What Is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

August 28, 2017

Many homeowners have trouble distinguishing mold and mildew. They are both types of fungi and though they share certain characteristics, they differ in many ways. It is important to know the difference in order to have them properly treated. If you’ve been curious about mold and mildew and especially if you need Orange County mold remediation services, here are the basics.


Though similar in appearance, mold and mildew have several differences that can help you differentiate them. Mold grows in the form of hyphae or filaments, while mildew is a specific kind of mold, usually with a flat growth habit.

Mold tends to look fuzzy, slime-like and its appearance can vary in color, ranging from white to black. There are thousands of species of mold. They exist in any color you can imagine: green, yellow, brown, blue, and even red.

On the other hand, mildew is usually powdery and comes in gray and white varieties. There is also a downy kind of mildew, common in agricultural products which are left in damp and dark conditions for too long. This type of mildew starts as yellow spots, only to turn brown later.


Both mold and mildew tend to grow in damp, humid and poorly ventilated environments in homes and outdoors. Mold is often found on ceilings, walls and food, while mildew is the fungi that grows on humid places such as showers, sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. Mildew is also found on plants, when it changes color over time to yellow, brown or black.

Mold and mildew need an organic food source like wood, soil, drywall or plants. Though a variety of mold species may appear to grow on non-cellulosic surfaces such as glass, concrete or plastic, they are actually growing on the present bio-film on these surfaces.


To prevent both mold and mildew in your house, keep all areas moisture-free. Fix any leaks in your kitchen, bathroom, basement or another part of the house. Install proper home ventilation to prevent moisture. You can also buy a dehumidifier to control excess humidity. Keep the humidity level under 60 percent to reduce the risk of mold and mildew outbreak. Your house should be clean and cool and you should regularly check your property for water damage.

Also, don’t keep perishable food in the fridge for more than three or four days. Clean any spills immediately because it only takes between one and two days for mold to begin growing on a wet surface.

If you’ve bought a new house, it’s recommended that you have an Orange County mold remediation expert perform a thorough mold inspection before you move in.

Orange County Mold remediation

The best way to get rid of mold and mildew is to seek Orange County mold remediation services from a professional. They will be able to tell the difference between mold and mildew and perform a proper and effective treatment.

Our experienced and knowledgeable experts at Emergency Home Solutions are fully equipped and trained to remove any mildew and mold in your home so that you’ll forget it ever existed!

With more than 15 years of experience, Emergency Home Solutions provide a wide range of services to Orange County residents. Whether you’re experiencing mold, water damage related issues or plumbing problems, call us at (949) 916-0549 or contact us online!