Do Not Mistake Soot for Mold

Posted on

Do Not Mistake Soot for Mold

One of the most common culprits that can be mistaken for mold is actually soot. Stains from soot particles can come from a variety of sources such as fireplaces, woodstoves and candles. Soot can coat your walls, TV screens and other electronics, as well as carpet, furniture etc. Candles that are scented, in particular, especially when the candle has burned down about halfway, tend to be a perpetrator that goes under the radar. If you are someone who burns candles or has a fireplace, check to see if that is the root of your problem prior to thinking it is mold right away.

In order to tell if it is soot versus mold, check to see where the black substance is in relation to items that produce soot. Soot stains can look like patterned dots and vertical stripe-like patterns on walls, ceilings and smudging on carpet. The stains tend to be the darkest where there is greater airflow such as above ceiling lights and along carpet perimeters.

You can test the stain by rubbing it with a little bleach on a paper towel; if the black color remains, it's soot. If the color goes away, it’s mold. Bleach will change the color of your mold to a clear and/or white color, as it would your clothing. Unfortunately, if it is mold, you have now created a biosphere for the mold to grow in and you may have also possibly ingested the bleach fumes & airborne mold spores (never healthy). Usually, within three to four months, the mold will return and do so with a vengeance. (Please see our blog about the effects of using bleach on mold. Click Here.)

If you are unsure or would like a professional to determine that mold is the source of your problem, please give us a call at 585-235-6182 for us to come out and evaluate your property. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at

Post a Comment