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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
ACTIVITY of MOLD in BUILDINGS
AGE of MOLD, HOW OLD
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY
AIRBORNE MOLD COUNT NUMBER GUIDE
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
BROWN HAIRY BATHROOM MOLD
BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BLACK MOLD, HARMLESS COSMETIC
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOK MOLD, Moldy Book Cleaning
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CACTUS FUNGI / MOLD
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET PADDING ASBESTOS, MOLD, ODORS
CARPET FUNGICIDAL SPRAY
CARPET STAIN DIAGNOSIS
CARPET & other STAIN TESTS
CARPET TEST PROCEDURE
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CHAIN OF CUSTODY - TEST SAMPLE
CLEARANCE INSPECTIONS - MOLD CLEANUP
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
DISINFECTANTS & SANITIZERS, SOURCES
DISINFECTING BUILDINGS with BLEACH
DO-IT-YOURSELF MOLD CLEANUP WARNINGS
DUST ANALYSIS for FIBERGLASS
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
EFFLORESCENCE SALTS & WHITE DEPOSITS
FEAR of MOLD - MYCOPHOBIA
FIBERBOARD INSULATION SHEATHING MOLD
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FIND MOLD, ESSENTIAL STEPS
MOLD in BUILDINGS
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOODS in BUILDINGS, MOLD PREVENTION
FOXING STAINS on books & papers
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE GUIDE
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
GAS TEST PROCEDURES
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSE DUST COMPONENTS
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MICROSCOPE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MICROSCOPE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
MILDEW ERRORS, IT's MOLD
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOLD
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
RENTERS GUIDE TO MOLD & IAQ
ROBIGUS & Wheat Rust Fungus
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WATER ENTRY in buildings
Mildew mistakes: this article discusses how to recognize building mold and how to know that indoors, it's not mildew. We include photographs of a variety of white and green mold growths on clothing, leather, artworks, baskets and building surfaces - all examples of light colored molds that are not mildew (and that are potentially more harmful).
This article describes building mold (black mold, green mold, yellow mold, gray mold, and white mold) that is often mistaken for mildew.
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Photographs of Mold Found on or In buildings, Building Contents, Clothing, Baskets, & Artworks: Molds that are Sometimes Mistaken for Mildew
Here are photographs of mold on building exteriors, interiors, or building contents. At this website, other photos of mold on indoor building surfaces may help you recognize mold in buildings, recognize probably-cosmetic mold, and recognize stuff that is not mold and does not need to be tested.
Often an inexperienced mold inspector or consumer may refer to these molds incorrectly as "mildew".
There are mold genera or species that can grow on a remarkably wide range of organic materials that are found both outdoors and inside, and that can appear in an wide range of colors (black, brown, red, green, gray, white, orange, tan, yellow, for example) and textures.
As we discuss in this article series, mildew, a sub-class of molds, is an obligate parasite that grows only on living plants, and is generally white in appearance. Our page top photograph a severe basement mold contamination in a flooded home found in Poughkeepsie, New York.
More photographs of mold that is often mistaken for or mis-named "mildew" are included in this article and links provide articles that correctly identify mildew as well as explain the difference between mildew and mold.
Carpet mildew diagnosis: carpeting that has light mold or smells like mold might be described by an inexperienced inspector or a building owner as mildewed carpeting. If your carpeting smells like "mildew" or "mold" it 's probably moldy whether you can see the mold or not by simple visual inspection.
See CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION for details.
Carpet odors: carpeting that smells can be caused by a wide range of problems. See ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
Carpet stains: can also be caused by a wide range of sources, some of which are harmless, others may diagnose other building problems such as a heating system that is not working properly, or building air leaks. See CARPET STAIN DIAGNOSIS.
Mold on works of art: We define "mildew" stains on or in paint at Mildew in paint. In support of museum conservators we have also identified mold growth on as well as in paint in works of art. Mildew is not found on art works.
Our photograph of a painting being examined for contaminants was provided courtesy of museum conservator Ulrik Runeberg, Puerto Rico Art Museum during a joint forensic investigation.
Mold on painted building surfaces or furnishings: We define "mildew" stains on or in paint at Mildew in paint. Look closely at our peeling paint photograph at above left and you can see some black mold on the back surface of an old layer of exterior paint exposed by our peel-back of blistered paint on a wood clapboard wall. More black mold is visible on the exposed wood surface too.
Our micro-photograph of a cross-section cut moldy paint (below right) shows black mold growth inside the layer of paint sampled from a surface. It's mold, not mildew. Our high-resolution microscope photograph (below) of mold found on exterior wall paint confirms that this is a mitosporic fungi, not mildew.
A closeup microscopic photo of mold found on building wall paint is shown at left.
Our high-resolution microscope photograph (above left) of mold found on exterior wall paint confirms that this is a mitosporic fungi, not mildew.
Mold or algae on roofs: We discuss stains mistaken for mildew on building roofs at Catalog of Black Roof Stains.
Mold on a Leather Jacket or on Clothing
In our forensic lab we confirmed that this "mildewed" leather jacket was actually contaminated with Aspergillus versicolor - it was moldy, not mildewed even though the owner naturally used that term to describe the odor.
Clothing that smells like "mildew" is moldy and can usually be restored by laundering or dry-cleaning. Leather garments need to be cleaned by a leather cleaning professional.
Mold on a Woven Laundry Basket
This "mildewed" laundry basket found in Mexico was mold-contaminated but although the basket was made of plant material, this black mold was not mildew. (Samples are on hand for further laboratory analysis.)
Interestingly the mold grew only on the basket fiber interior surfaces - a side of the plant material that was exposed after the basket reed material was first hand-split for weaving. The harder exterior surface of this bamboo-like plant material did not show much mold growth.
Even using bleach solution (plastic bowl at upper left) we were unable to successfully clean this moldy laundry basket - it was passed on to the trash truck along with other building basura.
Green "Mildew" Reported on Basement Ceiling
This green "mildew" on basement surfaces was confirmed to be mostly Aspergillus sp. mold.
The white, gray, and green "mildew" found on the underside of this building subflooring and on the floor joists was confirmed in our forensic laboratory as not "basement mildew" but rather a mixture of mostly Aspergillus sp. and some Penicillium sp. molds.
We also often find Trichoderma sp. (another green mold) on wooden subfloors and framing over wet or damp basements or crawl spaces.
Green and gray molds on building surfaces are often mistaken for mildew.
White mold in buildings that is not mildew is very common, found for example on wood surfaces, both painted and raw wood. Our photograph (left) shows white mold on an interior basement door.
Often we find white or light gray Aspergillus sp. or Penicillium sp. molds on these surfaces, but there are numerous other light colored or white indoor molds that may be present.
White Stuff that is Niether Mildew nor Mold
Other examples of white mold found in buildings that is often mistakenly called "mildew" can be seen at WHITE MOLD PHOTOS.
White stuff that is not mold is also not mildew: Beware: many people mistake mineral salts or efflorescence for white mold or mildew.
Efflorescence is a white crystalline salt left on masonry surfaces where water or moisture have been evaporating.
.In general, mold is a term encompassing a very wide family of organisms (the Fifth Kingdom) that includes more than a million and a half species. Lots of molds grow on lots of different organic substances, under a variety of conditions of light and temperature, but all molds require moisture and something organic on which to grow (paper, wood, paint, cloth, leather, plastic, etc.).
Continue reading at MILDEW PHOTOGRAPHS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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