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by Olga Loreto Olga Loreto No Comments

Mold vs. Mildew: Appearance, Types, and Effects

Two of the most common types of fungi that are commonly found growing in most homes are ‘mold’ and ‘mildew.’

While the two may appear to be extremely similar, they are actually quite different from each other in terms of many factors, such as their types, textures, effects, and growth, to name a few. Mildew is, after all, a kind of mold, so they will obviously have many similarities and some minor differences between each other. To help you distinguish mold from mildew, here are a few common differences between the two types of fungi.


The easiest and the most basic way to differentiate between two organisms is their appearance. Generally, mold has a green or black colored appearance while mildew adopts a more whitish or grayish look.


This type of fungus has a slimy and fuzzy appearance, and it often grows in irregularly shaped spots that are typically scattered across a surface. They can also grow in different colors such as brown, gray, yellow, green, or blue.


On the other hand, mildew appears more powdery and fluffier and tends to grow in a flat pattern. You can easily identify mildew due to its patches of yellow, white, and gray that appears in moist areas. However, over time, mildew can eventually transform into a deep brown or black color.


Another factor that distinguishes mold from mildew is the numerous types of each fungus that are most commonly found growing in homes and other places.


There are as many as 10,000 species of mold that can live indoors; however, there are majorly five types that fall under the category of ‘household molds.’

These are:

  • Alternaria – commonly grows around windows, in showers, and on the walls.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) – found inside air conditioning ducts and around leaky pipes.
  • Pencillium – grows on moist areas, mattresses, carpets, wallpapers, and insulation.
  • Aspergillus – grows on clothing, walls, paper-based products, and insulation.
  • Cladosporium – typically appears on floorboards, carpets, curtains, and other wooden surfaces and fabrics.


There are also many different species of mildew; however, two of them are the most common types.

These are:

  • Downy Mildew – typically grows on agricultural products like crops and vegetables.
  • Powdery Mildew – this type mainly affects flowering plants and grows in patterned splotches.


Both mold and mildew produce different kinds of effects that require immediate action and care.


Mold is known to cause a number of health problems for anyone who comes into contact with mold spores. It also leads to serious structural damages and can affect the walls, carpets, flooring and numerous other objects and spaces inside your home. Some of its most serious health risks involve allergic reactions, respiratory problems, fatigue, painful and aching joints, and heart problems.


Although mildew is known to affect plants and crops, it can also easily grow inside your home and other indoor spaces. If you end up inhaling mildew spores, it can lead to numerous respiratory problems such as severe coughing, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, and headaches.

Bottom Line

Both mold and mildew have the potential to be extremely dangerous, so it is essential to take immediate measures to prevent them from causing any kind of damage.

by Olga Loreto Olga Loreto No Comments

How to be Mold-Free?

Whether it is a cold, damp winter or a warm, humid summer, activities at home can result in moisture indoors and the appearance of mold.
Mold can grow on walls, clothes, books, toys, and even CDs. It can turn prized possessions into musty relics that only look fit for the garbage. But is it also a health hazard? What effects can mold have on a person’s body? This article looks at what mold is, why it grows, its impact on a person’s health, and how to stop it.

Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different types, and they can occur both indoors and outdoors.

Molds produce spores, which spread by floating around in the air. Mold spores are present in all indoor environments. There is no way to prevent spores, and they can persist in conditions where mold itself cannot grow. Mold spores thrive in environments that are moist and warm, so when they land on a damp spot, they begin to grow.

Molds can grow on a variety of different surfaces, including fabric, paper, wood, glass, and plastic. As they grow, they may digest the material they are growing on. Read the following recommendations:

  1. Always ask for mold testing first. Professional mold removal and prevention services offer laboratory analysis of samples taken from air ducts. At times, the collection of dust and cobwebs can look like mold. The only way to confirm an infestation is to run a conclusive test.
  2. Get to know your HVAC system. Find out the primary material of your ductwork. It can be fiberglass, flex duct or metal sheet. The cleaning methods and the charges usually vary depending on the duct material type.
  3. The air duct cleaning services should always follow the National Air Duct Cleaning Association’s standards for the procedure. They should use EPA registered/approved products and processes for the effective removal of mold.
  4. Ask for references and client testimonials from service providers. A reputed HVAC mold removal service provider should be able to provide more than enough satisfactory and genuine client reviews and recommendations from their previous stints.
  5. Request frequent and periodic inspection of ducts and vents to prevent mold buildup. Mold problems can be recurrent. Ask for professional HVAC tips that can help you keep your indoor air clean in the future. Services should include yearly inspection of the cooling and heating systems along with the placement of moisture prevention systems within the HVAC.

Keeping your home clean is easy, but keeping the air inside your house fresh is more than challenging. It is a huge responsibility to ensure that the air you and your loved ones are breathing is free of harmful particles, VOCs, and mold. With the persistent humidity, warmth and water buildup, it is easy for fungus to find a home within your abode. You must be vigilant to keep this uninvited guest out of your home to ensure the proper health of your family and pets.

For over a decade EE&G Air Conditioning Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing have been the leading service provider near you for HVAC services such as air duct cleaning, a/c, and heating system repair and installations.  For any other information on how to get rid of mold in air ducts please contact us for a free consultation.

by Olga Loreto Olga Loreto No Comments

What is a Mold Remediation Protocol?

A Mold Remediation Protocol is typically written when items or areas have been identified containing an unacceptable amount or type of mold and a client requires an industry-recognized method of removal or cleaning instructions.

Before a Mold Remediation Protocol is written, a mold assessment is conducted by a qualified Mold Assessor (some States have licensure requirements). The information that is gathered, which includes but not limited to; a site visit, client interviews, room drawings, temperature & Relative Humidity readings, cause & origin, and sampling (where applicable), are used in the report generation.

Though no federal standards have been set for mold remediation, industry guidance and practices have been established. Those are:

  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (2001). Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings (EPA Publication No. 402-K-01-001). Washington DC: US EPA
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (1999). Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control. ISBN: 882417-29-1 Cincinnati OH: ACGIH
  • New York City Department of Health (2000) Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments. New York New York: New York City Department of Health
  • Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (2003, 2004, 2008). Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. Vancouver, WA: IICRC S520
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association (2008). Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Indoor Mold. Fairfax, VA: AIHA
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association (2005). Field Guide for the Determination of Biological Contaminants in Environmental Samples. Fairfax, VA: AIHA
  • American Council for Accredited Certification. CIE, CMI, CMR. Glendale, AZ: ACAC.

Who should have a Mold Remediation Protocol Written?

Any entity that is going to have work performed where mold has been identified either visually or by a qualified Mold Assessor.

What is performed with a Mold Remediation Protocol?

Interview – Review, and discussion with an authorized representative of the Property of current conditions which has led to the claim.

Site Assessment – A physical site assessment of the Property in the area(s) of concern to visually assess the damage(s), retrieve temperature and RH readings, take air and direct samples for mold (if applicable), and gather room dimension to create room/floor drawings to identify the location(s) of concern.

  • Air Sampling – The purpose of non-viable spore trap air sampling is to provide an approximation of the airborne microbial (fungal) spore concentrations. A minimum of one control sample is typically taken outside the most commonly used entrance into the building, then one or more air samples are collected in the areas of concern within the building. Elevated airborne spore concentrations may indicate an indoor microbial reservoir(s), or that cleaning of personal effects or the HVAC system(s), is a necessary component of a microbial remediation plan.
  • Direct sampling – The purpose of direct sampling is to identify the type and concentration of microbial spores present on affected materials identified with suspect visible microbial growth. The sampling results are also used for reference for source contamination when air samples are taken.

Non-Scope Items – include visual identification and records review for:

  • Asbestos-Containing Building Materials (ACM)
  • Lead-Based Paint
  • Fire Reduction Chemicals

Qualifications: No federal guidelines exist at this time. However, some states have placed requirements for licensed Mold Assessors and Mold Remediators. For those States that do not have specific requirements, it is recommended that you use a person who:

  • Has taken a minimum of 24 hours of mold assessment and remediation courses,
  • Follows one or more of the recognized industry guidelines and practices, and
  • Acquires, at a minimum, 8 Continuing Educational Units (CEUs) bi-annually.

A person not meeting one or more of those qualifications may assist in the conduct of a Mold Remediation Protocol if the individual is under the direct supervision or responsible charge of a person meeting the minimum qualifications.