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Mold is a type of fungi that grows in humid areas. It has different species that take different types of pigmentation. We have the most common type of mold is the black mold that has a black pigmentation. Other colors include greenish-grey, green, red, yellow, white, purple, and pink among other shades of color. Mold is thus a living organism.
On the other hand, dust is not a living organism but is composed of particles of dirt, soot, pollen grains, pet hair and clothing fibre.
Characteristics That Distinguish Mold from Dust
Mold has an unpleasant musty smell like that of dirty sock, rotten wood or something really unpleasant. With dust, it bears an earthy smell which is tolerable
When you put a few drops of bleach on mold, the dark patch lightens after a few minutes. With regards to dust, no changes are noticed or there is no reaction with bleach.
Mold grows in areas that have a high moisture content. With dust, it is found anywhere regardless of the environmental conditions.
With dust, it is always pulled down and lands on various surfaces, unlike mold which grows on surfaces and is not in any manner affected by the force of gravity.
Mold grows in humid dark areas. When you found substances in dry and well lit areas, they would definitely be dust particles.
6. Level of attachment
Dust particles are loosely attached to surfaces and are easily wiped off. With mold, it grows deeply into the surface and cannot be removed by simply wiping.
Mold has a specific pigmentation depending on the surface that it is growing on. Like greenish-grey, black and white among others. On the contrary, dust does not have any particular color.
8. Health effects
Dust particles when disturbed cause people to sneeze and cough among other effects. These effects disappear after a short time or when the dust settles. On the contrary with mold, it has long time health effects on people. These take the form of severe allergic reactions like prolonged coughs, skin and eye irritation. Also, mold causes lung damage.
9. Effect on materials
Mold grows deep into the surface of the material that it is growing on. This means that the surface can easily be damaged. If mold is for instance growing on a wooden door, the door with times roots. This effect of mold is different with dust, dust stays on surfaces but does not cause a permanent damage on them.
Treatment and Prevention of Mold and Dust
In this respect, we will consider the best methods of cleaning that would keep away dust particles and mold or mold spores from your home.
With mold, you need to keep your home as dry as possible. The main factor that is responsible for the growth of mold is moisture. When you keep your home dry, you would be preventing mold from growing. Any water leakages should be rectified and use a humidifier to ensure that your house is dry. With dust particles, clean your home using a Swiffer which traps the particles and not like other dusters that distribute the particles to other places.
Clean mold using bleach and other cleaning agents. Also note that ammonia should not be mixed with bleach as it leads to a corrosive reaction that is harmful to your health. Gently scrub off the mold from your surfaces and dry them properly. In respect to dust particles, cleaning and using a HEPA filter is adequate.
You need to regularly change your HVAC filters for a lot of dust particles are trapped their and their huge accumulation leads to inefficiency of the HVAC system.
HVAC tech with over 30 years of experience. Retired and doing repair work on the side around Madison County, AL.