What's the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that can grow in damp or humid environments, but they are different in terms of appearance, behavior, and potential health effects.

Here are a few key differences between mold and mildew:

  1. Appearance: Mold is typically fuzzy or slimy in appearance and can come in a variety of colors, including black, green, and orange. Mildew is usually powdery or downy in appearance and is usually white or gray.

  2. Surface: Mold typically grows on organic materials such as wood, paper, and fabrics, while mildew prefers to grow on non-organic surfaces such as tile, grout, and paint.

  3. Health effects: Both mold and mildew can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, but mold can produce toxins (mycotoxins) that can cause more severe health effects, especially for people with compromised immune systems.

  4. Odor: Mold often has a musty or earthy smell, while mildew has a damp or stale smell.

  5. Treatment: Both mold and mildew can be treated with cleaning solutions of water and detergent or with specialized fungicides. However, the treatment of mold infestation may require professional help, especially when the infestation is extensive.

It's important to address mold and mildew promptly to prevent them from causing further damage and health problems, and to maintain a healthy living environment.