Mold or Mildew – What is the difference?

Daniel Smith
May 16, 2019

One major difference between mold and mildew is their color, texture, and overall appearance. Mildew is a surface form of fungi that is easily identified as a patch of either white or gray located on surfaces within moist areas. Mold, on the other hand, appears as either black or green fuzzy patches that are sometimes naturally slimy.

If you happen to discover that you have mildew, there’s an easy fix. All you need is a scrub brush and a simple store-bought cleaner. Recognizing and solving issues caused by mold pollution are a bit more complicated. You may have a mold problem if you experience the following:

• Water Leaks: Water leaks are common due to air conditioning condensate overflow, pipe traps under the sink, or washing machine drains.

• Persistent Respiratory Problems: Respiratory problems such as persistent coughing or asthma attacks can be a sign of mold growth in the home.

• A Musty Smell: While not always caused by mold spores, musty smells can be an indicator of mold growth under floorboards, crawlspaces, and within your walls.

• Humid and Damp Conditions: These areas include basements where you often store many belongings. If you suspect excess moisture, there is a good chance you have hidden mold growth among your belongings

• Water Stains: If you locate water stains on the ceiling, you may want to call a mold specialist as this can be a sign of an older water leak with mold was never removed.

Mold vs. Mildew: Ridding your Home of Pollutants

The key to dealing with mold and mildew is, of course, getting rid of it ASAP. While mildew is easily done away with, mold may require the attention of a trained indoor air quality specialist. Toxic mold may not be extremely prevalent in well-maintained homes, yet you might be surprised at how easily it can hide. Mold pollution can cause allergies, irritated eyes and skin, asthma, and lung issues, so recognizing the potential problem, and having an indoor air quality specialist evaluate the situation is the best way to protect your health and the health of your family.

Certified Mold Specialists are the Qualified Professionals:

If you think you have a mold problem, you need an expert.  

Smith Environmental Solutions Inc is in the business of assessing and improving Indoor Air Quality.  For 11 years, Daniel Smith, Certified Mold Inspector and Certified Indoor Air Quality Specialist, has personally inspected, tested and analyzed air samples in over 3000 combined homes and businesses across the Carolinas.  Our clients have entrusted us to determine the severity of their air quality as it relates to mold and other common indoor related allergens, and provide solutions.

Note: Information in this article is not intended to give legal or medical advice. The content provided by SES is based on industry approved education and training, professional certifications in mold testing and indoor air quality, and years of experience in scientific mold inspection, testing, and assessment and is intended for general informational purposes only.