Mystery Black Substance: Not Mold, need help !

Not sure this is the right forum, but here goes!

I have several more pictures

There is a black substance coming out of the following areas:

Inside the dishwasher
from the outlet sockets
from the smoke detectors
out of havc vents

There is black substance that boarders all the 2 X 4 studs and nail heads
it also on the carpet in various areas

The HVAC filter turns black over a two week period.


Built in 2014, homeowners bought it in 2016 in the South Georgia area. It is in a residential neighborhood and is not close to any industry or dirt roads.
Homeowners say they haven’t used the fireplace scene they moved in in 2016, they do not use candles. Mold Test and HVAC have been evaulated with no issues.

Things to consider:

Spray Foam Insulation in Attic

if anyone has seen this before please let me know!

Have seen it frequently . Its called ghosting .

ghosting in the house - Google Search

but the dishwasher?

Home Energy Magazine - Indoor Air Quality :: Black Stains in Houses: Soot, Dust, or Ghosts?

Any history on the home having a fire ? perhaps trapped soot in the walls .

To expand on Wayne’s idea it’s possible the spray foam could be concealing fire damage or charing in the Attic.

Chinese drywall?

That’s thermal bridging from outside which makes that area a little colder and it will condense water vapor which collects dust, ash and debris.

Again… inside the dishwasher???

Recommend: Industrial Hygenist for consultation and advise course of action.

Note: Although IH’s are not typical for Residential situations, they are often consulted for difficult to determine situations. Based on the information thus provided so far, I deem this to be one of those situations.

IH Defined | American Board of Industrial Hygiene

Lack of insulation and lots of candles being burnt (or a wood stove/fireplace).

I get the black soot marks over my baseboard heaters whenever they’re on and my wife burns candles. Huge pain in the *** to get off the walls.

The walls - ghosting. Brett offers a very good condensed explanation (see what I did there?).

The dishwasher. Weird. Never seen it. Mildew (which is just another word for mold, so I am told)?

The owners may leave the dishwasher open, which would let the soot condense on/in it… There’s no telling.

Four year old house? It looks more like a hundred. There is something very peculiar going on there, not ordinary ghosting.

Only time Ive seen anything that bad was a bad heating system running on oil sooted the whole house out.

did You notice the dishwasher Jeff ?

Are you inferring I’m racist due to all the black in there? :mad:

Maybe, but who does that with any regularity?