The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

It’s common for people to use the terms mold and mildew interchangeably. However, each has distinctive differences, even though they’re both types of fungi. Don’t attempt to address mildew without using gloves and protective goggles. Individuals shouldn’t try to remove mold on their own. It can be a serious health hazard and is easily spread to other areas.


To the eye, mold can appear fuzzy or slimy. It’s raised, not flat, and appears in colors of red, green, blue or black, depending on the type. Mold has a strong musty and pungent odor that’s very disagreeable. As mold proliferates, it produces microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) responsible for the smell. It grows best at temperatures between 77 ad 86 degrees.

One of the most significant differences is that mold has roots that sink in and infiltrate porous materials such as wood, wallboard, leather and paper. Mold is insidious in its growth. It’s why home remedies such as bleach don’t work. Bleach kills surface mold, but doesn’t reach the fungi’s roots.

Mold generates symptoms in people ranging from runny nose, cough, sore throat and sneezing to respiratory distress, particularly in individuals with asthmas and COPD. It can also cause more serious consequences that affect the nervous system. Mold can cause memory loss, mood changes and depression.

Removing mold is complicated and requires the services of a professional remediation service. The experts have the tools, knowledge and expertise to kill mold at the root level. They can also remove infested materials and contain the infestation so it won’t spread throughout the entirety of a structure.


In comparison, mildew is flat, typically appears white or gray in color, and is often powdery. Mildew has a distinctive smell similar to mold, but it’s much lighter in nature. People can experience headaches, sore throat and mild respiratory symptoms when mildew is present.

Humidity levels between 62 and 93 percent present an ideal environment for mildew growth. Temperature is equally important. Mildew produces best in temperatures of 77 to 88 degrees. Mildew grows on surfaces, but doesn’t sink roots into materials. However, there are some types of mildew that are quite resistant and the services of a remediation professional will be required.

Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida Rapid Restoration is South Florida’s #1 restoration company in the disaster relief industry. With 24/7 emergency services we have provided thousands of clients with emergency restoration services throughout Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Miami Dade, Broward,  and Port St. Lucie Counties. We offer property restoration, mediation and, repair for water damage, mold removal, fire, smoke and biohazard removal services throughout the entire South Florida area.

We are a Licensed Commercial and Residential Emergency Restoration Contractor.

Whether it’s your home or office that’s been affected by water damage, fire, smoke damage, or mold, contact Rapid Restoration Recovery, Inc.

TODAY at: 561-344-5070

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