Mold vs Mildew: What’s the difference? May 8, 2019 – Posted in: Blog

Mold vs mildew are absolutely nasty looking guests in your house you don’t want. Get rid of them immediately to regain spic and span and healthy surroundings. It is not easy for people to know the difference between mold and mildew since both are fungi. Mildew is often confused with mold and vice versa but these two have distinctive differences.  Mildew is often identified by its distinctive smell.

What does mildew smell like? Generally, it is unpleasant, and smells like something is moist in the room, or even more closely as some people claim, it smells like wet socks. Mildew vs. mold also has some differences in color.

What color is mildew? Mildew will appear as white or gray splotches on your walls while mold will appear as black yellow or green. The texture would be extremely fuzzy at other times slimy in texture.

There are also further differences between mold vs. mildew. For one thing, mildew really doesn’t leave long-lasting damage to the surfaces it grows on, unlike mold. Black mold vs mildew is also quite different from each other in terms of how it affects your health. Mildew is relatively harmless although it does present some health issues. Anyone who inhales mildew spores may start coughing, get a headache or have trouble breathing. Black mold, on the other hand, causes much more severe damage. Long exposure to black mold can shut down your organs and even incapacitate your immune system.

What is the difference between mold and mildew?

If you see tell-tale signs on your walls floors or other moist areas on your house you may begin to ask is it mold or mildew? The first thing to look at is their appearance. What does mildew look like? Mildew is a white or gray substance that is powdery and even fuzzy looking that grows on the surface of things while mold can be black or green and grows underneath the surface of anything that has gotten wet and is indicative of a more serious infestation. Mold can be fuzzy or slimy.

Is mildew mold? Although they are both fungi there is a distinct difference in how they affect the surrounding areas and your health. There is also distinctive mold vs mildew smell. What does mildew smell like? Generally, mildew has a musty smell that would not be as strong as moldy odors. Mold tends to assail your sense of smell immediately with its strong smell of rotting wood or paper. When mold eats and grows through materials it releases it releases Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOC) which is the source of its pungent smell.

Is mildew and mold the same thing? There are further differences in how it affects people’s health. Mold is a fungus which forms into hyphae which are multicellular filaments. Molds are known to cause damage to natural materials, food, and property. There is a difference between black mold and mildew and its effect on your home and health. Mildew is generally less harmful although exposure to it can also cause some discomfort especially to people with existing allergies.

The difference between mildew and mold is the same as black mold vs mildew. Mold and black mold have more severe effects on health and the environment. Exposure to mold spores includes allergic reactions, asthma episodes, irritations of the eye, nose, and throat, sinus congestion, and other respiratory problems. Untreated mold on materials can also cause lasting damage.

Causes of mold growth

How does mold grow? What causes mold? Mold thrives quickly on damp and wet places. Typically, mold needs certain conditions in order to grow such as the presence of mold spores, a food source like wood, drywall, and cotton. It will also need darkness because molds can’t grow under ultraviolet light. Warmth is also a factor in mold growth since it can’t thrive in freezing temperatures. Mold also needs oxygen and enough time to grow. Mold will usually begin to grow between 24 to 48 hours under the right conditions.

Typical Traits of Mildew

Mildew is typically the lesser evil compared to molds. Although both are fungi mildew is not as troublesome or as invasive as mold. Mildew is often seen in wet areas and looks grayish-white and may turn brown eventually. Mildew often lives on the surface of material so it is easier to clean. A little bleach or vinegar can usually do the trick of getting rid of mildew.

Is mildew harmful?

Mildew health effects it is not as severe as mold. When breathing in mildew you will have allergic-like reactions. Mildew spores can cause coughing, headache, sore throat, and respiratory problems. Is mildew a fungus? Mildew is a species of fungus that is said to be an early stage of mold. Is mildew dangerous? There is always the presence of small amounts of mold and mildew in the environment. Too much mildew will compromise not just your health but also the structural integrity of buildings if left out of hand.

Mildew can grow on plants and can be harmful when consumed. Is powdery mildew harmful? Powdery mildew health risks when consumed includes lung problems and allergic reactions. Is mildew toxic? Mildew can be less invasive although too much of it can cause harmful health effects. It is also especially dangerous when consumed since mildew can grow on certain plants and crops.

How to get rid of mold vs mildew?

Mold and mildew can be highly similar to one another but the difference is mold is more severe and harder to get rid of. How does mold reproduce? Molds generally reproduce by producing large numbers of small spores. Under the right conditions with moisture, darkness, and food they can spread and grow exponentially. Breathing in mold and mildew in infected places can cause severe damage to respiratory health and may even lead to organ failure. Mold is typically black and the color differentiates it from mildew.

Can mildew be black? Mildew is typically grayish-white and there has been no instance of black mildew. Can mildew turn into the mold is a definite possibility, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), mildew is considered to be early-stage mold. To know if you have an overgrowth of mold vs mildew in your home and to identify exactly what species of molds are invading your home, get a mold or mildew test from experts. You may also consider mold removal service to regain the hygienic air quality in your home.


Mold and mildew are both definitely troublesome presence on your home. Mold or mildew symptoms in your home should never be overlooked because its spread will give you troubles not only in your health but also affect the structural materials of your home. Mold and mildew love moisture and mold or mildew in bathroom is a typical sight when these areas are not cleaned regularly.

They can be cleaned by chemicals and disinfectants but if the growth has spread you may need mold removal experts who will use professional grade equipment such as air humidifiers and air scrubbers to bring back the cleanliness of your air and home. If the mold and mildew haven’t spread you can still remedy it yourself by using home cleaners such as bleach and vinegar and scrubbing the area thoroughly.

When it comes to mold vs mildew on walls mildew is generally easier to clean because it is just attached to the surface. To have a clean and spic and span home, always clean your house regularly to discourage the growth of mold and mildew. A little bit of home maintenance has long-lasting effects that will be of benefit to your health and the hygiene of your surroundings.