The Differences Between Mold and MildewMold and mildew are two of the most common types of fungus, bacteria, that you are going to find inside of your home. When you have mold or mildew, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between the two. They have a lot of similarities and form much in the same way. It may take one of our mold testing Jacksonville professionals to help you decipher exactly what you are dealing with inside of the home and how severe of a situation that it is.

The Similarities

To figure out the differences between mold and mildew, the easiest place to start is the similarities. What makes them so hard to understand the difference between one and the other? The first thing is that they both form in much the same way. Both mold and mildew are going to be able to thrive in moist environments. If you have a basement that has been hit by a flood, for example, that moisture in the air down there is going to help spawn both mold and mildew.

The other similarity is that these are both a type of fungi and both can spread very quickly. Once you have some mold or mildew on a surface, if nothing is done about it, they are just going to grow more and more. They can each impact an enormous area of your property in a short amount of time.

Mildew as a Type of Mold

The best way to think about the differences between mold and mildew is to think about mildew as actually, a kind of mold. Mold is a fungus, we all know that it can have some incredible growth that can penetrate deep underneath the surface of whatever it is on. Mildew is a bit different as it is a type of mold that does not have that penetration ability. Mildew is going to remain on the surface of what it is growing on.

Mold is what you are going to find more often on permanent structures, such as support beams inside of your home. Mildew is going to be different, showing up more on surfaces that are damp. These surfaces include paper and potentially pieces of fabric, such as curtains.

Color Difference

The easiest way to tell the difference between mold and mildew is to look at the color. Mold is usually going to look like it has the color of black or green. Mildew will have different colors with it, including the colors of gray or white. Mildew is also known to look fluffier, more like a powder in its appearance. Mold is different as it is going to look fuzzy in a way, and can also come across as looking a bit slimy. Surfaces that are covered in the mold are also known to rot over time due to the way that mold can saturate into the object it is resting on.


Both mold and mildew pose a lot of risks, including the risk to the health of you and your family inside of the home. Where mold is different than mildew though is with the severity of the damage that it can cause. Mold can cause structural damage to the home, while mildew will do some damage, just not to that saturation point.

There are a lot of things that make mold and mildew similar at first glance, hard to differentiate. Look a little closer though, and you will realize that each has unique traits. Our mold testing Jacksonville professionals know what to look for and how to deal with both mold and mildew, so don’t hesitate if you have any of it inside of your home.