×

What Does Household Mildew Look Like?

Household mildew is a common problem, identified by its appearance, scent and the location in which it occurs. Knowing mildew when you see it will help you to clean and prevent this pesky problem.

Household mildew is a common problem, identified by its appearance, scent and the location in which it occurs. Knowing mildew when you see it will help you to clean and prevent this pesky problem.

Identification

Mildew is a form of mold. Mold is a fungus that grows where there is sufficient moisture, heat and lack of air circulation.

Appearance

Mildew most often appears as a thin, powdery film that is usually white, gray or black. Some mildew growths appear spots or splotches.

Scent

Mildew usually has a musty, damp or "earthy" odor.

Location

Mildew needs a surface that provides enough "food" for this fungus to thrive on and an ideal environment.

Natural fabrics and surfaces provide material for mildew growth; however, mildew will also grow on synthetic or other surfaces that are soiled, with the soil feeding the mildew growth. Mildew grows in environments that are dark and damp with poor air circulation.

Prevention/Solution

Mildew can be prevented by providing light and ventilation to areas where conditions are right for molds to grow, and by keeping items in these areas clean, thereby reducing the amount of food mildew needs to grow.

About the Author

A writer and information professional, J.E. Cornett has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lincoln Memorial University and a Master of Science in library and information science from the University of Kentucky. A former newspaper reporter with two Kentucky Press Association awards to her credit, she has over 10 years experience writing professionally.