Mold vs. Mildew in Carpets: What’s the Difference?

Mold vs. Mildew in Carpets: What’s the Difference?

Mold and mildew are lurking in lots of nooks and crannies in your home – especially your carpets. This is an ideal place to hide because it’s dark, shady and often times moist way down deep in the fibers. Both mold and mildew can spread quickly throughout your home unless identified and treated fast. Plus, they can cause health problems if occupants breathe them in for too long.

It’s important to understand how fungi operate so you can come up with a plan of attack. One big part of that plan is to engage in regular carpet cleaning in Michigan.

All About Mold

Mold is a fungus that often has a green or black color, but can come in a multitude of colors such as yellow, pink and purple. While there are tens of thousands of mold species that thrive outdoors, there are about 10,000 that can survive — and thrive – indoors. Here are some of the more common types:

  • Trichoderma: This yellow or green type of mold is attracted to damp areas of your home, such as drywall, carpets and wallpaper.
  • Cladosporium: Bathrooms, basements, carpeting and beneath sinks are where you will find this type of brown, black or green mold.
  • Aureobasidium: This mold is pink or black and can be found on wood, wallpaper and paint, as well as around window caulking and in damp flooring.
  • Chaetomium: This is a dangerous type of mold that gives off a musty odor, spreading quickly through damp carpeting.
  • Penicillium: This spreads mostly in water-damaged furniture and carpeting, as well as curtains, mattresses, and insulation.
  • Alternaria: You’ll find this dark green or brown mold around showers, leaky pipes, sinks, and flooded surfaces.

It’s important to note that mold can grow and reproduce in a matter of days, with spores that can penetrate fibrous surfaces such as carpets.

All About Mildew

Mildew is a type of fungus. It’s also a type of mold. You will often find it growing on plants, with two appearances classified as downy and powdery.

  • Downy: This has a fuzzy look to it. You may have seen this growing on old grapes.
  • Powdery: This looks drier, appearing as white or gray splotches and is commonly found on damp flowering plants indoors.

Mildew also spreads fairly quickly on carpeted surfaces, especially in damp areas like the bathroom or basement.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew

Because spores of both mold and mildew travel through the air, occupants of the home can easily inhale them. Steam cleaning your carpets is the most effective way to treat mold that has gotten into your flooring. It’s best to let professionals handle this task. They can use the proper supplies and equipment to not only kill off the mold and mildew but also ensure proper drying of the area, which is key.

Sometimes, when mold and mildew have accumulated too much in your carpet, such as after flooding in a basement, it may be best to replace the old carpeting with new.

How to Prevent Future Problems

Here are some tips on what you can do to keep your home – and your carpet – dry and discourage mold and mildew.

  • Use a dehumidifier to control humidity levels. Add plenty of ventilation in damp areas such as bathrooms.
  • Use an air purifier to boost the health of your indoor air.
  • Fix leaks immediately.
  • Inspect HVAC systems regularly to prevent condensation.
  • Clean your air ducts. Spores travel through ducts in your home, so have them professionally cleaned regularly.
  • Dry carpets thoroughly. If your carpets get wet for any reason, or you recently shampooed them, make sure you thoroughly dry them to prevent fungal growth.

Don’t let mold and mildew destroy your carpet and make you sick! Keep your carpets clean with the help of professional carpet cleaners near you.

Contact 1st Class Carpet Cleaning and Restoration

1st Class Carpet Cleaning and Restoration can get mold and mildew out of your carpets with our innovative steam cleaning solutions that are tough on stains as well as what’s lurking underneath the fibers. Call us at (248) 491-3088 to book an appointment for carpet cleaning in Detroit MI.