What’s the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Many people use the term “mold” and “mildew” interchangeably so there is some obvious confusion over the difference between the two. It’s important to understand what each one is before taking action when you believe you have a mold or mildew problem in your home.

There are some subtle differences between mold and mildew, and although they are both fungi that grow in moist conditions, they can be differentiated and treated individually. This will help you decide if you need Red Deer mold removal services.


How Can I Tell if I have Mold or Mildew Just By Looking?

Just because they are both in the fungus family, doesn’t mean they will appear or even act the same. If you find white, gray or yellow spots that appear fluffy or like a powder growing on a surface that is located in a warm and moist area of your home, you have mildew.

Conversely, mold appears green or black with a fuzzy or even slimy texture. Mold tends to grow in places that have been exposed to water directly.

Where do Mold and Mildew Typically Grow?

As a fungus, both mold and mildew can grow quickly under warm and wet conditions. They do differ, however, on where they prefer to grow.

Mildew can often be found on surfaces that were once wet and have remained damp. These might include towels, paper, or leather. Within a home, mildew may also be seen on floors, walls, or ceilings in rooms that have high levels of humidity, like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.

It’s not uncommon for mildew to grow on old fruits or vegetables, but those areas are typically where you’ll find mold. As well, mold can be found both indoors and outdoors on surfaces that have been soaked. Look for mold in the bathroom, on window sills, or after a flood.

Do Mold and Mildew React the Same Way on Surfaces?

In terms of a reaction, to both surfaces and to the people in the area, mold and mildew offer different effects. Mildew will essentially “eat” the food on which it grows but will not harm other surfaces. Plus, inhaling mildew spores may lead to coughing and headaches.

Mold is a much more serious matter. It can destroy anything it touches given enough time. On top of that, mold can cause major health issues, including respiratory and heart problems, joint pain, severe headaches, general fatigue, and depression. So preventing and treating mold quickly is very important.

How Can I Eliminate Mold or Mildew?

Each type of fungus has its own characteristics, so they need to be treated differently. Mildew usually only takes a mildew cleaning solvent and a scrub brush to get rid of it.

Mold is a different matter entirely because of health risks. If you see mold, it’s likely you have a bigger problem than is obvious, so removal is best left to the professionals. Eliminating a small patch of mold can be handled with a bit of bleach in some water when necessary.

Now that you know the difference between mold and mildew, it’s easy to treat.