Black mold and mildew are two very common problems that people face in their everyday lives. Both can be equally bothersome and even have negative effects on your health. These types of fungi grow quite commonly in places like showers, attics, and even on food. It is important to understand the differences between the two because each has a unique course of action that should be taken.
The only way for black mold to grow is if there is water present, making it very common in places like showers and ceilings with leaky pipes. Stachybotrys, or black mold, is a type of mold is very toxic.
Black mold is very fuzzy, almost looking as if it has hair. It is black in color, but the intensity of the black can vary depending on how thick the mold has grown. In some areas the mold may appear somewhat transparent, and completely solid in others.
Because mold needs a water source in order to develop, the areas that can be affected are somewhat limited. The most common places to find black mold is in system drains, within carpets, walls, paper, and ceiling tiles. Anywhere that is damp and cool can support the growth of black mold.
Black mold is toxic, and has many dangerous and unpleasant health effects that it causes. Some of the more common symptoms that people who have been exposed to black mold experience are dizziness, migraines, rash, coughing, nose bleeds, blood shot eyes, vomiting, chest pains, fevers, and possibly even death. If you believe you have been exposed to black mold you should consult medical advice as soon as possible.
Mildew is much different than mold, it is very superficial and provides no real harm to humans or animals. It is made up of a very thin layer of hyphae, which are very small filaments of fungus. Mildew is very common.
It usually only grows on flat surfaces, and has a powdery or “downy” appearance. Mildew typically starts out white and with time develops a yellowish color. Mildew also has a very distinct musty smell.
Mildew poses no real risk of health problems. Over exposure may lead to respiratory irritation and coughing. Mildew can however effect plants and crops severely.
Mildew thrives on organic materials, such as paper, leather, and many types of fabrics. Clothing or towels that are left damp are the most common to develop mildew in the home.
What To Do
There are multiple different cleaners that are designed specifically to kill and eliminate molds and mildew. It is very important to use these cleaners only in very well ventilated areas as the chemicals are very strong. Also be sure to use dust masks and gloves to avoid breathing in any of the cleaners of fungus. Making sure that you change the environment so that it no longer will support this type of fungus growth is also a very good idea.