Are Mold And Mildew The Same Thing?

Are mold and mildew the same thing? The difference between mold and mildew is in the bacteria that cause them. This question, though simple, is often confusing to a person trying to resolve a household problem...

This question, though simple, is often confusing to a person trying to resolve a household problem involving one of the two. Mold and mildew basically have the same goal, to thrive on and devour or break down an organic object. Mold and mildew is often referred to in the same sentence. Neither is in the plant or animal family and both are considered fungi that have enzymes used to break down organisms. They both reproduce by spores. Mold and mildew are important in our environment as they eat away old trees and decompose things that are dead and we don't want around. They both become a problem when they start thriving in our homes.


The definition of mildew is dependent upon who you are speaking with. If you are speaking to a scientist who deals with plants he will describe mildew as something that attaches to a plant and decomposes it. To a plant scientist mildew grows on living plants outdoors. To a professional who deals with household mold clean up, mildew is usually referred to as the substance that grows on the tile in a bathtub, shower curtain or any surface in the bathroom. According to Kevin Bristol, President of Advance Mold Remediation, mildew is less toxic than mold and is found in bathrooms. Bathrooms that have little or no air circulation and are continually damp will grow mildew. You will not need to call a mold removal specialist for the removal of mildew in the bathroom because, "mildew doesn't let off toxins in the air" Bristol says. Clean up of a minor mildew problem involves wiping the area with a solution of bleach and water. You can control the growth of more mildew by keeping the humidity in the room to below 50%. You can also ventilate your bathroom and let in fresh air every day to reduce the humidity in the room. Wipe down and dry your shower door or tub after each use to further prevent mildew growth.




Mold is used to describe anything from what happens to food when it gets old to the grey hairy growth on a damp towel placed at the bottom of a pile of wet clothes. Mold is also a very scary word if used to describe a growth in the walls of your home. Mold will grow on anything indoors or out of doors, like wood, plaster, fabric and even cement. According to Bristol you will find mold wherever you have the type of bacteria or microorganism that thrives on moisture. If you have a severe mold problem in your home you will want to call a professional who can safely remove it from your home such as Kevin Bristol. According to Bristol the toxins let off while removing a severe mold problem, especially black mold, can be toxic if you breathe them in. If you see a dark stain on your wall or smell a deep musty smell you may have mold growing in your walls. Some molds in the home can cause severe health problems such as headaches, dizziness, learning disabilities, flu like symptoms and severe breathing problems. The odors let off in the air by mold are called Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. Mycotoxin is the term used when the VOCs are toxic. To prevent the growth of mold you must keep the environment dry, if a surface is moist and a mold spore attaches to it, it can take only a few days to germinate. A professional should be called to clean up a severe mold growth in the home.

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