What Is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

February 21, 2018 4:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Mold and mildew are often lumped together in people’s minds because they’re both fungi, and they’re both unpleasant. While they do have many commonalities, they actually are different, they represent different threats to your health and they require different remedies to fix. Allow us to explain in this guide, which we’ve put together from our years of experience handling mold remediation in Portland, OR.


  • What is it? Mold is fungus that can be extremely hardy. Its spores are often toxic or carcinogenic. Mold appears black, green or occasionally white. Unlike mildew which looks “flat” and generally looks like little “splotches,” mold looks more like a traditional fungus, growing hairy and slimy when thriving.
  • Where does it grow? Anywhere, including drywall, plaster, carpet, fabric and food.
  • What are the dangers? Mold spores can be highly toxic to humans, especially black mold. Those at the highest risk are children, the elderly and people with allergies or lung issues. Mold spores can be dangerous when ingested, inhaled or even on the skin, which is why taking care of mold early is a responsibility of any homeowner.
  • How do I stop it? For the most part, it is much easier to keep mold under control. It’s a hardy pest, but a house that is kept well cleaned is not likely to have a problem. A lot of our mold remediation services are performed on homes that have been neglected and are being repaired. Green molds you can take care of on your own with store-bought cleaning supplies, but black mold should be dealt with by a professional.


  • What is it? Mildew is more of a surface fungi. It doesn’t grow large or hairy or slimy like mold can. It’s usually a flat patch of gray, white or possibly bluish green fungus, and is generally just on the surface of an area.
  • Where does it grow? Anywhere moist. It can grow in your carpet, where it’s usually noticeable by smell rather than by sight, as well as on your walls, ceiling, fabrics and bedclothes, etc. The main issue is moisture. If you have a moisture problem, a mildew problem could easily follow.
  • What are the dangers? Mildew is not as dangerous as mold, but it can wreak havoc on allergies and on people with preexisting lung problems.
  • How do I stop it? Mildew can be safely and easily removed using store-bought products. It’s not as dangerous as mold, though it certainly can cause issues for allergy sufferers. If you have a serious mildew issue, you may need to figure out a way to dehumidify your home.

Call for mold remediation in Portland, OR

Active Mold Control LLC has been working in Portland and southwest Washington since 2006. Our staff has been licensed in the business as environmental professionals for nearly 40 years. If you have mold or mildew in your home, have noticed a stale or decaying odor coming from somewhere in your home or have noticed your allergies have been getting worse lately, give Active Mold Control LLC a call today. Our experts can perform a thorough inspection on your home for mold and mildew, and our methods for mold remediation in Portland, OR can help totally eradicate all mold in your home. Don’t let your mold problem get out of hand—give us a call today!

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