The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

Is It Rust Or Mold

Christina Perez
• Sunday, 22 November, 2020
• 8 min read

If you’re seeing new stains on walls, floors, or countertops, you’ll want to make sure they’re not the result of water infiltration or excess humidity in your home. Mold tends to be found in damp, humid areas, while rust forms when metallic surfaces start to corrode.

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Recognizing the differences between mold and rust helps you determine the best way to take care of an issue before it becomes more pervasive. Areas prone to dampness, such as bathrooms and basements, can easily foster the growth of mold or mildew.

If you see a stain that looks like mold or rust in your shower, sink area, or basement, you’ll want to clean them as quickly as possible to avoid permanent damage. Rust, hard watermarks, grease, and mold may all look similar, but if you use the wrong cleaner, you may not be able to fully remove them.

Wipe up spills immediately and check your basement after heavy storms to spot signs of flooding as soon as possible. For lighter rust stains, some household products, such as baking soda or vinegar might work.

Mild abrasives like steel wool pads may also remove surface rust, but they may also leave behind scratch marks. The colors of mold can range from black to brown, white or gray, or even pink, blue or green.

Mold can grow as the result of a single event, such as a broken pipe or indoor water infiltration due to floods or leaks. It’s important to catch the signs of indoor mold growth as early as possible and have them taken care of before they lead to greater damage.

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Typically, mold cannot be totally eradicated from porous surfaces, like shower curtains, drywall or insulation; these items should be disposed of and replaced. When cleaning mold, you should always wear protective gear, such as a face mask and ensure that you’re working in an adequately ventilated area.

If mold has continued to grow in your home, you may have a more pervasive problem that requires additional professional remediation. Because so many of the stains we see around the house look similar, it may be difficult to determine what is causing the discoloration and damage.

To find a professional mold specialist in your area, you can complete the contact form and obtain additional information. Identifying the problem is extremely important because it will determine the type of product you used to clean the stains.

This is why you should turn to mold removal experts to make sure the problem is gone for good, not just on the surface. Mold or mildew usually grows in damp areas like basements and bathrooms.

It is usually found on water pipes and faucets, metal roofs, oil tanks and other areas. You can prevent rust by making sure that the metal is not exposed to water or humidity.


Make sure to follow the instructions found on the label of these products to avoid further damage. Since mold can also grow on metallic surfaces, identifying which one you are dealing with is essential.

Otherwise, from the result of flood damage, a mold infestation can spread and get extremely difficult to get rid of, forcing you to hire a professional company to remove it. What makes mold particularly dangerous is that it can be harmful to people struggling with asthma, allergies or a weak immune system.

You can use special products to remove the mold, as household items are not that effective, especially if the infestation has spread. In most cases, the mold is impossible to remove from porous surfaces like drywall or insulation, which is why you might need to replace them.

You might see a small red stain and make the assumption that it is rust, but that is not always a safe bet. Before you start any major cleaning efforts, it’s good to be able to identify if that stain is rust, mold, or something else entirely.

Mold is found in damp and humid areas, while rust forms during the corrosion of metallic surfaces. Areas that are typically humid, such as your bathroom and basement, are hot spots for mold growth.

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If you spot a stain in your shower, sink area or basement that appears to be mold, you are going to want to clean it as soon as possible before it becomes a more pervasive issue. Rust occurs when water or humid air comes in contact with a surface that contains iron.

Areas in your home that are prone to rust include, but are not limited to; water pipes, metal roofing and chimneys, oil tanks for homes equipped with oil heating, electrical panel boxes and nails. It can appear as black spots, gray dust or white and thread-like in areas that have remained excessively damp for long periods of time.

If you are unsure of what you are looking at and if it is mold or rust, you may want to call in a professional to perform an inspection just to make sure. On the other hand, rust forms on metallic surfaces that are undergoing corrosion.

There are well over 300 types of mold you might encounter in your home; some of them leave stains similar to those of rust. Mold also tends to appear in different colors ranging from black, brown, pink, orange, blue or even green.

Its physical appearance also varies from fuzzy to downy while some mold could be having slimy or powdery texture. Indoor water infiltration or broken pipes are some events that encourage the growth of mold.

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Moisture facilitates the formation of rust on nails, electrical panel boxes, oil tanks, metal roofs, chimneys, and water pipes. While rust causes corrosion thus wearing out equipment, mold can have serious health effects.

Avoid using bleach to remove rust as this might cause a reaction that could worsen the situation. If mold grows on drywall, insulation and shower curtains, it is best to get rid of these items altogether.

A mildew or mold solution can be purchased, or you can make one yourself by mixing one part bleach with four parts water. It is best to prevent mold and rust early enough by keeping your home well-lit and ventilated in order to avoid dampness.

Rust is scientifically called oxidation, which occurs when oxygen comes in long-term contact with certain metals. Over time, the oxygen combines with the metal at an atomic level, forming a new compound called an oxide and weakening the bonds of the metal itself.

On a simple level rust is oxidized iron, but actually water is also required and it is the hydrate of the oxide which is the red color. No, it is the direct result of iron combining with oxygen in the air to form a weaker compound.

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I think rust is a chemical change and mold is an organism Rust is oxidation.... mold is caused by a fungus (not bacteria).

It is a dark orange/brown color that is similar to rust, but it is on the bottom of my vanity in the bathroom where it tends to get moist. It is very, very difficult to scrub off; practically not happening, and it is on a metal surface.

PS I live in an apartment building that is rather old and am I considering contacting my landlord if it is mold. If a magnet sticks to it, I would guarantee its rust.

If you own a boat, a storage house, an RV or even in your own home, you might be scrambling on how to manage that rust, mold and mildew problem. In order to avoid the presence of these unwanted and dangerous health hazards, it is best to practice prevention.

Molds are types of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multi-cellular filaments called hype. Keeping the house properly heated during the cold and wet season can also prevent the presence of mold and mildew on walls and ceilings.


No need to crunch numbers, most owners do not find the presence of rust, mold and mildew a welcoming sight in their own homes. Once iron is left exposed to open air (where oxygen can be found) without a form of coating or protection, rust, that red-orange accumulations are seen.

Rust also forms due to exposure to chlorine, as in underwater situations where little oxygen is present. Molds are often seen from foods left unattended or warm areas such as carpets that were ‘vacuum forgotten’.

Molds are fungal growths, and they can be found in damp, moist dark areas of your houses or storage rooms. Presence of mildews in a house or structure doesn’t only make it uncomfortable due to the odor; it is also linked to health conditions that involve respiratory problems.

These components prevent the corrosive process, putting a halt on the formation of rust (e.g. Trust). Removing that environment which promotes their growth, naturally eradicates them without harmful effects to us humans.

Desiccants can also come in combination with activated charcoal, this component helps your home, boat, RV or storage fresh smelling even in high humidity.

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