Mold versus Mildew

It is easy to understand why people get confused between mold and mildew. Mildew is a particular type of mold. You can use the term to describe all soft, green or gray growth on a surface. While mildew is mold, the opposite is not true. Therefore, not all mold is mildew. Let’s dig deeper into understanding the differences between mold and mildew. You can use this list as a checklist to determine if you are looking at mold or mildew.

Appearance of Mold and Mildew

Mildew is gray or white. It has a flat appearance that looks dry or flaky. It may even appear to be powdery. Meanwhile, mold can be any color including red, blue, green or white. It has a raised appearance and may even appear lumpy. It is usually fuzzy or slimy.

How Mold and Mildew Smell

Mildew has a damp smell very similar to the damp socks you forgot to put in the dryer. Meanwhile, mold has a more pungent aroma. 

When mold is present in an environment, you often want to hold your nose until you identify and eliminate the source. Mold usually has a staler and more earthy smell than mildew.

Mold GrowthWhere Mold Grows

Mildew is a surface growth that you can easily knock off a surface like wood, paper or leather. Meanwhile, mold buries under the surface making it more destructive and harder to get off. Mold and mildew will both die without water, but mold spores will come back as soon as a water source is available because the spores do not die.

Temperatures that Breed Mold Growth

Both mold and mildew like humid environments. However, mildew prefers temperatures between 77 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit to reproduce. Mold can grow in temperatures down to 40 degrees. That is why experts caution you to keep your refrigerator between 32 and 39 degrees.

Humidity Level for Mold & Mildew

Unlike the desert southwest, where the average humidity level hovers at 38.5%, the average humidity level in Texas is nearly double that at 64.9%!  This makes homes in Dallas, TX more likely to develop mold growth.  Generally, mildew grows best when the humidity is over 60%. Mold grows best when the humidity is over 50%. Taking steps to lower your home’s humidity level to between 30-and-50% can help eliminate both issues and will keep your family more comfortable.

Health Hazards of Inhaling Mold or Mildew

You may notice respiratory issues, a headache, or a sore throat when mildew is abundant. Mold often causes watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headache and fatigue. Some types of mold can produce even more severe health concerns.

Stop Mold Growth with Leak RepairLeak Repair

One of the most effective ways to prevent mold growth is to ensure none of your plumbing or pipes have leaks. Plumbing Dynamics will locate and repair any leaks found in your Dallas home.

Getting leaks repaired by Dallas plumbing experts quickly can prevent mold and mildew in your home, and also save you money on your water bill!  Contact Plumbing Dynamics today to schedule your appointment with our licensed plumbers.