What are the Causes of Mildew?

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Definition

  • Mildew is a greenish growth that is generally produced by molds, which are plants belonging to the the fungi family. Molds that cause mildew flourish in poorly lit, warm and damp conditions; they grow fastest at temperatures that average between 75 degrees F and 85 degrees F. Mildew is commonly found on vegetation and plants but thrives on organic products such as clothing, leather and paper. While mildew is present all over the world, it is a particular problem in tropical areas.

Surfaces

  • Mildew is caused when humid air settles onto a cooler surface and is attracted to surfaces that have a strong nutrient base or where mold spores already exist. Virtually all buildings, construction materials and household furnishings have the necessary nutrients that support the mold growth. Thorough cleaning and use of disinfectants can provide protection against mold growth.

Rooms in the Home

  • Kitchens and bathrooms are susceptible to mildew because of the high levels of moisture in the air. Mildew can cause staining, unpleasant odor and the deterioration building materials such as brickwork and plaster. Mildew is also prevalent in rooms with poor ventilation, including basements and cellars. Applying two coats of cement paint can waterproof these areas of your home and prevent mildew from forming. If you suffer from asthma or allergies, mildew can create serious health problems for you and your family. Any rooms in your home that are too warm, damp, dark, or poorly ventilated can have mildew problems.

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