Mold Vs. Mildew – How to Tell the Difference?

Mold and mildew are two of the most common household pests found in any home. They can easily grow quickly on surfaces like wood, drywall, concrete, or carpeting. No matter what kind you have in your home or business, it is important to remove them as soon as possible because they can cause health problems for people who get in contact with any of them.

The good news is that mold vs. mildew isn’t too difficult to figure out. All you need is a little knowledge about how each type behaves. In this article, we will discuss what those differences are and some simple ways to get rid of them.

Differences Between Mold and Mildew

You need to be aware of a few key differences between mold and mildew. Here is what are Mold and Mildew:


Mold is a fungus that releases spores to reproduce. It’s not always visible, but you might see the damage it has caused, such as discoloration or a musty smell. Mold can be invasive and may eat away at various surfaces if left untreated for too long. It will begin growing on any surface with high moisture levels and no airflow, such as on drywall or in carpeting.

Common Mold Types

  • Stachybotrys chartarum (Black Mold)
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Aspergillus


Unlike mold that needs a surface to grow on, mildew can be found growing freely (often with other molds) and attached directly onto surfaces like walls and ceilings. It usually appears black or white due to its color pigments and is a type of fungus. Mildew typically doesn’t cause too much damage to surfaces, but it can be very harmful to your health if you breathe it in.

Common Mildew Types

  • Alternaria
  • Epicoccum
  • Cladosporium
  • Pseudomonas

How Mold and Mildew Form?

Mold and mildew are both fungi that feed off of organic matter. They primarily grow on plants, trees, wood, or paper products. They can also grow in soil or dead leaves when these items are exposed to moisture for too long. Mold is especially likely to appear indoors during the winter months because its favorite food (water) is more abundant indoors.

Mold Vs. Mildew – Health Concerns

Mold and mildew can both cause health problems in people who come in contact with them. Mold often causes respiratory problems, skin irritation, and even allergic reactions. Mildew is less common but can also cause some health issues, nausea, and vomiting. It is important to get rid of mold and mildew as soon as possible in order to avoid any potential long-term health problems.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew?

Preventing mold and mildew from growing in your home can be tricky because both require moisture to grow. However, there are a few simple things you can do, including:

  • Limit exposure of wood or other building materials to rain or snow when possible.
  • Make sure water doesn’t pool up near window sills, walls, or foundations.
  • Increase air circulation in areas where mold and mildew are common.
  • Regularly clean surfaces are prone to mold and mildew growth with a disinfectant.
  • If you are having trouble getting rid of mold or mildew, it is best to call in a professional. They will have the tools and knowledge necessary to get the job done right.

How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew

Now that you know the differences between mold and mildew, it’s time to learn how to get rid of them. The good news is that both are easy enough to remove with some simple supplies that you probably have in your home.

How to Remove Mold?

First, you need to find the source of moisture that is causing your mold issue. If it’s in or on any porous surfaces like drywall, carpeting, wood paneling, etc., consider replacing these items with new ones because they are probably too damaged by now. You can also try cleaning them thoroughly and applying a sealer to ensure that no moisture can get through.

If the mold is growing on non-porous surfaces like tiles, countertops, or shower walls, you should be able to remove it by scrubbing with warm water and soap until all traces of it are gone (be sure not to use any scented soaps because they may contribute to your mold problem). Finally, you can spray the surface with a disinfectant to kill any remaining spores.

How to Remove Mildew?

Unlike mold, mildew cannot grow on dry surfaces and needs some moisture to survive. For this reason, it’s often easier to get rid of mildew than mold. All you need is a bucket of hot water, some bleach, and a scrub brush.

First, mix the hot water and bleach in the bucket until diluted. Then wet down the surface with the mildew on it and start scrubbing. The combination of heat and bleach will kill the fungus and remove its traces from the surface.

Finally, allow the surface to dry completely and spray it with some disinfectant (like Lysol) to kill any remaining spores.

Final Verdict!

Now that you know all the details about Mold vs. Mildew, you should be able to tell them apart. This is important because mold and mildew can both cause health problems if you don’t get rid of them as soon as possible. Both are relatively easy to remove with some simple supplies. However, we recommend seeking help from professional mold testers and removers.

Moldtesters561 is the perfect example of a reliable, affordable, professional mold testing company. If you are in Boca Raton, Florida, please do not hesitate to contact us for all of your mold testing needs!

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