Mold vs Mildew

“It’s almost accurate to say that mildew and mold are the same things: Although mildew is mold, not all molds are mildew. They exist on all surfaces and thrive in moist environments, which is why they’re a housecleaning headache. Mildew can indeed be a health hazard. However, it does not have the same toxic properties as mold.”


Mold vs Mildew


Are you looking for mold remediation professionals or mildew removal? If you have a little household bleach on hand, you can answer that question: Dab a few drops on the suspected area and wait a few minutes. Mildew is visible when the color becomes lighter.

Mold is most likely to grow in a dark environment. Let’s know about Mold vs Mildew.


Difference between Mold and Mildew.

The term mildew refers to a particular type of mold. Many identical nuclei are present in the mold, and the fungus grows in black or green patches under the affected material’s surface.

Mildew, on the other hand, grows flat on the surface, making removal easier. It grows on damp surfaces, papers, fabrics, and various organic materials in your home, unlike mold, which usually grows on food or inside permanent structures.


Common Mildew types

Mildew affects plants and crops, causing great damage to them. Omit texture; it can be characterized as powdery or downy:

  • As the mildew grows, yellowish brown or black splotches appear that are primarily on flowering plants;
  • Downy mildew is common on grapes and potatoes. There are several types of downy mildew, but depending on where it grows, it starts yellow and turns brown.


Common Mold types

According to the latest CDC estimates, more than 10,000 mold species can live in homes. Most of these molds fall into one of five categories:

  • Alternaria grows in damp places such as walls, showers, windows, sinks, and toilets. Water damage often causes it to appear in buildings. Black, grey, and dark brown Alternaria molds are usually woolly or downy in texture.
  • It is possible to suffer allergic reactions and asthma attacks as a result of prolonged exposure to this type of fungus;
  • There are many types of mold indoors, but the most common is Aspergillus. It can be found in grey, brown, yellow, green, white, or black. Aspergillus mold will most likely grow on walls, insulation, paper products, and clothing.
  • When someone’s immune system is weak, it can cause allergic reactions, respiratory infections, and inflammation of the lungs;
  • Unlike most other molds, the Cladosporium mold grows in cool environments. Fabrics like carpets and curtains are commonly affected, as are wood surfaces like cabinets and floors.

There are many respiratory problems associated with this species, which is olive green or black;

  • Various materials can contaminate Penicillium, including carpeting, wallpaper, insulation, and mattresses. Penicillium spores have a strong, musty smell and a blue or green color. Because they spread easily, allergic reactions often cause penicillium spores.
  • Stachybotrys Chartarum contains a toxic compound called mycotoxins, often referred to by its color as the black mold. It can cause severe health problems such as allergies, breathing difficulties, and asthma attacks. Chronic sinus infections can also lead to fatigue and depression.

Black mold grows in damp and leaky areas – around leaky pipes, air conditioning ducts, etc.


How do Mold and Mildew develop?

A surface or crevice with excessive moisture can become a breeding ground for both microorganisms. Mold and mildew spores multiply and reproduce by traveling throughout the air through tiny, lightweight seeds.

In a damp environment, these seeds will grow on wood, carpets, foods, plants, fabrics, and other organic surfaces. Once an organic material deteriorates, it moves on to the next, causing damage to whole homes or buildings. Mold and mildew colonies grow within 24-48 hours of damp surfaces.


Where do Mold and Mildew grow?

Any surface damaged by water can grow mildew. It usually grows in damp areas in homes, such as bathrooms, basements, and attics. A warm, poorly lit, low-air-circulation area (60-80 degrees) is ideal for mildew growth. A new home may also experience mildew growth due to moisture in the building materials.

Moisture-damaged surfaces can also grow mold in humid, warm areas. Floods, sewage backups, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, or overflows from drains can cause water damage and mold growth within 24 to 48 hours. To stop growth, the source of moisture and mold buildup must be fully eliminated.

Mildew grows on flat surfaces like mold on porous surfaces, such as wood, drywall, wallpaper, acoustic ceiling tiles, and carpeting.


How can we recognize the difference between Mold and Mildew?

To recognize whether you have discovered mold or mildew in your home, you should take note of several crucial differences in appearance and properties:


Differences between Mold and Mildew in Appearance

It is more common for mold to appear black or green and mildew to appear grey or white. However, the fungi also display some more specific characteristics:

  • A flat pattern to mildew growth usually makes it appear powdery or fluffy. It appears as a white, grey, or yellowish patch on the surface of moist areas. The black or brown color of mildew usually develops with time;
  • Mold looks fuzzy or slimy in general. It appears as irregularly shaped spots with colors ranging from blue to green to yellow to brown to grey to black or white. In many cases, mold-covered surfaces rot.


How can we find differences in the effects of mildew and mold?

Mold and mildew can do a lot of damage, so it is very important to get rid of them.

  • Mildew usually affectaffects plants and crops.
  • If it occurs indoors, however, it may pose health risks. Inhaling mildew spores can cause coughs, headaches, sore throats, and respiratory problems.
  • Leaving mold unattended for too long can cause significant structural damage. The strain of mold can cause different health problems depending on how long the exposure is prolonged.

An allergic reaction to mold can cause irritation and skin irritation, as well as irritation of the eyes, throat, nose, or sinuses. Mold can cause respiratory problems such as difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, coughing, pneumonia, asthma attacks, heart problems, headaches, severe fatigue, joint inflammation, dizziness, and depression.

People with weak immune systems or younger children may be particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of black mold’s mycotoxins.


Mold vs. Mildew smell guide

The smell is another way to distinguish mildew from mold. There is a misconception that mold growth causes musty odors. Mold odors spread throughout a house, including inside the walls, pipes, and air. Musty odors are generally associated with mildew.

Mold and mildew are similar in terms of smell, but the main difference is the aromatic nature of the smell. Mold also smells earthy or meaty, like rain.

Disinfectants typically eliminate the smell of mildew after the mildew has dried. The smell of mold persists until the mold source has ceased to exist. The air near the previous mold must be purified to remove the smell.


Mold vs. Mildew health implications

Certain people may experience health concerns due to mildew. Even though mildew causes fewer health problems than mold, you should not ignore mildew buildup in your home. Mildew buildup is often associated with headaches, sore throats, and respiratory issues. Those with allergies or asthma may experience a more severe reaction to inhaled mildew spores.

Mold, however, can pose serious health risks. In the presence of water-damaged buildings, mold illness can occur. Individuals are exposed differently to significant levels of radiation. Some exposures can do massive damage in a short period, whereas, for others, small exposures over time can cause much damage.

A recent study found that mold illness can harm the nervous system. Potential side effects include brain inflammation, decreased production of new brain cells, impaired memory, increased pain sensitivity, anxiety, and depression.

The lethality of some mold species differs from that of others. It will be easier to determine the right course of action to take if you know the type of mold you have.


Effect on surfaces

Mildew and mold grow on surfaces differently. Plants, fabrics, and papers can all grow mildew. Scrubbing these surfaces to remove mildew may not be necessary, as it does not have a long-term effect.

Surfaces that mold impacts are affected more severely. You cannot see even more damage caused by mold in your home because it can penetrate the structure. You may have to replace major structural components of your home if you ignore this issue for too long.

The property may need air treatment to remove mold spores from the air, which can cause health issues and future growth due to mold’s ability to permeate surfaces.


Effect on people

Homeowners’ health can be greatly affected by mold and mildew. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and headaches are some of the allergic reactions caused by mildew. Mold is also capable of causing many of these health problems.

Still, it can also cause more serious respiratory problems, such as pneumonia, asthma attacks, cardiac problems, migraines, inflammation, and pain. Memory loss can even occur in some cases after exposure to mold spores.

It is generally more common for mold spores to cause illnesses than mildew growth.


Mold testing

Both mold and mildew can be easily examined at home in various ways. To test for mold, use a few drops of household bleach. The spot should be generally checked after approximately five minutes.


Mold testing



Mildew will make the area lighter, and mold will leave a dark spot on the bleached area if it is present.

Mold and mildew growth can also be tested at your local hardware store using household tests. If mold is present in your home, call a local mold remediation contractor.


Eradication and remediation

If mold growth is not bad enough, you must consider what may have caused the mold problem. Homeowners are most likely to grow mold when water floods or damages their homes.

Both water damage and mold compromise the structural integrity of your home. Once mold growth has expired, addressing the underlying causes will ensure that it won’t return and guarantee the structural integrity of your home.

Mildew is easy to remove from surfaces. It only takes a scrubbing brush and mildew cleaner. Keeping the area well-ventilated is all that is needed to prevent allergic reactions when cleaning and working.

The best way to eradicate mold in your home is to call a mold removal company like Water Mold Fire Restoration.

Professionals from our company will ensure that all safety precautions are commonly followed to drop mold permanently from your property.


How can we get rid of Mold and Mildew?

By preventing mold and mildew in the first place, you’ll be able to avoid a great deal of hassle later on.


How to prevent Mold and Mildew?

Maintaining a dry and moisture-free home is the best way to prevent mold and mildew. The best way to ensure appropriate indoor humidity is to maintain a 40-50% humidity level.

Maintain your heating and cooling systems regularly, keep air ducts in good shape, ensure good air circulation, and fix leaks in the bathroom, kitchen, and other areas. Also, remove mildew-affected plants and weeds immediately to prevent mildew infestations.


How to Clean Mold and Mildew?

A scrubbing brush and a commercially available cleaner can treat mildew. Ensure a well-ventilated environment and wear a facial mask to prevent inhalation of mildew spores and prevent inhaling fumes from cleaning products.

Rubber gloves are recommended to protect hands against mildew, cleaning agents, and other hazards. Also, ensure that you have removed all fungi from the surrounding areas.

Microfilaments attached to the affected materials via mold, on the other hand, penetrate beneath the surface to attach. Mold spores can survive in extreme conditions, infect a large area of your property quickly, and cause permanent damage.

Furthermore, mold is not visible until colonies grow, so early detection and prevention are difficult despite its musty smell. DIY mold removal attempts are unwise because mold can harm your health. Moreover, DIY remedies are rarely effective since fungi grow in difficult-to-reach and treat areas.


Mold remediation is important for your property.

If mold and mildew persist, a home or business may suffer long-term health consequences and physical damage. When moisture is present, mold is common to grow behind drywall, on insulation, around windows, and along basement walls.

Identifying the moisture source and removing all mold traces is essential for avoiding further damage. A professional assessment is necessary for any home or business that has experienced water damage (such as firefighting efforts, roof leaks, burst pipes, or floods).

Contact your local restoration professionals today if you need mold remediation services for your business or home.