How To Tell If It’s Mold Or Mildew In My Home

Clearwater Mold Remediation & Mold Removal Able Builders, Inc

In the Clearwater, FL area, mold can thrive in the warm, humid climate. As a homeowner, it’s important to know how to identify mold or mildew. Recognizing mold or mildew in your home can help prevent health complications or extensive damage to your property.

Mold And Mildew Differences

Mildew is a type of mold, but there are notable differences in their characteristics. Here are some ways to spot the difference and identify either mold or mildew in your home.

  • Mildew is low-profile, and starts out white or gray in the early stages before turning brown over time. Mildew can appear “powdery” and spread in a small dot formation. It tends to spread outward and stay on the surface of whatever material it is growing on. 
  • Mold has a higher profile than mildew and can appear fuzzy. Mold is typically darker in color, typically deep green, red, or black. Mold can eat into the base that it is growing on, making it harder to remove. Unlike mildew, it can move upward. 

Common Types Of Molds

These are some common types of molds you might in the Clearwater, FL area:

  • Cladosporium – a greenish-gray (sometimes black) mold most commonly found in homes. Rarely harmful, but can cause minor issues such as nail infections.
  • Penicillium – called “green mold” for its dark green color. Typically grows in large patches on walls. Used to make penicillin, but can be toxic to some humans and animals.
  • Aspergillus – raised, greenish-white in color, sometimes cloudy in appearance. Usually only harmful to those with weakened immune systems.
  • Alternaria – greenish-white with some black patches. Can be confused with “black mold.” Can exacerbate asthma, especially for people with mold allergies.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum (atra) (aka Black Mold) – black in color, this is the most harmful type of mold. It can release harmful mycotoxins into the air and compromise indoor air quality leading to a serious infection called stachybotryotoxicosis. Typically appears in circular patches, and is especially common in water-damaged homes.
  • Health And Allergy Issues From Mold Or Mildew

There are four types of health issues that come from exposure to mold: allergic illness, irritant effects, infection, and toxic effects. Allergic illness is the most common. Some people have no reaction to mold or mildew in their homes. Others, especially those with allergies or other underlying health issues, are much more sensitive to mold or mildew spores. Pets can also be affected by mold or mildew in the home. 

An easy way to tell if your allergy-like symptoms are due to mold or mildew in the home is to take note of whether your symptoms subside when you leave the home or go outdoors. 

What To Do If You Find Mold Or Mildew

You can clean a small mold patch with a few safety precautions. Wear protective eyewear, rubber gloves, and a mask so that you do not come into contact with the mold or inhale the spores. Use a bleach and water solution to carefully clean away the mold. Be sure to assess the cause of the mold growth and try to prevent it from returning by keeping the area dry and clean.

While this process may help with small mold patches, it is not uncommon for additional mold patches to be hidden—or for the mold to return. The best way to ensure total mold remediation for your house is to call in the professionals. They can assess the cause of the mold growth, provide removal services, and help you put further prevention in place. If you find mold in your home, contact the mold remediation professionals at Able.  Book a free mold inspection today!