Asbestos vs. Mold – A Comparison

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I’m constantly on the lookout for new information to write about here on the Mold Solutions blog, and I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to all things mold. I’m always interested to learn new information and I research the topic of mold growth, mold prevention and mold removal on a regular basis because it’s important to stay up-to-date.

One of the more unusual connections I’ve noticed is that many people associate asbestos and mold in the same category and for a very long time, I would go “Well, that’s weird…” and then continue on with my search for other information.

Finally, last week, I called my boss to get the lowdown on how the two are possibly connected, and I’m sharing that knowledge with you.

You’re welcome.

Let’s get started.

Asbestos vs. Mold

The Differences

Let’s make one thing clear before we start: mold and asbestos are not in the same category as it relates to the components that make these substances what they are.

First, asbestos is a man-made material. It was very popular in the early between 1930 and 1950 as many people used it as a type of insulation. It was also used in a wide variety of other materials used in homes like roofing materials, siding material, and plaster, but most people associate asbestos with insulation.

It became evident, however, that asbestos was causing people to become sick with some really serious diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma. In 1977 the use of asbestos was banned and while you can still find it in older homes, no newer homes will have it anywhere in the house.

Mold, on the other hand, is an organic material that can be found practically everywhere. It’s a living organism that needs a feeding source and moisture to survive. There are so many different types of mold, we don’t even know the final count. They range from the harmless kind you might find on food you’ve left out too long to Stachybotrys Chartarum (black mold) that can make you or your family members sick.

While it would be nice to somehow “ban” mold from your home, there isn’t necessarily a 100% fool-proof way to do it. Mold can grow on any non-porous surface under the right conditions and has the ability to spread quickly. It can even grow inside your walls where you can’t actually see it.

Those allergic to mold can have mild symptoms that are similar to that of hay fever but others can also experience more serious problems like migraines, depression, and respiratory issues.

While the two are obviously different in what they’re made of, they actually do share some similarities that make sense as to why the two are often classed together.

The Similarities

Once the public learned more about asbestos and then, in later years, the effects of black mold, it’s understandable that no one wanted either one in their homes.

Mold and asbestos are only harmful when they’re disturbed because this allows the fibers from the asbestos and the spores from the mold to become airborne and people can then ingest them into their lungs.

Because of this, the removal of either substance has to be handled in a very similar way. Both require personal protection equipment for their removal, the area has to be contained and the air has to be scrubbed once the removal process is complete.

While not a great deal of similarities, it still makes sense to me why people group them together when discussing the removal of one or the other.

Mold Solutions Mold Remediation

We don’t do asbestos removal but we do know our way around any type of mold you find in your home. If you suspect you have mold growing in your house or already know for sure, give us a call. We can help answer any questions you might have on the subject and we can help devise a plan to get rid of it that works with your timeline. Contact us today!


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