The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

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| 2011 Apr 22 |
The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

You’ll often hear mold and mildew discussed together. Do you ever wonder why this is the case?

The simple answer is that mold and mildew are both types of fungi. They both produce spores and thrive on moisture.

In fact, mildew is a type of mold. It’s often thought to be mold at its early stages.

However, despite being similar, they are also very different, and it’s important to know and understand the difference between the two types of fungi.

Mold and Mildew
Example of a moisture problem gone wrong, causing major black mold contamination.

Mold vs. mildew

In terms of colour, mildew is typically grey or white and has a powdery or downy texture. The powdery mildew is the type you would find on flowers, while the downy mildew is more often seen on agricultural products, such as potatoes or grapes.

In comparison, the colour of mold varies. It can appear black, green, red, or blue. Mold often looks fuzzy or slimy and will eat through structural building materials such as wood.

In addition, molds can produce toxins called mycotoxins, which can cause allergic reactions or other more serious illnesses in humans.

Symptoms of mold exposure may include headaches, asthma, and coughing. People exposed to mold might also experience eye and throat irritation.

Finally, while household cleaners can sometimes be effective at eliminating mildew, mold is harder to clean. The best way to remove mold is to find the cause of the growth and address it.

What to do about mold and mildew problems

To ensure you’re not breathing in harmful mold toxins in your home or office (even if it’s in a large building complex), enlist professional help and book an air quality test.