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Dust vs. Mold in your Home

Many times you have mold in your home and you mistake it for dust. Gravity will always pull dust to the top of a horizontal surface. If you ever find “dust” on the bottom of a surface, such as a shelf, you are looking at mold. This is a very common place to find mold in homes. Grab a flashlight, shine it on the bottom of a shelf. See anything?

So what’s the big deal about having mold in your home? Exposure to mold can be potentially harmful to humans and animals. Exposure occurs through inhalation of microscopic mold spores. Mold spores contain allergens, irritants and, in some cases, toxins that may trigger adverse reactions in humans. The type and severity of symptoms depend on the mold types present, the extent of exposure, the age of the individual exposed, and their sensitivity to mold allergies.

There is a direct correlation between indoor mold exposure and human disease. Long term exposure to mold may cause of worsen conditions such as asthma, hay fever or other allergies. The most common symptoms of mold exposure are cough, chest or sinus congestion, runny nose, eye irritations, and aggravation of asthma.

Common types of mold found in homes:

Cladosporium, which may appear green, brown or black on the surface. It can cause an allergic reaction and may grow on walls, wood, dust and insulation.

Aspergillus can look grey, brown, yellow, green, white or black. This type of mold can cause infection in people with weak immune systems and allergic reactions. It can grow on walls, insulation, paper products, soil, clothing and many other places.

Penicillium could appear to be blue, green or white and can be found on food, such as, fruits, breads, or cheeses, on walls, insulation and additional places.

Stachybotrys is the infamous black mold. It grows in damp areas and creates harmful toxins.

Now that you know what the difference is between dust vs. mold, take it seriously and get your home inspected.