Many people think that mildew and mold are the same thing, but that is not the case. Mold is a type of fungi that thrives in dark, humid areas and is commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.

Mildew, on the other hand, is a type of fungus that tends to grow in moist environments such as bathrooms. It is often found on tile grout, shower curtains and bathtubs.

Which Is Worse, Mold or Mildew?

It depends which type of mold you have. If you have toxic black mold it is much more dangerous than green mold. Mold that is black or dark brown in color can be very harmful to your health.

Not only can black mold cause skin irritation, it can also cause serious issues with your respiratory system (such as respiratory tract infections, allergic reactions, asthma attacks, etc.). 

Mildew vs Mold: Which Is Worse? A Guide for Homeowners

How Do You Stop Mildew?

To stop mildew from growing, you must clean and remove all excess moisture from your home. 

Open windows to let air circulate throughout your home.

Use a dehumidifier to lower the relative humidity to below 50%. 

Make sure your bathroom has good ventilation and never use humidifiers.

Remove moisture from the air by using fans when showering or bathing. Make sure to dry off any wet surfaces after taking a shower or bath.

Try running a portable fan in your bathroom while you shower or bathe to keep the room well ventilated. If you have forced hot air heating, consider installing a ventilating fan near the bathroom’s air intake.

How Do You Clean Mildew?

You will need to find the source of the excess moisture and eliminate it in order to remove mildew completely. 

Water stains on drywall can be removed with a solution of ¼ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup white vinegar, or with a commercial dehumidifier cleaner solution.

For mildew on tile and grout, try using a 10% bleach solution or a commercial tile cleaner such as Tilex. When cleaning tiles, make sure you don’t leave any residual bleach on them as this may damage them.  

Using bleach is not recommended for vinyl flooring as it may damage the flooring. Instead use a non-bleach cleaner such as a vinegar and baking soda solution or an oxygen bleach solution such as OXYCLEAN.

If you notice mold growing on carpeting, use a wet vacuum to remove the excess moisture from the carpet first before using an anti-fungal spray or powder (these can be purchased at most hardware stores). If you don’t see an improvement when cleaning up mildew in carpeting after 24-48 hours, seek professional assistance as it may be black mold rather than just mildew that requires professional mold remediation services. 

Can Mildew Be Mistaken For Mold?

Yes! When trying to determine if there’s mold growth or mildew growth in your home there are three factors to consider: 

Mold will grow almost anywhere so it’s crucial to look for any indication that there’s excess moisture which is often indicated by spotting on walls and floors; Avoid touching any of the spots in question for at least two days because if it is a mold problem then you may have just spread the spores further around;  If your home has high humidity then mold will likely develop within 24 hours whereas mildew takes roughly three days to begin to appear so if the spots are still there after several days then there’s likely no problem – if they do start to go away then there may be an issue with excess moisture in your home; 

If there is a discoloration of your vanity top or floors in areas where hot water runs frequently without any obvious source then it’s likely that these are signs of mildew growth; 

How Do I Know If I Have Mold?

If you notice any of these signs of mold (or mildew), then there is likely an issue with excess moisture in your home: 

musty smells; thick dark spots on walls or floors; unusual dark patches on porous materials; unexplained allergies/coughing/sneezing/itchy eyes; water damaged building materials including carpets, paper products (including photographs), wood materials (including furniture), etc.; and damage caused by flood waters resulting from sewage backups or leaks coming through the walls (still visible after being repaired). 

Can I Get Rid Of Mildew Myself?

As we stated above, mildew can be quite easy to remove from your home but if left untreated it could lead to untold damage including rot of flooring materials and damage to drywall which needs immediate attention in order not to deteriorate further causing health issues associated with mold spores present in the air we breathe. If you do have any questions about what type of mold you have discovered or think you have discovered in your home please call us at (248) 951-9073 so we can help you assess your situation and get rid of it before it gets out of control and cost you more than it should!