We can all agree that the summer of 2018 in Charlotte has been hot, humid, and, of course, filled with those heavy afternoon thunderstorms. All of those elements can create a perfect environment for mold and mildew to form in and around your home.
Mold and mildew cannot only look and smell bad, but there can be some harmful health side effects if they are not managed safely.
Mold vs. Mildew: What’s the Difference?
Mold and mildew are types of fungi that are found inside your home. The two can thrive in the hot, humid Charlotte summers because of all the moisture in the air.
Mildew is a type of mold that grows in a flat pattern and has a black, gray and sometimes white powdery appearance. It mainly impacts the surface and can grow on wood, walls, wallpaper, plants and old fabrics… just think of that old couch that you have hanging around in your basement.
Mold usually grows on food but can also be damaging to homes by growing inside walls, carpet and flooring. Mold is usually fuzzy or slimy and can be an array of different colors such as blue, green, gray, black and white. Mold is the result of a much larger infestation that is happening in your house.
While the two are different, both develop in damp, humid and poorly lit environments like a basement, crawl space or attic.
What are the health effects of mildew and mold?
Exposure to mildew and mold can also cause a variety of similar health effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold and mildew can cause throat irritation, coughing, wheezing and eye irritation. People with allergies to molds or with asthma could have more intense reactions, the CDC says.
How do you clean mildew?
Mildew is the easiest of the two to clean because it is a surface fungus. You just need a cleaner with bleach and a scrubbing brush in order to remove the fungus from the surface. It may also be a good idea to wear a mask so that you don’t breathe in the fungus during the cleaning process.
How do you clean mold?
Cleaning mold isn’t a “do-it-yourself” process, because most of the time it’s a much larger issue that has impacted your home below the surface.
The safest and most effective way to clean mold is to get a professional to assess the mold, determine what type it is and what kind of damage has been done. The experts will then take the next steps to make sure it can be safely removed from your home.
How do I prevent mold and mildew in my home?
Since moisture is the number one cause of mold and mildew in homes, the best advice is to keep your indoor spaces dry and ventilated.
You can call our highly-trained technicians to come to your home and inspect your heating and cooling systems to make sure that all air ducts are clean and that you have good air circulation throughout your home.
A leaky pipe can also be a source of mold. If that’s the case, you should call Charlotte Mechanical’s expert plumbers to assess the situation and see what can be done to fix the issue and get the leak under control.
Also, keep your home clean of damp, sweaty clothes and towels. Often wet towels and clothes can be left lying around the house. Make sure that these are going directly into the washing machine so mildew doesn’t grow on them.
If you see a suspicious growth in your home and don’t know what it is, there is a simple test to see if you’re dealing with mildew or mold. Take a household bleach, put a few drops on the area and wait a few minutes. If the spot becomes lighter, then you are dealing with mildew. But if it remains dark, then, unfortunately, you are dealing with mold.
Our trustworthy team at Charlotte Mechanical will do whatever we can to make sure you are comfortable and cool in your home during the hot and humid summer months. If you need air conditioner maintenance, repair or replacement, schedule an appointment with our HVAC experts or give us a call at 704-771-1020.