Differences between Mold & Mildew

Mold & Mildew have similar characteristics but they are very different. Mold is a fungus that grows in moist or damp places. Mold spores grow very rapidly in areas of excessive moisture including leakage that could have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or areas where flooding has occurred. Other products such as paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products that could be sitting in your garage or basement provide conducive growth environments for molds. Mold can be identified by its musty smell or color including black mold, blue & pink mold. While most mold is harmless, some black molds can be toxic & have health implications including mold poisoning.

Mildew on the other hand is a type of fungus that grows on moist surfaces including bathtubs, shower & shower curtains, basement attics, drapes, floors, tiles, wood frames, concrete & insulation. A fungus is any microscopic organism that survives in a moist environment. The image above is mildew developing on a leaf. Mildew is an important part of the environment; without it, leaves would not decay and soil enrichment would not be possible. Mildew has an awful smell and also poses health risks especially to those with asthma, allergies to mold, etc. Mildew usually has a gray or whitish color & can look powdery or very fuzzy. While there is no practical way to eliminate all mold & mildew in your home, the way to control indoor mold growth is to limit moisture. During humid weather, use an air conditioner or humidifier to keep the moisture at below 60 degrees. If you have leaks in your roof or sealing, repair them immediately as this will prevent mold spores from entering into your home. Mildew can develop in a home within 24 – 48 hours after water damage. The water damage can be for several reasons including:

  • Flooding
  • A damp or wet basement
  • Wet crawl space
  • Overflow of water from sink or bathtub
  • High humidity due to steam cooker pressure, humidifiers or dryer vents

Tutorial video on how to remove mildew from grout. The girl in the video mixes vinegar & baking soda until she gets a nice solid mixture. Using a toothbrush, she scrubs the grout hard with the mixture. This helps to make the grout look a lot whiter. After scrubbing the mildew from the grout, you want to kill any mildew that you cannot see with your eye by spraying it with the Concrobium Mold Killing solution.