Moisture, Mildew, and Mold: Everything You Should Know

Black mold. Even reading or hearing the term can make people feel anxious. Indeed, black mold is a dangerous toxin that makes people very sick. Still, how common is it? Are all molds harmful? And what’s the difference between moisture, mildew, and mold, anyway? In this post, The Real Estate Inspection Company answers these questions and more.

Moisture, Mildew, and Mold: What You Should Know

What’s the Difference Between Moisture, Mildew, and Mold?

Moisture is a form of liquid that is often condensed, vaporized, or settled within a surface. In certain environments, moisture combined with other factors provides an excellent opportunity for fungi to grow. Consequently, mildew and mold are two examples of fungi that thrive in moist areas. 

Where Might I Find Mildew or Mold in My Home?

Mildew lives on the surface and proliferates in humidity and warm temperatures. Therefore, you can often find it in bathrooms on shower walls and glass surfaces. However, you may also spot it on kitchen tiles, in attics, or in non-climate-controlled storage units. On the other hand, mold often burrows beneath surfaces. As a result, you may not spot it as easily. Moreover, it’s harder to eliminate. 

Do Mildew and Mold Look the Same?

Another way to tell the difference between mildew and mold is their appearance. For example, mildew is often white or gray, and it feels powdery. In fact, it can brush away like a powder. On the other hand, mold appears slimy or fuzzy, and the color ranges from green to black to red. 

Can Both Fungi Make Me Sick?

Mildew shouldn’t cause any health issues. Alternatively, mold can cause significant health issues, especially for those with respiratory or autoimmune disorders. At the same time, not all mold is harmful or toxic. Moreover, mold often stays in one general area. Therefore, whether mold impacts your health depends on several factors. 

Can I Get Rid of Mildew and Mold Myself?

You can generally eliminate mildew yourself. After all, it’s not harmful. In fact, many common household cleaners tout the ability to remove mildew. Since mildew tends to grow in specific surface areas, it’s easy to find and remove. However, we recommend using a professional to identify, test, and remove mold growing in your home. 

Do I Need a Mold Inspection?

The best way to determine whether you have mold and to what extent is to get a mold inspection. We recommend you schedule a mold inspection immediately if the following situations occur:

  • You see mold
  • You smell a pungent odor
  • You experience water damage
  • You buy a new house
  • You have health concerns that mold exacerbates

If So,…

The Real Estate Inspection Company provides mold inspections as standalone inspections, as part of a complete home inspection, or bundled with another inspection. Our thermal imaging cameras detect hidden moisture behind walls and surfaces left from water damage. In fact, we offer various inspections, including aerial roof inspections, pool & spa inspections, and more. If you live in San Diego County, Riverside County, or Orange County, call (800) 232-5180 to schedule an inspection today.