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A Tale of Two Fungi: Mold vs. Mildew

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

black mold on a white wall and ceiling black mold on a white wall and ceiling with the SERVPRO logo over the top of the image

A Tale of Two Fungi: Mold vs. Mildew

Fungus is a natural part of our environment, but that doesn’t mean we want it in our homes or businesses. Two of the more common invasive fungi you may see are mold and mildew. Read on to learn how to spot the differences between the two so you’ll better understand how to address the cleanup.

  • Appearance – Mildew generally looks dry, speckled, or powdery and appears flat, while mold is described as raised, fuzzy or slimy. Mildew typically presents as a patch of white, gray, or black. Mold can be much more varied in color, looking green, blue, brown, black, yellow, or even red.
  • Smell – Both mold and mildew have similar odors, comparable to the smell of damp towels or rotting wood, but mold has a much more powerful odor, often described as foul or unpleasant. Because the smell of mold is so much stronger than the smell of mildew, you may smell mold even before you see it.
  • Location – Mildew grows only on item surfaces and typically grows outward, whereas mold burrows downward into floors and carpet, and upward into walls and ceilings.

Now that you’re able to differentiate between mold and mildew, it’s time to tackle the cleanup. Mildew spots can generally be managed with household cleaners. Look for bleach-based or ammonia-based cleaners but be sure never to mix the two as they create toxic fumes when combined. For small spots of mildew, an inexpensive 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water may be adequate. Mold, however, may require the hiring of an expert. The professionals at SERVPRO specialize in mold mitigation and can provide remediation and restoration to your home or business, as well as help you identify and eliminate the source of moisture causing the mold.

Here at SERVPRO we always want to help you put your best foot forward to avoid any fire, water, or mold damage. In the event that you do experience fire, water, or mold damage, we’re here to help! 

Give us a call for your quote today at 256-259-4333 From Mentone to Bridgeport, Collinsville to Woodville, Ider to Geraldine, or Fort Payne to Scottsboro, we are proud to operate in your neighborhood. We proudly boast "Best in County" for the years 2017 and 2018!

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