Mildew is a type of fungus that thrives off of decomposing organisms. It needs certain elements to grow, namely oxygen, moisture, and a host (decomposing organisms). The harmful qualities of mildew make it a threat to public safety. Scientists classify mold and mildew differently. Basically, they classify mold as the fungus that grows on non-living organisms as well as living matter, (such as mold growth on fruits) and mildew as the white powdery substance that only grows on plant material. However, many people commonly refer to mold and mildew as the same substance.
No matter what you call it, if you have mold or need to remove mildew, you will need to treat the source of the problem as well as prevent any new growth from occurring. Both mold and mildew are harmful substances that can cause sickness to plants, animals, and humans.
To begin treating mold, or if you need to remove mildew, you should begin by addressing the source of the problem. This typically tends to be excessive moisture in certain areas. Common areas where mold and mildew can become a problem are basements, refrigerators, walls, bathrooms, shower stalls, around faucets, in the corners of floors where water may accumulate, on baseboards, and even on ceilings where there may be water pooling underneath floor boards or under roofs.
For some mold problems, you will be able to remove them yourself, however if you need to remove mildew permanently, you may need to hire a professional for larger areas. For example, if you have a large amount of mold growth behind a wall, you should hire a professional to help treat the problem. A homeowner may have genuine intentions, but lack the skills needed to replace the drywall underneath the wall. Since certain areas have different climates, you may find that your local building and zoning department has the best information regarding materials that you should use to prevent and remove mildew and mold permanently.