Mold is a type of fungus that’s found in nature. It’s a plant that grows on food, plants, wood, and on the walls and floors of your home. Mold breaks down dead animal and plant matter.
When found in your home, however, it can cause musty and damp smells in your basement. If it’s left alone for too long, the spores can get into the ductwork and trigger allergies and other respiratory diseases.
For successful mold growth, moisture and food source are needed. Mold can consume carbon-based substances, a particular favorite being cellulose or wood-based organisms. Unfortunately, most — if not all — of the things mold consumes are a standard part of a home. As a result, mold spores are found everywhere. Even if you have never had a mold outbreak, the spores are there, lying dormant and waiting for their chance to grow.
The only thing we can do about mold is to make sure that it remains as dormant spores, and to do that, we have to control the amount of moisture found in your home.
If mold comes into contact with water, then the dormant spores can grow and thrive. If this problem isn’t addressed immediately, you may see signs of mold growing. When you have family members or coworkers getting sick, or if rooms in your home smell damp, musty, and generally unpleasant, then you know that something has to be done about it.
Mildew on the other hand is a more mild fungus and can be spotted as a white or gray patch that’s lying on top of a moist area. It forms in areas that are wet and humid. When you add low air flow and dim lighting to the mix, mold spores can form. Mold appears fuzzier and comes in a variety of colors such as blue, yellow, brown, gray, green, black or white. Mildew begins as a plain white patch and can turn yellow, brown, or black later on.
Between the two, mildew is easier to clean, as it can be treated with a cleaner and scrubbing brush.
Mold comes in many different varieties, toxic being one of the worst. If you have toxic mold growing in your home, allergies, asthma, irritated eyes, lung problems, and headaches are just some of the illnesses you and your family can experience.
Mildew primarily causes damage to crops and plants, sensitivity to light, skin rashes, muscle aches, fatigue, and headaches. Exposure to mildew can cause people to have difficulty concentrating, or mood swings.
MOLD REMEDIATION SHOULD BE DONE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ANSI/IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Guide
When you’ve got an infestation of mold and mildew, the first step is to find the source of the moisture and to seal it up. If the source of the moisture isn’t found, then mold will just grow back again after being removed.
Afterwards, you can attempt to scrub away the mildew and mold by mixing ½ cup of bleach, 1 qt. of water, and a bit of detergent. The bleach is what kills mold, and the detergent helps lift it off of the surface to make sure that no spores remain. Mildew cleaner can also be bought from home centers, hardware, and paint stores.
If the mold doesn’t disappear after a light scrub, apply the mixture again and let it stand for a minute or two before scrubbing again. After all of the mold is gone and the spot is completely dry, seal the clean surfaces. If there’s a mold infestation in your bathroom, apply a grout sealer to the tile joints once clean and dry.