Mold is a type of plant that grows on organic matter, and is a form of fungi (fungus). Mildew is related to mold, but it grows on fabric. Both mold and mildew can affect your health, and each is usually ingested by breathing in the spores, coming in physical contact with it, or even eating it in rare cases. The spores of mold and mildew are microscopic, so unless you actually see or smell it, you may not even know it is there. Over time, ingestion of these can create some annoying and sometimes serious health issues. Perhaps the most common problem with mold and mildew is that it can trigger allergies and allergic reactions in people, particularly young children. It can also make those who suffer from asthma experience symptoms much stronger than usual. In some cases, mold and mildew can be fatal if it is toxic and breathed in over a period of time.
Since mold and mildew are often hard to detect (mildew has a much more distinct smell), it can be somewhat difficult to remove it. There are some tips you can follow to try and at least prevent it from spreading or coming into your home before having to call a professional. Good ventilation and removal of moisture are the two best defenses against the fungus. Keep basements and closets clean and dry. Try not to store wet clothing in a closed container. Use a dehumidifier with a special mold fighting filter if needed, particularly if you live in a very humid part of the country. Wash linens often. If you follow these steps, and keep a close eye on any warning signs of mold and mildew, you should be able to prevent it, at least in quantities that will affect your health and the health of your family.