Mold vs. Mildew: What’s the Difference?

Mold and mildew are often mistaken for one another, and for understandable reasons. They are both fungus-like substances that grow on the surfaces of food, damp areas, and even paper, that can cause serious health problems if left untreated. But there are distinct differences between the two that separate them into different forms of fungi. So, if you’re looking into mold testing in Massachusetts, you may want to read the below information to make sure you know the differences between mold and mildew.

#1. Appearance
Mold and mildew have strikingly different appearances from each other. While mildew appears white or gray, mold is mostly green and black, and can appear either fuzzy, particularly when growing on food, or slimy when growing on the ground. There simply is no crossing between these two in terms of appearance; one cannot be mistaken for the other unless the person in question has never seen one or the other.

#2. Effects on health
Mildew is disgusting, ugly, and can cause some health problems if left there long enough. However, this pales in comparison to what mold can do to you if it’s allowed to get bad enough. For one, mold doesn’t just add bacteria to the air, it can also release spores into the air. Not only can these spores create more mold wherever they land, you’re in big trouble if you accidentally breathe one in, as you are now at risk of mycobacterial poisoning. If you become afflicted with this, you are now open to a myriad of chronic diseases. While you definitely do not want either mildew or mold in your house, mold can potentially be far more toxic to your health, especially if you already have certain lung or respiratory problems.

#3. Treatment
The main similarity between these two is that the best way to treat them is to wipe them out completely from your home. Mildew is the much easier option, usually taken out via thorough scrubbing and store bought cleanser specially made for mildew. Mold can be taken out the same way, but it’s always good to have someone perform a mold inspection to make sure you know where all of it is, and depending on how bad it is, you may need to hire someone to perform mold remediation. Because if there’s even one shred left, it will quickly retake its lost territory.

While part of the same general family of fungi, mildew and mold are in fact quite different from each other. From their appearance to how they’re treated. If you suspect mold or mildew is in your home, remember these details so you can properly decide which it is and how to go about cleaning it up. To know more information visit

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