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Old 05-31-2007, 01:59 PM   #1
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Dirt along wall in basement?


We've recently moved into a rental home and discovered something we're not sure how to interpret. The basement is finished, with wood paneling in one room. This room is in a corner of the home and borders the exterior along two walls. The floor is concrete.

There is dirt along the floor right next to one wall, and a couple of the panels at that wall are bowed inwards towards the bottom.


I have suspicions, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Any idea how that dirt got there, what I should check, and whether this is a concern?

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Old 05-31-2007, 02:13 PM   #2
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Dirt along wall in basement?


is it Mold? if it is... major problem... if it is just dust.... it is better...

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Old 05-31-2007, 02:19 PM   #3
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Dirt along wall in basement?


I don't think it is mold. It looks like dirt. I'll take a closer look tonight, is there an easy way to tell dirt from mold?
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:21 PM   #4
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Dirt along wall in basement?


I suppose one of these ways s can tell:

feel if the wall a bit damp

check insulation behind the wall see its condition at the spot which is dirtiest
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:25 PM   #5
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Dirt along wall in basement?


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Originally Posted by Beren View Post
We've recently moved into a rental home and discovered something we're not sure how to interpret. The basement is finished, with wood paneling in one room. This room is in a corner of the home and borders the exterior along two walls. The floor is concrete.

There is dirt along the floor right next to one wall, and a couple of the panels at that wall are bowed inwards towards the bottom.


I have suspicions, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Any idea how that dirt got there, what I should check, and whether this is a concern?
Could be something to do with the home's sewer line-main drain, sump, or main water supply line...(?)

I know that it is a rental, but the reality is that the only way to know what is there, would really be to 'open it up'.....

You don't mention anything about dampness or water, so honestly, it doesn't sound like a serious issue. Many occupied older homes today have actual ''dirt floor" basements.
If you feel you are going to lose sleep, you could have someone help you inspect it by removing the panels and replacing them back exactly as they were....

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 05-31-2007 at 02:29 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:42 PM   #6
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Dirt along wall in basement?


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You don't mention anything about dampness or water,
My bad. There are some dried water marks on the concrete floor which seem to come from that same section of wall. The "dirt" is very finely grained and pitch black in color.

There was a dehumidifier in that corner of the room when I took residence. I turned it on, and I've been dumping it out every other day. If it's raining outside, shorter period. I don't have a humidity checker down there, though.
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:44 PM   #7
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Dirt along wall in basement?


so dry water mark on the floor... very likely you have a basement leak....
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Old 05-31-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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Dirt along wall in basement?


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.... The "dirt" is very finely grained and pitch black in color.
Ummmm.....Are you sure that pitch 'black' stuff is ''dirt''?
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Old 05-31-2007, 03:25 PM   #9
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Dirt along wall in basement?


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Ummmm.....Are you sure that pitch 'black' stuff is ''dirt''?
I'm not sure. Short of sending it to a test lab, how do I tell?
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Old 05-31-2007, 03:30 PM   #10
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Dirt along wall in basement?


Taste it.....
















J/K - had to write that....
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Old 05-31-2007, 03:33 PM   #11
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Dirt along wall in basement?


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I'm not sure. Short of sending it to a test lab, how do I tell?
There are inexpensive Mold Test Kits out there:

Example:
http://www.homestoreproducts.com/car...id=MOLDTESTKIT
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Old 05-31-2007, 03:42 PM   #12
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Dirt along wall in basement?


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Taste it.....
Funny. I was waiting for someone to chime in with "you can tell 'cause it'll look like mold." I'll take a look for test kits locally, then order online if necessary.

I read that you could check with a UV light, as well, that it would glow yellow.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:46 AM   #13
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Dirt along wall in basement?


After closer inspection, it very much appears to be dirt, not mold. We had a hard rain last night, and the wall paneling was damp towards the bottom.
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Old 06-01-2007, 02:19 PM   #14
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Dirt along wall in basement?


hard rain shouldn't mean leak... even you don't have mold... you may have leak and should open up and fix it before it get worse...
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Old 06-01-2007, 02:25 PM   #15
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Dirt along wall in basement?


Put some on a piece of Havarti cheese and wait 3 days....

Sorry, me and Atlantic have the same sense of humor.
Could you post a pic?
I agree with Atlantic, you have to remove some panels to get to the bottom of this.

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