Mold and mildew, while not the same, have a lot of commonalities. Both are fungi, have similar visual characteristics, are drawn to moist spaces, and make for an unsightly mess in a person’s home. However, that’s where most of their likeness come to an end.

  • Color: Mold tends to come in hues of brown, black, and green, whereas mildew is typically more gray or white. While that may seem an easy enough way to decide which is which, it’s not always so black and white–quite literally. Other colors come into play with both, including yellow, peach, purple, and blue. And if it that’s not confusing enough, the colors have the ability to transform over time, depending on how how long the conditions have been present.
  • Texture: Mold’s appearance can be described more as fuzzy or even slimy compared to mildew, which can appear more powdery or downy.
  • Growth location: Mold grows on living sources, which includes food, drywall paper and wood, making ceiling, window sills, and walls welcoming places. Mildew, on the other hand, is drawn to moisture, so your kitchen, bathroom, and possibly basement, are prime targets. Keep an eye out for spots that form in toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers, and on bathroom walls.