Mould or Mildew
Is it mould or is it mildew?
Distinguishing the difference between mould and mildew can be a difficult task, as the characteristics are quite similar and they both thrive in moist and warm areas. While mildew may be considered the friendlier of the two, both mould and mildew are classified as fungi and can be harmful to a property if left untreated. Mildew is typically found in wet areas, such as mildew on walls, in a laundry or bathroom.
Unlike mildew, mould attaches to affected materials with microscopic filaments that penetrate beneath the surface. Mildew tends to live only on the surface of a material, meaning it is easier to eliminate from a property and is less of a threat. Mildew has been widely known to affect crops and plants and consists of two types: powdery mildew and downy mildew. It usually grows in a flat pattern with a greyish-white appearance, which may turn a yellow or brown colour if left untreated. Mould on the other hand can present in irregular shapes and patterns, and ranges in colour from blue to green, yellow, orange, brown, grey, black or white. Mould is fuzzy or slimy in texture and penetrates surfaces causing damage and over time may begin to rot materials. Common health complaints from exposure to mildew are like those of mould exposure, ranging from coughing to sore throats and headaches.
Preventing mildew in a property follows the same measures as preventing mould. Keeping areas dry and moisture free and monitoring the humidity levels of a property are vital in keeping mould and mildew at bay. Installing adequate ventilation systems in wet areas and using a dehumidifier in rooms where relative humidity readings exceed 60% will assist with preventing mould and mildew appearing. As mildew commonly appears on plants, eliminating affected plants from a property is vital in preventing further growth.