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Old 09-26-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


Hi,
Many of the studs in my attic (throughout the house as well pre-construction) looked like this....is this anything to worry about?

My kids all have allergies, and it seems we get sick all the time....5 yr. old home
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


My suggestion is to get a moisture meter from HD and get the reading. Even though generally, by touch and feel, one should be able to "tell" whether there is an issue with moisture.

Based on the photo you have here, it could possibly just be the wood itself.... Can you take photos of other rafters?

If it is mold/mildew, by spraying a small amount of bleach can "erase" the spots. Try that as well and keep us posted.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


The reason I am concerned is that while the home was being sheet rocked in July and August, no air conditioning...no heaters or fans, and the builder had let 1 inch of water sit and stew in the basement. The water was in the basement for 2 months during construction.
Maybe we should have walked away....but we would have lost 15k....

I have many 2x4's like this, most are sheet rocked over other than in the basement.

There was SO much humidity in the home that a year after there were 100's of screwheads where you could see the outline in the paint.

The drywall was put up in very high humidity, and then the builder sprayed the builder paint on, expanding the drywall...then when the moisture finally worked its way out the drywall shrunk again by 1/16 or 1/32....enough to make a screw which was flush...no longer flush.
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Last edited by kree; 09-26-2012 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:36 PM   #4
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


where are you located?
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


If I were you, I would peel off some sheetrock in your basement and see if there is mold growth.

Based on your picture, a good place for sampling will be the sheetrock covering the underside of your basement stairs.

If that was me, I would run my dehumidifier 24x7 and try to plot my next moves.

Good luck
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


Im in the suburbs of Illinois. That basement picture was from 5 years ago. Just to show the construction conditions.
The bottom drywall piece was replaced before Closing.

So does that wood look like mold spots or something else?
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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its hard to tell from the photo, the photos are such small size on here that when you try to zoom in your image becomes fuzzy ....

have you tried what thumbs suggested above? if you have mold I'd expect to see it on the back of drywall board, especially if the board has paper
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kree View Post
The reason I am concerned is that while the home was being sheet rocked in July and August, no air conditioning...no heaters or fans, and the builder had let 1 inch of water sit and stew in the basement. The water was in the basement for 2 months during construction.
Maybe we should have walked away....but we would have lost 15k....

I have many 2x4's like this, most are sheet rocked over other than in the basement.

There was SO much humidity in the home that a year after there were 100's of screwheads where you could see the outline in the paint.

The drywall was put up in very high humidity, and then the builder sprayed the builder paint on, expanding the drywall...then when the moisture finally worked its way out the drywall shrunk again by 1/16 or 1/32....enough to make a screw which was flush...no longer flush.
That, is a big piece of the puzzle for the situation you're experiencing. Now things all make sense.

I still suggest to get a moisture meter so you monitor the dehumdifying process you are about to uptake.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


Re-reading your posts, you said "...I have many 2x4's like this, most are sheet rocked over other than in the basement....".

So can I assume that none of your studs in the basement have this "staining" issue?

As GBrackins said, can you zoom out and take some larger pictures of your attic?

While you are up there, can you touch the attic insulation to see if it is wet at all?

ps. here is a pix of lumber mold


Last edited by allthumbsdiy; 09-26-2012 at 08:46 PM. Reason: added pix
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:43 PM   #10
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


have you contacted your local building department, if not give them a call and have an inspector come out and check things out
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:51 AM   #11
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


Thanks for all the replies. My building inspectors were worthless, since mold is not in the minimum code requirements.

I will try to get a better picture, but with the minimum upload of 100k I had to make it less and less resolution.

The picture of the wood pile.....nothing looked that bad....mine are pretty much all black dots or stains all conforming to the face of the wood, i.e. not seemingly growing out of it. The only 2x4s I have in the basement are the stairwell, the first picture was from my garage attic. Many nails and screws poking through the ceiling/floor in the basement are rusted from the earlier moisture level.

That drywall piece is something I will investigate. It was like pulling teeth to even get the builder to replace the wet drywall piece.

Of course that level of moisture was 5 years ago, so if there were spots of mold on some wood here and there, and our interior humidity is within normal limits, is there a concern? In other words...if there is not enough moisture to support mold growth..whathappens to the stuff that was there?

The swampy building conditions have been inthe back of my mind for years, but now it is the point of whether we dump the house...losing like 30k...or I begin finishing the basement. The screw heads are annoying, but are not a health hazardous.

If the house is "safe" to live in its fine, but if there will always be mold spores floating around, that may force things to a new level.

Thanks again

Last edited by kree; 09-27-2012 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:13 AM   #12
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MOLD or just tannins, and dirt??


When moisture levels drop to below about 60% sustained or below .6 water content, mold will go dormant. It won't "die", but will not continue it's normal life functions such as producing spores or mycotoxins. If undisturbed, it can remain in that state for years. If re-wetted by a new moisture event it will again "come to life" and continue as an active colony doing all the things that molds do. My suggestion is to get a moisture meter and test the lumber. Test in a number of different locations and compare the readings. The moisture content from one area to the next should not be significantly different. As far as anything inside of walls, if it is sealed up and dry, leave it. You run the risk of creating problems that you don't have now and since the event was over 5 years ago, you'll have a tough time getting anyone to take responsibility.
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