Mould and mildew are both fungi that can develop within moist, enclosed spaces. Left untreated, they can damage your house’s structure and cause a wealth of health problems for you and your family.
Although the terms ‘mould’ and ‘mildew’ are often used interchangeably, there’s a distinct difference between the two. Read on to find out how to identify and treat each type of growth.
What are mould and mildew?
The distinction can be confusing, but put simply: mildew is a particular type of mould. The term ‘mildew’ is often used to refer to mould with a flat growth habit. ‘Mould’ can be used to refer to mildew, but ‘mildew’ can’t be used to refer to all types of mould.
Both mould and mildew can cause health problems, including respiratory difficulties and skin infections. However, mildew is typically less dangerous than other forms of mould (like black mould). People with allergies, asthma, underlying lung disease, or a weakened immune system are particularly vulnerable.
How do you tell mould and mildew apart?
To make sure you’re applying the right type of treatment, it’s important to determine whether your home is infested with mould or mildew. Fortunately, there are a few key ways to tell them apart.
Mildew is flat, looks grey or white, and has a dry or powdery texture. Mould is darker in colour, usually green, black, red, or blue. It has a fuzzy or slimy texture and can be raised.
Mould produces microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) as it grows, resulting in a pungent and earthy smell. Mildew has a more subtle, musty odour, like damp laundry.
Mould and mildew both thrive in areas where moisture and oxygen are present, such as wood, carpets, and furniture. They can usually be found in damp environments like bathrooms and basements.
Unlike mould, which can grow in most temperatures, mildew grows best in humid spaces – it is often found in shower cubicles or on windowsills for this reason.
How do you treat mould and mildew?
To prevent mould and mildew from forming, make sure your home is well ventilated and maintains a humidity level of less than 50%; extractor fans, dehumidifiers, and proper damp proofing will help with this.
Once mould and mildew begin to grow, however, a proper course of treatment is needed.
Mildew is generally much easier to deal with than mould. It sits on top of the surfaces it grows on, so most cases can be removed with a strong household cleaner and a scrub brush.
It’s important to remove mildew as soon as you spot it. If left alone, it will continue to spread and become a fungus, which is far harder to remove. Contact a professional if you’re not sure if the mildew in your house has been fully removed.
Mould penetrates more deeply into the surfaces it grows on, making it more difficult to spot and remove than mildew. If you notice signs of mould in your home, it’s crucial to get it examined by a professional as soon as possible. They will have the tools and knowledge to thoroughly remove the contaminated areas and ensure your home is mould-free.
Trust the mould removal experts
The key to effective treatment is getting mould looked at as soon as you spot it. Mould is extremely hard to remove on your own, so make sure you turn to a well-established company to deal with the problem.
Prokil have treated thousands of cases of mould across the South. We have dealt with cases of all sizes and scopes, from the corner of a carpet to a full-blown house infestation.
With five decades of experience under our belt, you can trust us to restore your property into a safe and comfortable home for you and your family.