be necessary to keep your family safe. 

Let’s go through how you can tell the difference between mildew and mold.

Mildew vs Mold: Different Effects, Different Threat Levels

Mildew and mold only get worse over time. However, mold can be much more harmful. Here are some of the differences in their impact:

  • Mildew: Mildew affects plants more than anything else. If mildew forms inside, it can causing breathing and other issues, including coughing, headaches, sore throat, and more.
  • Mold: Mold formation usually leads to damage to a structure. Your family can develop serious health problems when mold grows inside your home. Allergic reactions such as sneezing, irritated eyes and throat, congestion, and more are common. Additionally, dizziness, depression, heart problems, migraines, and inflamed joints are other common health problems associated with mold, especially black mold. 

Mildew vs Mold: Differences in Looks

Though both mildew and mold are bacterial growth spots that can show up on walls, flooring, or ceilings, there are some key differences in their appearance that can help you decide which your home has. 

  • Mildew: Mildew typically has coloring of gray or white. It will be powdery or even fluffy like cotton balls. Mildew will form on top of moist or wet areas.
  • Mold: Mold usually shows up as black or green in color. Instead of being fluffy, mold will come in a slimy form. Mold forms in random dots that can be many different colors. If a surface has mold, it will begin to rot and fall apart. 

Mildew and Mold Testing and When to Call in the Professionals

Telling the difference between mildew and mold can still be tough. Try putting a few drops onto the affected area, waiting five minutes, then checking the spot. If the spot got lighter, you probably have mildew. If it stays dark, you probably have mold. Another clue is to look for how much area the growth covers. If it goes over 30 feet or one sheet of drywall, it is best to have it taken care of. 

If you are unsure about the growth, call the mold remediation experts at Jarvis Construction today. Our crews specialize in helping businesses and homeowners get their property back to working order. 

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