Differences between Mold and Mildew

Most individuals are unaware that mold and mildew are not the same thing. Both are fungi, and while mildew can be identified as a form of mold, it does not develop or spread. However, there are certain fundamental distinctions between mold and mildew that every homeowner should be aware of.

Mold grows on organic surfaces, whereas mildew grows flat and is commonly found on fabrics and basement or bathroom walls. The main distinction between the two is that mold is damaging to the air quality in your home and can cause lasting damage. Mildew is hazardous, but it is not a severe danger to air quality and, unlike mold, does not usually require eradication. Because mildew and mold might be confused, it’s important to know the difference before contacting a professional.

Mold and Mildew

What Is Mold?

Mould is a type of fungus with numerous identical nuclei. Typically, they have filamentous hyphae structures.

Molds come in a variety of hues, including grey, green, black, yellow, blue, and brown. They are mostly found on food and other organic materials such as clothing, ceilings, floors, and papers.

Damp and gloomy areas provide a great setting for mold growth. They might cause harm to the house if not addressed promptly.

Respiratory issues, allergic responses, weariness, sneezing, sore throat, sinus, coughing, mental status change, inflammation, breathing problems, and pain are some of the ailments induced by mold growth.

The most amazing thing about mould is that they are employed to make food and antibacterial medications.

Mold Types

According to the most recent CDC estimates, the number of mold species that can thrive indoors exceeds 10,000, although the majority of home molds fall into one of five categories:

  1. Alternaria . Alternaria can be found on walls, in showers, under windows, under sinks, and in other wet areas. It is frequently observed in structures that have experienced water damage. Alternaria mold has a woolly or down-like appearance and might seem black, grey, or dark brown. Prolonged exposure to these fungus can result in allergic responses and asthma episodes.
  2. Aspergillus. The most frequent type of mold found inside is Aspergillus. It might have the appearance of grey, brown, yellow, green, white, or black. Typically, Aspergillus mold grows on walls, insulation, paper products, and clothing. In patients with weakened immune systems, it can induce allergic responses, respiratory infections, and lung inflammation.
  3. Cladosporium. Cladosporium, unlike many other molds, can develop in chilly environments. It is commonly found on fabrics such as carpets and drapes, as well as wood surfaces like as cabinets and floorboards. It has a distinctive black or olive-green appearance and can induce a range of respiratory difficulties.
  4. Penicillium. Penicillium can be found on a variety of water-damaged surfaces, including carpeting, wallpaper, insulation, and mattresses. It has a blue or green appearance and emits strong musty scents. Penicillium spores spread quickly and frequently cause allergic responses.
  5. Stachybotrys chartarum. Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as “black mold” due to its color, is the most dangerous type of household mold because it produces toxic compounds known as mycotoxins, which can cause severe health problems such as allergic symptoms, breathing problems, asthma attacks, chronic sinus infections, fatigue, and depression. Toxic black mold has a musty stench and grows in regions that are always damp – around leaky pipes, within air conditioning ducts with a lot of condensation, and so on.

What Is Mildew?

Mildew is a type of mold that has a flat growth pattern. They have a powdered, white look.

However, the color look gradually shifts from white to yellow, then brown, and finally black. Mildew is highly frequent in plants and crops, causing significant harm.

Unfortunately, mildew can also create health problems such as coughing, sneezing, allergic reactions, sore throat, headache, and pneumonia.

The good news is that mildew can be readily treated by exposing the affected area to sunlight and allowing moisture to evaporate.

You can also buy mildew removers in stores to get rid of them. To avoid exposure, uproot the mildewed plant.

Mildew Types

Mildew is mostly a plant disease that causes significant harm to crops and plants. It comes in powdery and downy types:

Powdery mildew. Powdery mildew primarily affects flowering plants and begins as white or gray patterned splotches that eventually fade to yellowish brown or black as the fungus grows.

Downy mildew. Downy mildew can be found in a variety of agricultural goods, including grapes and potatoes. Its appearance varies depending on the surface it develops on, but downy mildew typically begins as yellow dots that later turn brown.

Key Differences Between Mold and Mildew

  • Molds grow in multicellular nuclei with filamentous hyphae structures, whereas mildew grows in a flat pattern.
  • Molds have a fuzzy appearance, whereas mildew has a downy or powdery appearance.
  • Molds come in orange, green, black, brown, blue, and yellow, whilst mildew comes in white and grey.
  • Molds are utilized in the creation of food and antibiotic medications, whereas mildew serves no use other than to cause damage.
  • Mold may be controlled and prevented by keeping the home dry and free of moisture, whereas mildew can be controlled and prevented by using mildew removers.
  • Molds are employed in the making of cheese and various medicines, whereas mildew provides no benefits.
  • Mildew lightens after bleaching, whereas molds keep their color after bleaching.
  • Mildew causes coughing, sore throat, respiratory issues, and headaches, whereas mold causes allergic reactions, respiratory problems, inflammation, and migraines.
  • Molds cover organic materials and then breakdown it, whereas mildew turns organic matter dark or black in color.
  • Mildew grows on the surface of organic substance, whereas mold penetrates it and attaches itself.
  • Molds feature irregularly shaped patches, whereas mildew has a consistent flat pattern.
  • Molds are fungus, and mildew is a kind of mold.
  • Molds are more dangerous since they grow on food, but mildew is less dangerous because it grows on a surface.
  • Molds are tough to remove, however mildew is simple to remove.
  • Molds produce toxins, whereas mildew does not.

Similarities Between Mold and Mildew

  • They are both filamentous fungus.
  • Both thrive in moist, organic environments.
  • Both spread quickly and are tough to eradicate.
  • Both are harmful to one’s health.
  • Both are not heat resistant.


Some molds contain toxins known as mycotoxins, which can cause allergic reactions or other illnesses in some people. Mold allergies can cause headaches, asthma attacks, and coughing. Breathing mold toxins may also cause irritation of the eyes and throat. Molds are not necessarily dangerous; the antibiotic penicillin was discovered in a mold of the same name.

Safety Precautions

The most important preventative measure for mold and mildew removal is to keep rooms dry. Moldy food should not be consumed. A mildew infestation on paper and some fabrics cannot be wiped away, but mildew on tougher surfaces, such as those found in bathrooms, can typically be removed with a mildew remover. Some mold and mildew removal treatments should not be used by those who have asthma or in poorly ventilated spaces. In cases of severe mold growth, a professional may be required to clean the area and repair any damage.

How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew

You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and aggravation if you can avoid mold and mildew in the first place.

Mold and Mildew Prevention

The most effective strategy to keep mold and mildew at bay in your home is to keep all areas dry and free of moisture. Maintain an indoor humidity level of 40-50 percent (a dehumidifier is the most cost-effective solution for ensuring appropriate indoor humidity), have your heating and cooling systems inspected on a regular basis, keep air ducts clean and in good condition, ensure good air circulation inside the premises, fix any leaks in the bathroom, kitchen, or other areas, and so on. To prevent mildew infestation, remove any mildew-affected plants and weeds as soon as you see them.

How to Clean Mold and Mildew

Mildew is a surface fungus that is easily cleaned using a commercial cleanser and a scrubbing brush. Simply work in a well-ventilated location and wear a facial mask to avoid inhaling mildew spores as well as breathing in fumes from the cleaning product you use. It is also recommended that you wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from both the mildew and the cleaning detergent. Clean all surrounding areas thoroughly to ensure that all fungus have been successfully eradicated.

Mold, on the other hand, adheres to the damaged materials via minute filaments that penetrate below the surface. Mold spores travel quickly and can survive in harsh environments, so they can swiftly contaminate huge portions of your property and cause permanent damage. Furthermore, despite its distinctive musty odor, mold is only apparent to the naked eye when colonies form, making early diagnosis and prevention difficult. Worse, mold can be extremely harmful to your health, therefore DIY cleanup methods are not advised. Furthermore, DIY therapies are rarely effective since the fungus typically grows in regions that are difficult to access and cure.


Molds and mildew are both members of the fungus kingdom. Accurate information about the two will aid in illness control and prevention in our homes.

Aside from that, keep your home dry and clear of moisture to avoid mold growth. In the event of mildew growth, use mildew removers.