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Old 04-04-2009, 10:21 PM   #1
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Black (maybe toxic) mold -new roof?

Hello all you roofers,

My name is Antony and I live in the Poconos ( NE PA ) with my wife and two year old. We bought a 2000 sq ft house 5 years ago. Two floors, cathedral ceilings. No access to the roof as it is all tongue and groove, except for a crawl space on one side no bigger than a pool table.

I have recently noticed some raises in the ashphalt shingles. I suspected plywood bumps and got worried. I looked in the crawl space and ripped the insulation space between it and the plywood. Saw some mold and got even more worried. I think the muppets who put the roof on did not put any spacers in to let the soffits and roof vent talk....

Have sent a sample of the mold off to two labs and it came back as toxic black mold.....only the genus not the speciation.

My 2 yr old sleeps upstairs, and we have moved him.

His side of the house has discolored shingles- baked - and moss. the other side is fine, except for a couple of 6"x6" plywood raises. the sun hits his side for an hour and then gets the other side.

I have had two contractors come out. Both said roof replacement, and that condensation is building up and causing the mold. There is no evidence of water stains on any of the pine T&G, or around the skylight.

How do I find out the real deal and protect my son. I want to rip it all out and do it right, but +- 10G is not in the family budget. Roof is 10 years old.

thanks guys and gals.....



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Old 04-05-2009, 08:08 AM   #2
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Talk to your attorney about hidden pre-existing conditions not being disclosed.

Latent defects have a longer time frame than the general warranty. Get their advice first though.

The repair will be expensive and many contractors will not want to get involved because of the pre-existing mold concerns, so the project WILL be expensive.

The roof shingles, decking and insulation will have to be removed, and also probably the affected drywall ceilings.

A mold remediation company should be contacted.

This will NOT be covered under the typical Home Owners Insurance policy, unless the mold infiltration was caused by an insurable covered event, such as a leak caused by storm damage.

If you make an insurance claim, your home will be listed on the C.L.U.E. Reports as being contaminated and make the value decrease.

Your family and especially your 2 year olds health should be the primary concern though.

After the affected organic products are removed and replaced, when the new insulation is installed, there must be an allowance made for installing a continuous air-flow from the soffit or eave areas to the highest point of the attic or each rafter bay.

Please describe what style of home and roof that you have and also upload some photos of the exterior and any others you think are pertinent.



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Old 04-05-2009, 08:09 AM   #3
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First off you need to make sure what ever roofer you hire knows how to deal with ventilation issue's, not all do.

With cathedral ceilings the easiest and most feasible way of dealing with ventilation issues is gaining access through the roof.
It's both time consuming and costly, but a good roof will not solve ventilation issues nor will good ventilation solve failing roof issues.

In the past few decades or so our understanding of molds has increased a hundred fold with studies showing air born elements, etc.

Contact your local City Office, BBB, HBA or State Attorneys Office and get a recommendation for a home inspector and go from there.
Do not let the matter slip into the "out of sight - out of mind" situation,
thinking that just because you moved your son, all will be ok.

I am not trying to scare you, nor am I suggesting you or your family are in harms way, I'm just saying you should take care of the situation.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:18 PM   #4
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thanks Ed and Slyfox for the prompt replies....

I had a home inspector come yesterday ( recommended guy from the PA home builders association ). I had him take air samples and look at the roof. He said that the insulation is indeed up against the plywood and that the mold looks like it is from condensation rather than a leak. He was able to get into 5 rafter bays and saw the mold on all.

He was surprised there was no styro spacing between the insulation and the plywood, as they had take the time to put a ridge vent in and soffits.

Thank you both for your concern, I am def gonna do something about it.

I also had another roofer come today. He was recommended by a good friend and is well respected in the area. He gave me a list of 27 references with phone numbers, produced his liability insurance and spent an hour here.

He will give me a quote tomorrow. He also said that he would rip up the questionable part of the roof first and assess what the true problem is. He suggested that the skylight (shown in the pic) is not standard and looks botched.....maybe leaking. He spoke in depth about ventilation. I will share his quote with you once I get it.

He is recommending Elk shingles.......the Gaf shingles in NEPA are made at the old Elk plant.

I have already found a topical organic fungicide to spray in the bays once all else is out.

I will endeavor to take pics of the crawl space and the outside this week.

Both photos are from 2005.

thanks again
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