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Mold

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My parents own a standard, two-story colonial. On the second floor, there are small, black spots of mold that appear on the paint wherever studs and support beams reside underneath. It's not too severe, but it is evident and rather than simply painting it over I'd like to know

 

1.how to remove/kill the mold that's there

 

and

 

2.what steps can be done to prevent the issue in the future. I'm assuming an upgrade in the attic ventilation is in order to deal with the underlying issue.

 

Thanks,

 

Doug

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View PostSo the mold is appearing every 16" where the studs are? Doesn't sound good. Is it in a bathroom or throughout the house?

 

 

It's throughout, but- maybe I'm using the wrong terminology- it's every 4 feet on the ceiling running left-right if facing the house from the front (really 4 beams in all). On the walls, it's in a couple of areas around doors and windows- though not around all of them.

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Sounds like you have leaks or humidity control problem in the attic (It's not breathing and moisture is forming on the rock, and 48" would indicate it's leaking into the sheetrock seams. You have a lot more investigation to do my friend. First make sure you get some good protection, Gloves, mask and goggles. Go up in the attic and pull the insulation up. You will probabily find Mold on the back side of the rock. If it's isolated to the rafters, your gutters may be clogged and the water is running from the soffit along the 2x's and getting in that way. If it's all over, the attic not's breathing.

If you can, take some pictures. I'm sure we can help you figure it out from there. But it sounds like you may have to pull the ceilings down. Mold is hard to abate and kill if it is wide spead and even when you think you've gotten it, it only takes moisture and O2 to reproduce.

Church

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The reason I ask, we had dark spots on the wall where the nails went into the studs. Seems we had a puffback and the soot must have been charged and stuck to the area on the sheetrock where the nails were. Washed ikt off with a degreaser and painted over it.

Pete

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Under the first floor, whats there? A slab crawl or basement? And are they wet (damp)? This is usually the cause, but the last place looked at cause it's at the other end of the problem.

 

They have excess moisture, it's just a matter of finding the cause and treating it.

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I checked the attic. For the ceiling, it is at the sheetrock seams- not at the studs. You can see the mold on the sheetrock itself in one of the pics. The seam in the pic is the opposite side of the line in the ceiling where the mold appears. I took pics of the vents as well. There are 4 in all, one at either end of the house and one right next to each of these on the east slope.

525

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View PostUnder the first floor, whats there? A slab crawl or basement? And are they wet (damp)? This is usually the cause, but the last place looked at cause it's at the other end of the problem.

 

They have excess moisture, it's just a matter of finding the cause and treating it.

 

 

There is a basement. They do keep a dehumidifier down there. Is there a device that I can use to measure moisture in the air?

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View PostThere is a basement. They do keep a dehumidifier down there. Is there a device that I can use to measure moisture in the air?

 

 

You should be able to get a humidity gauge at your local hardware store.

 

Are there any vents in the soffit? Is there a ridge vent on the roof? If not, a combination of the two would probably stop further issues and is pretty easy to do. Also, the insulation in the picture seems to be matted down / stuffed to tightly....that could be a problem too.

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Based on the photos I'd say those roof vents aren't leaking but are part of the problem.

 

My guess is you're getting warm moist air from the living space into the attic and it's condensing right under the roof vents when the air goes below dew point.

 

Again based on the pics, you need air sealing, and up grade on the insulation, and adequate attic ventilation. Don't let anyone sell you a new roof till these items are addressed.

 

You may be able to get an inexpensive inspection through LIPA, call them, they sub most of the energy audit work out to CSG, CSG has some of the brightest building science people in the US on staff.

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Now that I see it, The Black mold problem does not seem extreme. Here's a way to check for the extent of the mold. Go up in the attic when it's dark and use a hand held black-lite.You can buy a handheld /automotive fixture and then put a blacklite bulb in it from Homes. Most mold spores will show up under black-lite and give you an idea of the amount of contamination. After removal you can use that as a gauge to your success, Bleach is excellent, in a spray bottle. It does appear that the moisture is roof related, But that in combination with what Ed J said can add to the problem. If you post the SQ.FT., I'm sure Ed can advise you on the proper sizing of the dehumidifier for the basement. Most people buy and don't size it properly.

Church,

And BTW, unfortunately, I lost 200K of Sheet music in the Church due to mold contamination, I brought in a consultant, and learned alot, and did it in- house. Don't pay a mold remediation company. You CAN do it yourself. smile.gif

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