Mold or Mildew ?

chart below shows some of the major differences.

Mold and Mildew

Mold Mildew


Mold is usually fuzzy in appearance. It can be many different colors, including blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black, or white.

Mildew usually grows in a flat pattern and may appear either powdery or downy. Powdery mildew usually starts out white and may later turn yellow, brown, or black. Downy mildew usually starts out yellow and later turns brown.

Problems it Causes Structural damage to homes can occur over time. Mold can also cause numerous health problems, including respiratory problems, allergic reactions, migraines, inflammation and pain in the joints, mental status changes, and extreme fatigue. Mildew can cause damage to plants and crops. It can also cause health problems, including respiratory problems and headaches.
Beneficial Uses Some forms of mold are used in the production of food, like cheese, and some forms of mold are used to make medications, like the antibiotic penicillin. None.

Health Effects of Mold vs Mildew

Common health effects of exposure to mold (which vary depending on the strain of mold) include:

Mold vs Mildew
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throats
  • Migraines
  • Sinus infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Allergic reactions
  • Rashes or hives
  • Inflammation and pain in the joints
  • Mental status changes (depression, forgetfulness)
  • Extreme fatigue

Common health effects of exposure to mildew include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches

As you can see, exposure to mold is associated with more health problems, but exposure to mildew isn’t good for your health, either.