How Do Mold, Mildew, and Wet Rot Affect Air Quality?

June 23rd, 2022 | in General Info
How Do Mold, Mildew, and Wet Rot Affect Air Quality?

A large number of people spend most of their time indoors, so the air we breathe inside the home or office is very important.

Mold, mildew, and wet rot can cause a lot of damage to your building structure. They can also lead to serious health problems in human beings.

Let's first differentiate between mold, mildew, and wet rot:


Mold refers to a fungus that grows with filaments called hyphae. Mold can refer to any one of many types of fungus.


Mildew is a casual term that usually refers to a white or light grey fungus, whereas mold typically refers to fungi of other colours.


Wet rot is a general term that refers to a fungus that breaks down wood. Wet rot is often called cellar fungus, and it often refers to fungi that is in the genus, Coniophora.

Whenever there is an accumulation of water inside a building, you can have mold, mildew, and/or wet rot. Sometimes there's a water leak that goes unnoticed.

Other times, there is a problem with ventilation in a building.

Whatever the reason, if there's too much water accumulating too fast, and something like wood or paper (drywall) for the fungi to feed on, you will begin to have the growth of fungus.

Insulation, wood, baseboards, and paper are all potential food sources where mold can accumulate.

Mold has been identified to cause allergies, sensitivities, and reduce air quality in a building. It's a big problem because it's not always obvious. Fungi can hide behind walls and under floors.

When microscopic fungi particles become airborne, they can cause all kinds of medical problems including the following:

  • Prolonged sneezing and coughing
  • Irritation to the eyes
  • Irritation to the mucous membranes of the throat and nose
  • Rashes
  • Prolonged fatigue
  • Chronic headaches

Don't ignore the presence of mold, mildew, or wet rot in your buildings. Get some professionals in there to assess and repair the damage.

Westerly Restoration provides building envelope integrity inspections and restoration in Surrey, BC and the entire Greater Vancouver area. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about building envelopes or restoration, please call us at (778) 881-2877 or use the convenient form on our Contact page.

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