Mold vs. Mildew

Mold and mildew are definitely fungus brothers, but they do have a few striking differences. Learn more about the ins and outs of the two with this guide.


A detail shot of the corner of the room with mold spots.

Create a Safe, Clean Home for Your Family

Focus on mold prevention and indoor air quality to keep your home healthy and comfortable.

Like two siblings who have similar features, mold and mildew have a few matching characteristics: Both are keen on moist, warm areas where they might sprout their homes. They can also each grow on a multitude of surfaces, from food to your shower to a sheet of paper. And, of course, they are both two types of fungi that no homeowner likes to see in his or her home.

But mold and mildew also have striking differences when it comes to size, color and texture.

Mildew is a surface fungi that can easily be identified as a patch of gray or even white fungus that is lying on the surface of a moist area. Mildew is easily treated with a store bought cleaner and a scrubbing brush.

Mold, on the other hand, can be black or green and is often the result of a much larger infestation. This type of fungus can appear almost "fuzzy" — especially when it is found on food — or even slimy in nature.

While toxic mold is not common in homes that are regularly maintained, this form of mold can be dangerous to a person's health. Allergies, asthma, irritated eyes, headaches and even lung issues are the result of toxic mold that is breeding within a home.

The key to treating mold and mildew is to wipe it out of your home immediately. Treating it accordingly will safeguard your home from permanent damage and keep you from doing the tango with nasty fungi in the future.

Next Up

Common Areas for Mold Growth

Learn the most common areas for mold in your house, and take steps to safeguard against mold growth.

Black Mold Symptoms and Health Effects

Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.

Testing for Black Mold

Testing for black mold can identify problem areas for mold in your home.

Common Types of Mold in Homes

Mold comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. Learn how to identify the type of mold in your home and develop a plan of attack for treating it.

Control Mold Through Water Management

Minimizing moisture and redirecting water will cut the risks of mold in your home.

Mold Exposure Symptoms

Learn about the symptoms related to mold exposure and how to prevent more harmful illnesses.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

Kiss itchy skin rashes, watery eyes and sneezing goodbye with this guide for identifying and treating mold allergy symptoms.

How to Prevent Mold

Learn strategies to prevent rot from ruining your health and your home.

Toxic Mold Sickness and Poisoning

Toxic mold can lead to a host of illnesses that are the result of mold poisoning. Protect your health with this guide for identifying mold sickness.

Black Mold: What You Should Know

Learn about and view pictures of black mold to help you identify and prevent toxic black mold.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.