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Mildew Versus Mold: What's the Difference?

Published on April 19, 2021

Is it mildew or is it mold? Sometimes the answer is only clear after a mold remediation in Toronto, but there are some valuable clues that you can look for before calling in the experts. Mold and mildew can grow in the same rooms in your home and even look or behave similarly. At MoldTech we’ve discovered mildew during black mold removal and when treating attic mold, and it can be challenging to get rid of. 

The Physical Appearance of Mold Versus Mildew

While mold and mildew are both fungi, it’s better to describe mildew as a type of mold. Mold can grow in many different shapes, colours, textures, and affect many different rooms and surfaces in your home, while mildew tends to be more selective. Mold grows into the objects it’s affecting, which is why it can be difficult and damaging to remove, while mildew tends to grow on objects. 

Common Types of Mold

Without thousands of different species of mold, it’s difficult to identify by eye what type is affecting your home. Three of the most common culprits are: 

  • Aspergillus: A grey, brown, yellow mold that grows on walls, insulation, and paper. 
  • Cladosporium: This mold prefers growing on textiles or wood, and can appear black or olive. 
  • Stachybotrys Chartarum: This mold produces toxic spores and needs to be removed promptly to ensure your safety! When someone requires black mold removal, Stachybotrys is usually at fault.

Common Types of Mildew

Mildew, in contrast, appears in two distinct forms: 

Powdery: This type often affects plants or flowers and appears as grey patches that kill the host. 

Downy: Also affecting plants, this type is yellow, brown, or black, and can appear different depending on the surface. 

Where Mold Usually Grows

Mold can be found anywhere in your home, but it is most common in rooms or places that have high humidity, poor airflow, and low traffic. At MoldTech, the most common places we’re called to do mold removal in are: 

  • the bathroom
  • the basement
  • the attic

Where Mildew is Commonly Found

Like mold, mildew needs a damp place to grow. It likes to grow on surfaces, and its damage tends to be more cosmetic than harmful to human health. Some places you might see mildew growing are: 

  • window sills
  • bathroom tiling
  • wet paper

Mold and Mildew Removal in Toronto

While mold grow poses more serious risks to your respiratory health and the safety of your home, mildew is a serious problem that can cause a lot of physical damage. Mold remediation in Toronto is a safe and efficient way to remove existing mold or mildew and, most importantly,  identify and solve the cause of infestation. Many mildew or mold issues are easily solved by small changes to your habits or improvements that introduce better air circulation.

To learn more about preventing black mold and mildew in your home, call or email to speak to one of our technicians at 1-866-684-7684. 


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