Mold vs Mildew: What’s The Difference

Mold vs Mildew: What’s The Difference

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2016
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Mold and mildew are strikingly similar fungal growths often found in homes and other buildings. At Mold Inspection Illinois, we have a lot of Illinois homeowners and Illinois landlords coming to us asking what the difference is between mold and mildew and how to deal with each one. Though they look similar, the protocol for handling mold vs mildew is very different. That’s why we decided to break it down for all you Illinois residents out there who are dealing with this heavy rainfall we’ve been having!


Both mold and mildew love moisture. You’ll find them in basements after floods, damp bathrooms after showers, and attics after leaks. Additionally, they both love warmth. They thrive in warmer climates, so Illinois residents will notice that they grow more during summer months, especially after heavy rainfall like the kind we’ve been having. They’re also both pretty versatile, and can grow on just about any surface, given the right conditions. But don’t be fooled by their many similarities! Their differences are significant.


Mildew is usually gray in appearance, but mold can be any range of colors and textures. It even has invisible mold spores that are present before the physical mold begins to grow. Mildew tends to stay on top of whatever it grows on, earning it the title “surface fungi,” whereas mold seeps into the pores and linger long after the surface has been cleaned.

This means that while mildew can be scrubbed off pretty easily with no side effects, mold needs to be professionally removed. Mold removal is much more complex than mildew removal, which is the key factor in the mold vs mildew discussion.

What Now:

So now that you know the similarities and differences between mold and mildew, what should you do? Well if you can’t tell if your home has one, both, or neither, we recommend getting a professional mold inspection or air quality test. This will ensure that you don’t make the mistake of removing what you think is mildew only to find out it was actually mold.

Ultimately, whenever in doubt, always get a mold inspection. This will give you peace of mind and keep both you and your home safe from the onslaught of a mold infestation. So schedule an appointment with Mold Inspection Illinois today!

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