What Is The Difference Between Mold vs Mildew?

Many people find it difficult to tell a difference between mold and mildew. They look similar, smell similar, and grow in similar places. Right now you may even me saying, “Wait there’s a difference?”. These two fairly common fungi are found in homes all across America on a daily basis. They thrive in damp environments and can sneak up on a person if left untreated. Being able to determine the difference between mold and mildew is key in being able to remove the fungus from your home. Each one needs to be treated in a different way to effectively remove it. Learning to tell a difference between mold and mildew is a good skill for any homeowner to have.

The Similarities Between Mold & Mildew:

As mentioned above, mold and mildew are very similar to each other. In fact, many people often put them into the same category when talking about them. Both are a fungus that can cause negative effects on your health and in your home. For your home this can include foul smells, damage to materials, and more. For your health, both mold and mildew can cause respiratory problems after a period of exposure. People exposed to either one will most likely experience coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. Mold, however, can have even more drastic effects which will be discussed below. Both mold and mildew can grow quickly and in hidden areas of your home. Since they are both forms of fungus, they love areas that are dark and damp. You’ll often not be able to find the growth until it has grown in size significantly as they like to grow in hidden places. Below carpet, behind walls, and even in air ducts are favorite places for these fungi to grow.

The Differences Mold & Mildew

Mildew typically is white or light grey in color. Many types of mold also have this color, but there are many more colors of mold. Mold can come in yellow, green, blue, black and more. These different colored variations of mold can often cause more severe health risks than mildew. Some forms of mold can cause bronchitis, paralysis, and even death. Because of this, mold is generally considered much more dangerous and more urgent to remove. Finally, the texture is a huge difference between mold and mildew. The latter has a fuzzy or powdery look to it. Mold on the other hand can come in many textures. It can be fuzzy like mildew, slimy, or even three dimensional.

How Do I Get Rid Of Mildew or Mold?

Great, you figured out what that is growing on your wall. Now what? If you’re like most people, you don’t really care what it is you just want to get rid of it. Good idea! Although it is possible to get rid of, the way you go about it differs. For mildew, there are many commercial cleaning products that, along with some scrubbing, can effectively remove the mildew. Even if there are trace amounts left, it is unlikely to keep coming back. Mold on the other hand is a bit more complicated.

Many types of mold cannot be killed by commercial cleaners and require special anti-fungal solutions. When removing mold, you must also wear a mask to prevent inhalation of potentially dangerous spores. Mold also will come back rapidly even if just a few spores are left behind. This makes mold more difficult to remove. If you suspect you have mold in your home, professional removal is recommended. It will save you both time and money as well as the assurance that the mold will stay gone. Whether you have mold or mildew, proper identification is key to removing it from your home.