When people use the term "white mold" they are most often referring to a plant disease that is a fungal infection also called sclerotinia or stem rot.
This should not be confused with household molds that may be white or light in appearance growing indoors, on materials or in outdoor areas.
Watch for patches in any moist, damp or humid area, such as bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, crawl spaces — and anywhere there has been water damage from flooding, leaks, or plumbing backups. A musty odor is also a good indication that you have mold and mildew growing.
Some white molds (also called mildew) are more harmful than others, but no type of mold is harmless. Every kind has the potential to cause allergic reactions, asthmatic reactions or more serious health issues, and every kind has the potential to damage or destroy property, possessions and buildings. That's why it's best to remove it as soon as you see it growing.
Use personal protective equipment. Do not touch the fungus directly or breathe near it without a respirator or other protective gear such as gloves and goggles.
It is always best to test the area of growth because remediation, clean up and removal directions will often depend on the type of fungus you're dealing with.
Efflorescence is a whitish deposit that occurs when water permeates certain material (for example, concrete) and leaves behind a deposit of non-toxic mineral salts — and this is sometimes mistaken for white mold, but is not a fungus at all.
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