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What is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Mold or Mildew?

Mold and Mildew are types of fungi that share common features but differ in many ways. Both fungi grow in damp and humid areas, however they can affect your health and home differently. Knowing the differences between mold and mildew can help you know how to approach the problem at hand. The following will explain the differences between mold and mildew. 

Where They Grow

Both mold and mildew can grow in damp areas in homes and outdoors. They need an organic food source, such as drywall, wood, plants or soil, ( something that once was a living organism).

  • Mold can grow on any organic surface in a home. Given enough time, mold can cause materials to rot and destroy the structural components of a home.
  • Mildew grows mostly on plants and can kill them if not removed in time. Mildew is also the name of the plant diseases caused by parasitic fungi.

Mold and Mildew Appearance

Mold is usually fuzzy or slimy, where as mildew appears either powdery or downy. Downy mildew is yellow at first and turns to brownish yellow later. Powdery mildew is white, and then turns yellow and black when it matures.

  • Mold appears as irregularly shaped spots that can have different colors – blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black or white.
  • Mildew usually grows in a flat pattern and appears as white, gray, or yellowish patches that turn black or brown over time.

Exposure Symptoms

Mold exposure can cause several health problems such as allergic reactions (sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing, irritation of the throat, rashes, etc.), respiratory problems (difficulty breathing, coughing, asthma attacks), heart problems, migraines, depression, and more.

Mildew exposure poses fewer health risks – coughing, headaches, sore throat, and respiratory problems.

Symptoms from both can vary from person to person and the strength of each person’s respiratory and immune system. Typically children and elderly are most at risk for health related issues due to exposure. These issues can be prevented by trusting in Pursuit Restoration to properly contain your property before disturbing any growth. If you feel you have any respiratory or immune issue please see your doctor for health related questions and concerns. 


Some molds are beneficial, for example, Penicillium is used to make antibiotics and can also be used in the production of cheese and tofu. There are a variety of molds in controlled doses and circumstances that can benefit the human body.

Mildew does not have any known benefits.

Prevention and Removal

As mold and mildew thrive in humid environments, it is important to keep your property dry to prevent any growth. Repair leaks as soon as possible, if needed install a dehumidifier to keep humidity at 30-50% and ventilate appliances (dryer, bathroom exhaust fans, stove). Learn more mold prevention tips.

Removing mold and mildew yourself can be difficult and damaging to your health. For small infected areas – less than 10 square feet – on surfaces like walls, scrub the mold with a mixture of household detergent and water. If the affected area is larger than 10 square feet, the safest and most efficient way to remove the mold is to call Pursuit Restoration to professionally handle the job. Learn why DIY mold removal is not a good idea.

Mildew on plants can be removed by wiping the leaves gently with a dampened paper towel. After each wipe, freshen the paper towel. Replace the paper towel when all parts have touched the moldy surfaces and cut off any leaves that still have mold visible on them.

Among the many kinds of molds that can grow indoors, black mold is one of the most infamous. Learn about black mold removal. Contact Pursuit Restoration for mold remediation services and water damage repair.

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Restoration Process

How Does the Water Damage Restoration Process Work?

The first step is to remove standing water from flooring, wet carpet and other affected materials. Once all the water is removed, dehumidifiers, air movers and other specialized equipment are used to dry the affected area. This typically takes 2 to 5 days, depending on but not limited to saturation time, type of materials and atmospheric conditions. We use moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras to determine when your home is thoroughly dry.

How Long Should the Water Cleanup Take?

Full restoration consists of two major phases. The first, mitigation, consists of demolition, cleaning and drying the structure. This phases typically takes 2 to 5 days. The second phase, repairs can take anywhere from a couple days to 4 weeks depending on the degree of damage and lead time for materials. Certain materials like Cabinets, Custom Wood, High End Floorings can take extended time to ship. We will work with and your insurance provider to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.

How Much Does it Cost to Fix Water Damage?

The cost of water damage cleanup depends on the size of the flooded area and amount of time needed to handle the water repair. If your insurance policy covers the water damage you are only responsible for your deductible. The average water loss is just over $7,000. When properly dried in a timely manner you can prevent secondary damages or more costly issues, like mold.

What are the Different Categories of Water?

  1. Clean water – Category 1 – Poses no harm to people. This includes water damage caused from any fresh water supply, water heater, sink overflow, appliance malfunction.
  2. Gray water – Category 2 – Can cause harm and illness to people. This includes water damage which has significant amounts of contamination, biological, chemical, or physical.
  3. Black water – Category 3 – Can cause severe harm or illness to people. Black water is highly unsanitary and contains pathogenic agents. Black water typically comes from beyond the trap, sewage backups, ground water, etc.

Can Water Damage Cause Mold?

Water damage certainly has the potential to cause mold growth. Mold thrives in moist environments with any moisture, especially high humidity areas. In order to keep energy efficiency, modern homes are insulated to reduce loss of energy. This also allows for moisture to stay hidden and not dry if not inspected properly.

Can Water Damage be Hidden? If so, What are the Signs?

Water damage is most often hidden. Some common signs of water intrusion are paint peeling, MDF base swelling, particle boards swelling, condensation, musky odors, damp or wet carpet, etc.

What Certifications does Pursuit Restoration Have?

  1. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IRCIC) provide a very specific standard of rules for fixing water damage, mold remediation, and fire and smoke restoration. We carry WRT (Water Restoration Technician), ASD (Applied Structural Drying), AMRT (Applied Microbial Remediation Technician), FRST (Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician)
  2. We hold an IICRC Firm certification, Contractors License, and Fully licensed and insured.

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How Long Does It Take Mold to Grow in a Flooded Home?

Water damage from flooding, leaks or high humidity can not only compromise the integrity of your home and its contents, but also cause microbial (Mold) growth. Mold can grow rapidly after water damage, making the restoration process more difficult. Even a small amount of moisture, if not handled quickly and properly, can turn into a large mold infestation.

Mold spores – tiny airborne particles that are not visible to the naked eye – exist everywhere in nature, and they can grow into visible mold  after a water damage incident. When it starts invading your home, mold can threaten the health of its occupants. Mold exposure is especially dangerous for people with breathing problems caused by allergies or asthma.

However, you can avoid mold growth in your home if you act fast. All it takes is eliminating the moisture before mold has the chance to start growing. But how quickly does mold grow after a flood or moisture problem?

How Long Does it Take for Mold to Grow After a Flood?

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, mold typically takes 24 to 48 hours to grow after a flood if the right conditions are met. However, it depends on the type of surfaces and materials, amount of moisture, and temperature. Indoors, mold generally grows faster on softer surfaces in darker, warmer (70 degrees or more), and more humid environments.

The chance for mold spores to spread from one area to another also increases with time. These microorganisms can quickly fill the air and spread throughout your home, affecting more and more areas and endangering your health with every passing hour.

Mold spores that start to colonize on surfaces within 24 hours become visible in about 14 to 21 days after the flooding. But that happens if nothing has been done to dry the water and restore the affected surfaces.

For these reasons, it’s essential to deal with water and moisture issues as soon as you have a flooding incident. The faster the cleanup and drying takes place, the smaller the chances of major mold growth.

Call a Professional or DIY?

If you have a lot of water in the house, hiring a water damage restoration company may be your best bet to get your home back in order as fast and as cost-efficiently as possible. Restoration companies have the right equipment that’s needed to dry out your place quickly.

A restoration professional is even more critical for saving your home if it was flooded with more contaminated water like sewage. This type of water is extremely hazardous and best handled by trained and certified water damage cleanup professionals.

Furthermore, if mold has started growing in your home following a flood, it’s likely that there’s even more mold hiding in unseen areas, such as inside walls. Mold removal experts have the necessary tools to detect hidden mold in areas where the eyes can’t see.

For professional mold removal services and water damage restoration, contact Pursuit Restoration at 208-515-6503

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Winter Property Damage and Restoration

Property damage due to winter
can occur at any time here in the Treasure Valley. While most home and business
owners don’t have “cleanup water damage from frozen pipes” listed on their
winter “to-do” list, the impacts of winter weather can cause unexpected issues
that many of us are not prepared for. It’s important to understand the
different ways winter can impact your residence and the restoration services
available to you before experiencing property damage.

Continuous low temperatures, combined with cold winds and winter precipitation, can cause problems for the interior and exterior of your home or business. Here are some common winter hazards: Fallen Trees, Frozen Pipes, Ice Dams, Mold, Foundation Cracks, Roof Leaks, Fire Damage and Flooding.

Roof Damage

Depending on the structure of your home or building and the type of roof, damage can come in many forms during the winter. Snow and ice can cause significant damage to your gutters and roof. The additional weight of snow and ice can even cause a roof to collapse. Too much snow will most likely result in the formation of ice dams and cause water damage to your home. An ice dam occurs when heat from inside melts the snow on the roof and the draining water refreezes at the edge of the roof. The resulting ice wall prevents water from draining away. The trapped water can then easily leak into your home, causing considerable property damage.

Flooding/Water Damage

During the winter the two main risks are water entry through
cracks and floods caused by burst pipes. When snow melts, your home becomes at
risk of water damage, mold and many other problems. A foot of snow can turn
into an inch or more of water, and any roof damage you’ve incurred during or
before the latest snowstorm becomes a serious risk for water to damage your
attic, upper floors, walls and insulation.

The same freeze/thaw cycle can also affect a foundation. Hairline cracks in the concrete of a foundation that develop naturally over time because of a home settling can expand during the winter months, causing major structural issues if they aren’t taken care of in a timely way. Getting a foundation repaired in the spring can help prevent more problems from developing as time goes by.

Fire Damage

Home fires increase during the cold weather months. In fact, insurance companies and fire departments prepare for more fires during December, January and February. Improper use or poor maintenance of heating systems during the winter months can cause fire and/or smoke damage. When that first cold snap of the winter hits, people light up their fireplaces without checking for obstructions. Additionally, placing space heaters or candles near walls or drapes can result in fires. To avoid the most common causes of fires in the winter, have your heating system inspected. Practice vigilance with space heaters as well, and never leave them plugged in when you’re not at home.


During the winter months it is very important to disconnect the hose from the bib on the exterior of the homes. Modern hose bibs are angled back so that when the temperatures drop below freezing the water does not expand at and break the valve. If the hose is not removed or disconnected water can freeze at the attachment of the hose to the bib. This will expand the pipe, which typically causes flooding on the crawlspace. Yet the worst part is, although this typically occurs the issues may not show until the temperatures warm and it thaws out.

How We Can Help

If your home or business has been damaged, it’s important to act quickly and seek professional restoration help. A major risk with winter damage is that the full extent goes undetected until spring, leading to additional issues and costly repairs. Whether it’s water damage in your home’s attic due to ice dams or a fire sprinkler system freezing resulting in a flood, our restoration and repair services can provide prompt and professional winter damage cleanup. Our team of certified professionals have the restoration experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate winter-related damage.

What to Expect During a Water Loss

If you’ve had a pipe break or flooding in your home or business, water damage restoration service may be required. Here’s what to expect from the process.

From the moment you discover water damage, the quicker the issue is addressed the faster the property can be back to normal. Your first step should be to prevent further damage by turning off the main water supply or the nearest shut off to the source. Next, call Pursuit Restoration, your trusted Restoration company. The sooner professionals are onsite the sooner you can rest assured the job will dried quickly, with the PR Quality Service approach!

Call the Professionals at Pursuit Restoration First!!

It’s crucial that you call Pursuit Restoration FIRST before calling your insurance company. We will work directly with all homeowner’s insurance companies to resolve your issues. We ask that you call us first for MULTIPLE reasons including but not limited to; unnecessary claims on record, understanding your policy to determine the MOST value for your claim, and Worst-case scenario being dropped coverage.

The Remediation Process Begins

Our professional team will quickly assess the damages from top to bottom, including the attic, living space, and crawlspace to determine the fastest approach to drying the structure of the property. 

Pursuit Restoration will then quickly extract any and all water. This is the KEY to drying the structure in the quickest way possible.  It doesn’t matter how much water is extracted, what matters is HOW MUCH WATER IS LEFT AFTER EXTRACTION. This is why the step is the KEY to drying the structure. 

We will set the Newest state of the art drying equipment, and daily monitor until the job is dry. At that point the equipment can be removed, and you will receive Our 2 Year Warranty. 

Finally, and the most important step. We will get your house put back to gather in a timely manner with the utmost quality in every aspect of the rebuilding process. 

Keeping you Informed

Throughout the process from the very beginning to the end You will be kept informed. Pursuit Restoration knows that this is typically a stressful and undesirable situation to deal with. Knowing it is so stressful, we will keep you informed and answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions, please contact us at 208-515-6503