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Old 05-02-2014, 02:52 AM   #1
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Is this really mold?


Removed drywall ceiling in basement room to find black on the floor joists - kind of like artist's charcoal. I am assuming this to be mold but thought I'd run it by those who have more experience. See attached photos.

I am trying to figure out the puzzle of where the moisture came from, as I realize this is much of the battle of dealing with mold. Here are some possibilities - thoughts welcome:
1. There was a sauna built in this room - though as far as I know this sauna was NEVER used. It appeared to be new, and not fully complete when we moved in. (tile on the floor was not grouted, etc.)

2. This is the room where the water comes into the house. However, there is no apparent connection between the mold growth and the location of this pipe.

3. We live in a generally dry climate. 30 percent humidity would be high. THat being said, we did flood in September. Standing water for a couple days. However, all surfaces actually exposed to the moisture caused by this flood have either been removed (direct exposure to water) or show zero signs of growing anything. This space was basically sealed at that time.

So... any thoughts? Suggestions? Guidance?

Help!

Thanks.
Attached Thumbnails
Is this really mold?-joist1.jpg   Is this really mold?-joist2.jpg   Is this really mold?-joist3.jpg   Is this really mold?-joist4.jpg  

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Old 05-02-2014, 03:03 AM   #2
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Is this really mold?


Just an aside, but am I justified in being ticked at the previous homeowner? It seems clear enough that the plywood subfloor is newer than the joists or the mold on them, seeing as how the ply is clean. I know that the previous homeowner did, in fact, redo the floor in the room above, laying his own tile. I don't know why he would have replaced the entire subfloor - unless the ply was moldy too. If that was the case, was he just lazy (or worse) in leaving the joists to continue to grow? Or does plywood have some chemical toxic to mold that would keep it clean while the joists grew black fungus? Now that I think of it, there was a can of Kilz in the basement when we moved in. Duh. Major clue there, I suppose.

RRRG. At both him and at myself (for being so dense).

Curious the reaction of others.

M.

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Old 05-02-2014, 04:32 AM   #3
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Is this really mold?


Definitely looks like black mold. I am not a remediation expert so I will let someone else comment on how to remove it. In the past, bleach or Krud Kutter was used to get it off, but those methods are not acceptable in today's world of home improvement. You definitely DO NOT want to scrape it off dry as you will release mold spores into the air.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:49 AM   #4
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Is this really mold?


Hard to tell, but agree that it does look like mold. If the subfloor is new, there may very well have been a leak at some point which was the cause of this mold. This happens pretty commonly, though, and unless you have a bad allergic reaction to mold spores, don't think it's something to freak out about.

There's a lot of scary information on the web about mold, but here's a good source that's pretty thorough and a little less intimidating: epa_DOT_gov/mold/moldguide.html

BTW, I don't think a can of Kilz is necessarily a tell-tale sign that the previous owner was trying to hide something. There are a million reasons to use Kilz that don't have anything to do with hiding evidence. :-)
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:31 AM   #5
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Is this really mold?


while no one can answer w/any certainty which you should understand, we have seen circumstances which appear to be as you post & those were mold. only a lab can tell you it is or isn't.

that being said, it is personally i don't like diy solutions for mold & mildew,,, we ALWAYS use a certified remediation guy

IF things go south, who would you sue ?

' less intimidating: epa_DOT_gov/mold/moldguide.html ' OUR GOVERNMENT ? ? ?
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:36 AM   #6
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Is this really mold?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy Bloom View Post
I am trying to figure out the puzzle of where the moisture came from,
It's not uncommon to find mold in units of lumber and the fact that what you're seeing is on the joist right up to but not on the plywood makes me think that it was there when the joist were installed.

Here's an article on Lumberyard Mold.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:36 PM   #7
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Is this really mold?


It certainly looks like mold. Perhaps the previous owner opted to replace the sub-floor and leave the joists as they were. Especially since there are several involved and nothing on the plywood. That is really not a correct approach. The joists don't appear to have been significantly damaged. I would clean it off and seal it. The link below will give you info on mold and how to get it under control.

How to control Mold Part 1
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:50 AM   #8
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Is this really mold?


Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback. This is becoming a larger and larger problem. I think it DOES have to do with a pipe installed (DIY style I believe) by the last home-owner. I noticed drip marks on the drywall (former ceiling) all along the pipe's length. This pipe goes into the next room too.

The drip marks weren't obvious at first, but upon closer inspection they're clear. I think I will post in plumbing next. Sigh. I'm beginning to regret buying this house.

Using the mold abatement stuff from home depot to try to take care of the joists.

Thanks for the support everyone! Really appreciate the folks here!!!

M.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:27 AM   #9
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Is this really mold?


Warm, moist air condensing on a cold water pipe can drip condensation. Is that room cold during winter months?

To make you feel better about your house....understand that ALL homes have problems. Within a year of moving into my home, we had a sewage blockage dump the upstairs toilets all over our basement. Then, a couple months later, melting snow made its way into our kitchen (no eaves over bumped-out wall, gutter sitting ON TOP of siding). Deck was nailed to house, not lagged, no flashing on ledger. Fence posts aren't treated lumber, and have rotted at the base. Renovated my bathroom, found mold under vanity...opened wall, found 20yr old drywall screw driven into hot water pipe. No foam or insulation around doors, or exterior corners where walls meet. No insulation above one of our closets. Shower drain use to leak. Bathroom vents weren't connected to roof vent. Gas fireplace access panel has been grouted into tile surround.

A little bit of surface mold is nothing to be upset about. Clean the mold with Concrobium, and if you want, seal it with a mold-resistant primer.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:30 AM   #10
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Is this really mold?


If it makes you feel any better, I have been working with mold for 15-20 years. In that time I have yet to walk into a house that didn't have evidence of mold somewhere. Even brand new houses. Before you just spray some magic potion on it, you should really read the info I posted in the link. If you are truly concerned about it, then it needs to be done right. Doing it wrong has the same result as not doing it at all.

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