Mold Vs Mildew

Comparing Mold And Mildew

As far as distinguishing what mold and mildew are, we need to know and understand their differences. Sure, they may look similar but deep down they have a distinctness that could be missed.

Having a distinct difference can also be the key point in causing health problems, which mold has been shown to cause, whether to a home or you personally.

So how can we determine what makes mold different from mildew?

What Makes Mold, Mold?

Many places exist where mold can exist and the number one condition that it needs to thrive in is a damp and humid location that is already experiencing damage from water.

Damage could be caused by events such as flooding and leaks, which can eventually become more problematic for any carpeting, walls, and flooring due to the amount of saturation.

This saturation is what’s needed for mold growth to begin. This is particularly true for places that have experienced higher than normal water levels caused by excess amounts of water.

Distinct Properties of Mold & Mildew


The key property of mold is that it is a fungus. Knowing this, there are also some distinct properties that set them apart in their handling and the way they appear. But it is good to know that these fungi can cause various problems to a person’s health.

Some of the properties that mold contains include:

  • Many color shades which can be either White or black. The color difference is determined by its location, but is normally a dark color if within a structure.
  • It develops as a circle while it spreads throughout the area
  • It looks furry in nature, just like other molds that grow on food items


When it comes to mildew, the properties are quite noticeable as compared to mold. These properties involve the following:

  • The pattern for its growth has a green pigment to it and has a slim consistency and is more on the flatter size.
  • Exposure to mildew toxins are less likely to occur than those of mold
  • Mildew can spread into tiny cracks and within tiles in the bathroom and spreads out resembling a stain.
  • Cleaning mildew is not a chore either. You can use a simple cleaning solution with some good elbow grease.

Often times, mildew growth can be located on various things that end up getting wet such as cloths, towels, and brushes. By now, we are sure that you realize that your bathroom is the one place for moisture to be lingering around on the items we described.

Mildew can also make its way into the ceiling and walls. A home that has a basement usually have to keep on top of the moisture level by bringing in a dehumidifier to eliminate the excess moisture.

Key Differences

  • Mildew is considered simpler to eliminate tan it is for mold. A lot of times all that will be needed are just a little elbow grease and cleaning detergent. With mold, it will most likely cause you to replace the items that the mold has grown on due to the staining left behind. If you have never handled mold before, then it is suggested that a professional be brought in to handle it safely.
  • Their color is specific for their type of fungi and may become more prominent as they spread.
  • The simplest method to determine which fungi is what is by viewing it. With mildew, it has a flat top and spreads out from the center and usually within cracks and leaves behind a stain. It has a green tinge and appears as slim. With mold, it appears as a fuzzy circle while spreading out on a surface.

When it boils down to it, their appearance is the primary method of identifying which is which. With so much confusion between the two, it is good to know what makes them so different.

Despite their differences, they also have a couple of similar characteristics such as both being fungi and needing wet conditions so their pores can grow and spread.

Dangerous Exposure

When it comes to exposure it will only be a matter of time before it affects you if it is not quickly eliminated.

Like it was stated before, these are both fungi, which create spores and are spread through the air or by other nearby surfaces.

The bad thing about the spores is that they have the potential to be breathed in by a person.

Plus, until the mildew or mold is eliminated, the spores will continue to be produced and increase your chance of inhaling them, which can cause continuous issues with your health.

Possible Health Issues You Could Experience

After a person inhales the spores, they may begin to experience some symptoms that are often related to mildew and mold. A few of these symptoms are:

  • Unusual pain and headaches
  • Breathing difficulties, coughing, and unusual tightness in the chest
  • Irritation of the nose, eye, lung, skin, and throat
  • Development of asthma
  • Allergy attacks affecting the eye, skin, and nose resulting in rashes, redness, and sneezes.

Luckily, these symptoms are the least to worry about after you have been exposed. On a more serious note, the following symptoms are more consequential and can involve the following:

  • Unusual exhaustion
  • Nervousness
  • Skin infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Unusual loss of weight, vomiting, and nausea
  • Lungs bleeding, loss of memory, going blind, or any other brain conditions

These symptoms are more uncommon to occur, but they still should be watched out for because there is a first thing for everything. Know more about why is it bad to have black mold.