Mold or Mildew: What is the Difference?

You see it growing in your shower or around your window sills and pass it up as mildew, right? But what is the difference between mold and mildew, if anything, and is one more worthy of concern versus the other?

First of all, let’s set the record straight: Mold and mildew are both growths of fungi and are in many ways the same.

In science, mildew is actually a type of disease that impacts plants.

In everyday usage, the difference between mold and mildew is in their appearances and the surfaces they are found growing. Mildew is typically lighter, cottony, powdery and gray or white in color.

Mold is usually a ticker or furry in texture and black, green, orange or red in color. While mildew is typically a plant disease, mold grows anywhere it can find a source of moisture and food. Since mold feeds off of organics matter and most building material is composed of organic materials, the growth found indoors on walls, ceilings and floors is considered to be mold.

Finding an Inspector: If you have decided that you would like to seek out a mold company to conduct an inspection to determine if you have a problem, find a certified company in your area here.

About author

This article was written by Heather Reynolds

Heather is Certified Industrial Hygienist through the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). A Biology graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she has dedicated her field of study to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) with a focus on fungi (mold) and allergens such as dust and pollens.


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