Many believe that mildew is not mold, but that’s not exactly true. Both mold and mildew are a type of fungi, making them one and the same. The difference between the two is usually what kind of surface they are growing on and whether professional treatment is needed.
This terminology, mildew vs. mold can get especially confusing when part of a real estate transaction. When an inspector says something is mildew, it downplays the severity of certain situations and those sellers and buyers involved might be confused on what’s needed to fix the problem. Since there are a host of many different inspectors, with many different specialties in your home at this time, it’s tough to know what that really means.
Most of the time, the term mildew is used when it’s a small amount, on a wipeable surface, such as bathroom tiles, the fiberglass shower insert, your window sills, or kitchen counters. This is common when there is too much condensation or moisture that can easily be wiped off with a rag and some distilled white vinegar.
The term mold on the other hand is generally used when it’s growing on sheetrock, or on your clothes, your wood furniture, or on floor joist and sub-flooring. This usually requires a professional remediation to clean up the mold problem you are experiencing. The key though is for those professionals to find the source that is causing this mold growth, not to just clean it up.
Condensation on your window sills that causes mildew, or mildew on your shower insert after hot steamy showers, can be easily treated by the homeowner. Better insulated windows and running an exhaust fan, or leaving your bathroom door open when you take a shower can fix those problems pretty easily.
But not everything is as it seems when so called “mildew” is pointed out in different areas of the home. Calling it mildew instead of mold downplays the situation, but if someone says you need mildew removal in Springfield Missouri throughout your crawl space, that is a problem that probably needs addressed by mold remediation professionals.
First of all, that would be a mold problem in your crawl space and it needs to be addressed. Whether it’s a small amount or a large amount of mold, it won’t go away on its own and needs to be taken care of, as to not cause a much larger issue down the road.
The simple terminology twist of mildew vs. mold can be misinterpreted during a real estate transaction. Since home inspectors, termite inspectors, plumbers, foundation experts, roof inspectors, and mold inspectors are inside your home during a real estate transaction, make sure you are getting the correct information from the inspector of that specialty.
Call Dog Gone Mold when needing an inspection and we will let you know if it’s mold or mildew. If it’s something that needs professional help, or if it’s something we can tell the homeowner how to easily clean it up, you can trust our mold inspection experts to always give you the correct information.