A Belfor Company
  • Mud damage.
  • Stains.
  • Mold.
  • Fire damage.
  • Extreme weather.

Mold vs. Mildew: What's the Difference?

Most people think that mold and mildew are the same. After all, both are black or green growths of fungi that love dark, damp places. However, there are a few differences between the two, including external appearances and techniques for removal. Here's how to tell them apart:

Mildew is a fungal patch that is usually gray or white. It is visible on the surface and easily removed with any store-bought cleaner. Mildew has a powdery or fluffy appearance, and over time, will turn brown or black.

Molds are green or black fungal growths that occur when there is a more significant fungal infestation. It also is visible on surfaces, but it can burrow through layers of damp or moist material such as stale bread, cooked rice and other food items, leather, plastic, and the like. Fuzzy or slimy in appearance, mold can be blue, green, yellow, light brown, black, and grey. It also comes with a noticeable odor and often rots the surfaces it invades.

Standard Mildew Removal

You can remove mildew by mixing equal parts bleach and water in a spray bottle. Spray on affected areas, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then scrub it off. This method can remove infestations and staining.

For fabric stains, use 1/2 cup of borax dissolved in 2 cups hot water and rub in affected areas. Let the solution soak into the fabric and let it sit for a few hours before washing and rinsing.

Removal of Black Mold

Black mold is a more severe form of household fungal infestation. Inhalation can lead to some respiratory problems, so removal requires protective equipment, air control, hepa filtration equipment and special chemical cleaning solutions.

The first step is to remove the source of moisture from the area, then set up air control and heap filtration equipment, followed by sealing any air vents or ducts and openings such as doors and windows that lead to other rooms in the house. This will prevent black mold spores from spreading to other places in the house.

Wear protective gear, including a respirator or face mask and cover your arms and legs to avoid contact with the mold. Use a commercial black mold removal cleaner to disinfect affected areas. Once you've done that, place all equipment used in the clean-up in a garbage bag and seal it before disposal to avoid distributing mold spores to outside areas.

Mold and mildew are different types of fungal infestations. For health reasons, early identification is essential; whether you are dealing with mold or mildew, you must avoid the spread of spores. Aside from ensuring prompt removal, making sure that surfaces stay dry can help you prevent further fungal infestations at home.

For additional information on mold or mildew, or if you’re unsure whether you have mold or mildew, please give us a call at 405-348-3060.