Mildew vs Mold: What’s the Difference?


The moisture in your bathroom and kitchen could turn into mildew or even mold if you do not take care of it promptly. The result can affect your health and you’re your home value plummet. When you spot a problem, here’s how to tell the difference.


Any part of the home that is higher in humidity or moisture content could be a potential breeding ground for mildew or mold. When you leave a damp towel on the bathroom floor overnight (or even longer), it may smell odd. This is most likely mildew. Left to accumulate, mildew and mold take on very different appearances. Mildew usually shows up in white or grey patches, while mold turns green or even black. The important thing to remember is that what you see is only on the surface. Behind walls and under flooring, where you cannot see, mold and mildew also grow with potential damage to your home and your health. Your Sacramento plumber can help you assess the likelihood of water leaks that may prompt mold growth.

Possible Effects

There is a reason that the discovery of mold is a grave concern for many homeowners. The effect of mold, particularly “toxic black mold,” can pose a serious threat to your health. Besides being generally stinky and unsightly, mildew could cause headaches, coughing, sore throat and difficulty breathing. By comparison, mold could be responsible for all of these, plus:

  • pneumonia
  • migraines
  • depression

and other conditions. More than anything, it is crucial that you take steps to remove mold and mildew as soon as you see it, to prevent the problem from getting worse.


For minor cases of mold and mildew, removal may be similar. Make sure the space is well-ventilated and that you are wearing protective gear on your hands, eyes, nose and mouth. Scrub the surface with a cleanser, such as bleach, that is known to remove mold and mildew and disinfect the area. If you have reason to suspect mold growth beyond your reach inside your home, perhaps near a plumbing leak or behind your walls, hire a professional to test your home and arrange for mold removal. Ultimately, the best way to get rid of mold or mildew in your life is to prevent it from growing in the first place. Keep the humidity in your home low by using ventilation during showers and baths. Ensure that the surfaces in your kitchen clean and dry. If you have a water leak, contact a plumber in Sacramento to fix the problem quickly.

Mold and mildew are two different kinds of fungi that can cause you a whole host of problems. Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of both, especially if you catch them early enough. To learn more about your home’s plumbing and how you can protect yourself from the growth of mold or mildew, contact us at Ace Plumbing.