Mold vs. Mildew

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Mold vs. mildew, are they really different?  Often people think that the two words are easily interchangeable and mean the same thing. Wrong, mold and mildew are distinctly different. While they do come from the same family of fungi, they come from a different species and genus within the family.

What is then? Mold is nature’s primary resource for decomposition. Mold feeds on dead, organic matter that is saprophytic (absorbing or growing on dead matter). Mold helps nature with the process of decay. How? Mold grows on fallen trees, leaves, dead animals and much more. In fact, without mold our world would be overcome with piles and piles of dead stuff.

Sounds like mold is a good thing right? It is, but the only acceptation is when mold grows inside. Then there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Mold can’t tell the difference between a dead tree that has fallen in the woods from a damp spot in your home. Mold is a spore former and spores float around inside and outside. Once the mold finds a moisture ridden place along with some darkness, it grows and reproduces extremely fast.

Well, what is mildew? Mildew is also a member of the fungi family, but it comes from a different genus. Mildew is a parasite, which means it feeds off of living plants. This is the key factor to decide on whether you have a mold or mildew problem. Most buildings do not have a mildew problem unless they have a lot of plants and vegetation in the building. In that case, most buildings do not, so mildew rarely plays a part in indoor contamination.

For general information on Mold see the CDC’s website here.

For information on safety and health related to mold, see OSHA’s website here.

All in all, the presence of mold or mildew within your home or business is a problem and it needs to be addressed promptly. If you have discovered you have a mold or mildew problem, give Complete DKI a call 24/7 at 850.225.5354 or 251.225.5354. .

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