Mold VS Mildew - Know The Difference To Protect Your Phoenix Home
SERVPRO of Paradise Valley was called out to a Phoenix home after a dishwasher leak caused mold to grow behind the unit.
Mold and mildew are two different types of fungi that can be dangerous and destructive. They have some similarities, which can make them hard to differentiate between the two. However, in order to properly treat affected areas, it's important to identify the type of fungi. So, let's take a look at what they have in common and what sets them apart.
- Thrive in moist environments
- Grow rapidly
- Can have a musty smell
- Live on a variety of surfaces
- Can cause structural damage
- Can cause health effects
- Size and color
- Pose different health effects
- Respond to different treatment
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that grows from microscopic spores. It can have a fuzzy appearance. Mold is typically green or black; however, it can also be brown, yellow, white, blue, or gray. Mold can penetrate beneath the surface of the affected material.
How to Treat Mold
Due to health effects, it's best to leave it to the professionals. Our technicians at SERVPRO of Paradise Valley have the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), cleaning equipment, supplies, skills, and experience to get the job done. We will have mold samples taken and tested by a certified hygienist. Once the job is completed, a hygienist will return to test the air quality. If any structural damage from the mold or water has occurred, our in-house reconstruction team is available for repairs. From the beginning to the end, we will be there to assist you.
What is Mildew?
Mildew is a surface fungus. It's often found on damp surfaces. Humid areas are most commonly affected by mildew, including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and attics. Mildew has a powdery or downy texture. The color starts off white, but can turn yellow, brown, or black.
How to Treat Mildew
Mildew can be treated by scrubbing the surface with a mildew cleaner. Make sure to follow all of the instructions on the product's label. It is advised to work in a well-ventilated area. Wearing a mask may help to avoid breathing in fumes and spores. Protect your hands with rubber gloves. Once you have removed the mildew, rinse the area well with water.
Mold and Mildew Prevention
Prevent future occurrences by keeping areas clean and dry. Fix any leaks. A dehumidifier or exhaust fan will help to maintain proper indoor humidity levels. Keep you air ducts clean. SERVPRO of Paradise Valley offers duct cleaning services.
Common occurrences with Mold Remediation
When water goes undetected for an extended period mold wreaks havoc on your walls (both inside and out). So, what should you expect? Sometimes mold can be "wiped" away if your home is not "hot" for asbestos, does not have harmful molds, or if there are very small amounts. How do you “wipe” it away? Take a warm wash cloth with some soap and simply scrub the affected area until you no longer see the mold. I have done this both out in the field and at my own home (toilet line leak).
What happens when you can’t wipe it away? Often drywall will need to be removed. The reasons vary on why it should/needs to be removed. For example, if you have mold on every inch of the interior part of your drywall, that will need to be removed. Before we start “demo” we cut small holes in your wall to see where the mold is (if there are not obvious signs beforehand). This will help us determine where to start cutting, how much to remove, or what areas do not need to be treated. If there is only one room that has mold we will “seal” that room off so mold spores do not travel through your vents or by opening and closing the door.
Once the drywall is removed we will HEPA Vac the exterior wall, studs, floors to remove all the dust, dirt, and some mold spores (not all will ever be removed, just as much as we can). What else can you expect? Lots and lots of termite trails and grass! Sometimes if you are lucky beehives and wasp nests. The only lucky part about beehives and wasp nests is if there hives/nest is abandoned! No one wants to scream and run out of a room because a little bug is chasing them (been there done that). Talk about embarrassing! In the grand scheme of things this is not ALL of what takes place but these are some key points.
Did you know that moldy bread was used by the Ancient Egyptians to put on their wounds? This is a fact I just learned recently about mold. After learning about it, it completely makes sense! The Egyptians did in fact use moldy bread to treat their wounds to get rid of any bacteria that could cause infection. Why does this make so much sense? Well if you know where penicillin comes from then you can understand why it makes so much sense. However, this practice was used long before the drug penicillin came about and the discovery of penicillin was kind of accidental! There are so many more questions that will go unanswered after I read about this. Like why didn't we test mold further for its benefits, or did we test further? I think I know what the rest of my day is going to consist of... Doing extensive research about mold and the many benefits it has. As well as looking at the timeline between The Egyptians using moldy bread and then the discovery of penicillin to see if there is any correlation. Or perhaps did we think they were crazy for doing that but didn't realize the benefits until after we discovered them ourselves? So many unanswered questions. Time to do some research to answer all these questions! I would not recommend testing this fact at home! There are so many different kinds of mold! We are here for you 24/7 if you encounter mold in your home/business
Who has cut mold off bread and continued to eat the "non-moldy" part? I'll admit I have done this before. Sometimes money is tight and you have to do what you have to do. I mean come on! You just bought the bread what feels like yesterday! It is only on one slice too! This is where many of us have had the misconception that if mold is only on one slice of bread you’re okay. Mold in bread can spread very easily compared to other foods like cheese. With that being said that means just because you cut off what you can see; that does not mean the roots of the mold have not spread to other parts of the bread.
Why should you worry about it?
Well you do not have to “worry” but you certainly do not want to eat bread after it has been moldy. Many will say “Well penicillin comes from mold so it is okay.” While that is true, you do not know what mold is on your bread. There are hundreds of thousands of molds in the world, that is not very good odds. In the end, trying to save yourself a couple dollars could cost you more if you get sick.
Does Your Paradise Valley Home Have A Mold Problem?
In Paradise Valley, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours. Don't hesitate to call!
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (602) 341-6737