The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

This scenario is inevitable: maybe it was bread that was exposed for too long. Maybe it was a dirty shirt covered in mud from a soccer game. Maybe it sneaked up on your shower curtains. Mold and mildew are common household guests that are unwelcome in modern civilization. When referring to these fungi, many people use the phrase “mold and mildew” when in fact the terminology usually calls for one or the other instead of both. Mold and mildew are two separate species; why are the two so often grouped together as common household phrases when they are actually unrelated?

What is Mold?

Molds are fungi that are difficult to classify because they are microbes and are available in a vast variety. Unlike plants, molds do not utilize photosynthesis, and instead live through the organic matter they attach themselves to with their spores. Overexposure to mold can lead to many health issues in the future, due to allergic reactions or respiratory complications.

What is Mildew?

Mildew, like mold, is a fungi, and affect both plants and households. While mildew is strictly in the order Erysiphales, over thousands of known species are mold. Mildew affects specific kinds of plants, like roses, but in the home, mildew mostly grows in a flat shape. Mildew can cause health issues as well, through respiratory complications, though it is not as harmful as the severe black mold.

What’s the Difference?

Many differences are found between mold and mildew. Both are definitely a bother and possible danger to your home or business, but it is beneficial to understand the difference to safely remove them:

Appearance. Mildew starts as a white or yellow color that will eventually turn brown or black. Mold is fuzzy and can be pink, purple, green, orange, brown, or black.
Uses. Mildew has no use, but various healthy molds are used in food production.
Prevention. Since both prefer damp, dark areas, keep all areas in your home or building moisture-free. Do not leave perishable food out and available after three to four days.
Locations. While both mold and mildew like to grow in humid, moist areas, mildew is most commonly found in the bathroom, in places such as the showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets. Mold can be found in rotted food, walls, and ceilings. Mold can also be found in floors after flooding.
Do Any Similarities Exist?

Both mold and mildew like to grow in humid areas with poor ventilation. Moist and damp environments, like condensation in exposed, cooled food or in bathrooms. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most common places to find mold or mildew, since they are the two places in the house or building that involve water in their usage.

Both mold and mildew can be removed with a cloth and commercial cleaner. If you happen to come across dangerous molds like black mold, immediately have it removed by professionals. Exposure to black mold can lead to various problems such as issues with breathing, headaches, fevers, and other types of allergic reactions. Fatalities have been linked to overexposure to black mold; do not take any chances that may cost you medical bills later on.

In the end, mold and mildew are two completely different entities, and while they may go together like ice cream and waffle cones, they are as different as a frozen treat and its bread counterpart.

Contact Us Today

If you find any amount of mold or mildew due to flooding, do not hesitate to call us. We understand that sometimes flooding can cause other unwanted situations that you may not want to handle alone. Please call us if you ever find black mold or other severe types of mold in your home or building. We will remove it efficiently and effectively; contact us today.