What is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus. The term mildew is often used generically to refer to mold growth, usually with a flat growth habit.

Molds include all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae. Molds can thrive on any organic matter, including clothing, leather, paper, and the ceilings, walls and floors of homes with moisture management problems. Mildew often lives on shower walls, windowsills, and other places where moisture levels are high. There are many species of molds. In unaired places, such as basements, they can produce a strong musty odor.

Visit the Mold Website for more information.

Produced and published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Last Updated: October 26, 2022. Hyperlinks within the text and text appearing in brackets may have been added for clarity or ease of use by Moldli editors.

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