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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
ACCEPTABLE MOLD LEVEL
ACCURACY vs PRECISION of MEASUREMENTS
ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT INDOOR MOLD
ACTIVITY of MOLD in BUILDINGS
AIR TEST FOR MOLD: ACCURACY
AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY
AIRBORNE MOLD COUNT NUMBER GUIDE
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BASEMENT MOLD WATER IMPACT
BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BIOGAS PRODUCTION & USE
BOD WASTEWATER TEST
BLACK MOLD, HARMLESS COSMETIC
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOK MOLD, Moldy Book Cleaning
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
BROWN HAIRY BATHROOM MOLD
CACTUS FUNGI / MOLD
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET PADDING ASBESTOS, MOLD, ODORS
CARPET STAIN DIAGNOSIS
CARPET & other STAIN TESTS
CARPET TEST PROCEDURE
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CARPETING, SELECTION & INSTALLATION
CAT DANDER in BUILDINGS
CLEARANCE INSPECTIONS - MOLD CLEANUP
EFFLORESCENCE, Salts & White / Brown Deposits
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FIBERGLASS PARTICLE CONTAMINATION TEST
FIELD INVESTIGATION SERVICE
FIND MOLD, ESSENTIAL STEPS
FIND MOLD in BUILDINGS, HOW TO
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODS IN BUILDINGS-mold
FOXING STAINS on books & papers
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE GUIDE
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSEWRAP AIR & VAPOR BARRIERS
HIDDEN MOLD, HOW TO FIND
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
INDOOR AIR HAZARDS TABLE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY METHODS COMPARED
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
Legionella Legionnaires' Disease
Legionella BACTERIA & HVAC Equipment
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
LP & Natural Gas Safety Hazards
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MICROSCOPE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MILDEW ERRORS - MOLD PHOTOS
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD ACTIVITY in BUILDINGS
MOLD AGE - Old is the Mold?
MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE
MOLD APPEARANCE - STUFF THAT IS NOT MOLD
MOLD ATLAS & PARTICLES INDEX
MOLD BY MICROSCOPE
MOLD CLASSES, HAZARD LEVELS
MOLD CLEANERS - WHAT TO USE
MOLD CLEANUP COMPANIES
MOLD CLEANUP, DO IT YOURSELF
MOLD CLEANUP GUIDE- HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD
MOLD CLEANUP with BLEACH
MOLD CLEANUP - WOOD FLOORING
MOLD CLEANUP - WOOD FRAMING & PLYWOOD
MOLD CLEANUP HEALTH RISKS
MOLD CLEANUP MISTAKES to AVOID
MOLD CLEANUP - SAFETY WARNINGS
MOLD CLEARANCE INSPECTIONS
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MOLD DOCTORS - ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD EXPOSURE, FOOD HAZARDS
MOLD EXPOSURE RISK LEVELS
MOLD EXPOSURE STANDARDS
MOLD on or in CARPETS
MOLD ON DIRT FLOORS
MOLD FREQUENCY in BUILDINGS
MOLD GROWTH ON SURFACES, PHOTOS
MOLD GROWTH on SURFACES, TABLE OF
MOLD INSPECTORS & MOLD TESTERS
MOLD INSPECTION HOME BUYERS GUIDE
MOLD INSPECTION SERVICE
MOLD INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE TIPS
MOLD INVESTIGATION REPORTS
MOLD KILLING GUIDE
MOLD LAB REPORTS
MOLD LEVEL REPORTS
MOLD LEVELS IN BUILDINGS
MOLD by MICROSCOPE
MOLD ODORS, MUSTY SMELLS
MOLD PREVENTION GUIDE
MOLD RELATED ILLNESS
MOLD SAFETY WARNINGS
MOLD SPRAYS, SEALANTS, PAINTS
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
MOLD TEST METHODS, ACCURACY
MOLD TEST PROCEDURES
MOLD TEST REASONS
MOLD TEST SAMPLE POINT CHOICES
MOLD TESTING & SAMPLING MISTAKES
MOLD TESTING SERVICES
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
Pesticide Exposure Hazards
PET ALLERGEN REMEDIES
PLASTIC CONTAINERS, TANKS, TYPES
PLASTIC HEATER VENT
PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
RENTERS GUIDE TO MOLD & IAQ
SICK HOUSE IAQ QUESTIONNAIRE
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAINS on INDOOR SURFACES: PHOTO GUIDE
STAINS & Thermal Tracking
TECHNICAL & LAB PROCEDURES
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING & THERMAL BRIDGING
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
TRIM, INTERIOR INSTALLATION
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
TRUSS UPLIFT, ROOF
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation UFFI
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
WALL FINISHES INTERIOR
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
World Trade Center Collapse Dust Photos
This article describes indoor stains and deposits that are not building mold or in other examples, harmless cosmetic mold. When investigating a building for a mold problem, you can save mold test costs by learning how to recognize Stuff that is Not Mold or is only Harmless Mold but may be mistaken for more serious contamination - save your money. Because people sometimes send "mold test" samples to our lab that really should not have been collected, much less looked-at, I provide this library of photographs of things that are "not mold" and don't need to be tested. These are substances that you can easily learn to recognize in buildings. Save your mold test money, and increase the accuracy of your mold contamination inspection or test for toxic or allergenic mold in buildings: review these items to learn recognize non-fungal materials or even possibly harmless cosmetic black mold often mistaken for toxic fungal growth.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
HARMLESS INDOOR PARTICLES - Examples of scary-looking, usually harmless indoor stuff that is sometimes mistaken for mold
For photos of stuff that is indeed mold contamination in buildings, see MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE. If you don't see information you want, ask us for it using the comments box on this page. So many people have called us to look at things that are not mold that I'm offering some photo tips below. Don't hire an environmental consultant if your only concern is the stuff you see here and if there are no health or air quality complaints. Save your money, don't bother testing the things you see below.
Finding "not mold" material in a building does not mean that there is no mold or allergen problem. Even relatively harmless house dust collected on a surface and sent to our lab as a mold screening test can contain a surprising amount of problematic mold spores if the building has a mold problem.
More important for mold testing, right in among an old colony of harmless cosmetic black mold I've on often found hard-to-see Aspergillus sp. or Penicillium sp. mold that grew there much after the original black mold deposit. Judgment and common sense are needed. Nonetheless, the examples below are unambiguous and should not be sampled for mold testing.
Review This List & These Photographs of Stains or Stuff in Buildings that Are Not Mold or Are Harmless Cosmetic Indoor Mold
In this article on things that are not mold, do not require mold testing, but which may still help diagnose building conditions and history, we'll discuss, describe, and provide photographs of some common items that are sometimes mistaken for mold in buildings:
Killer House Dust from an HVAC system which turned out to be cotton and other carpet fibers having nothing to do with the Heating or Cooling equipment was discussed at our Fear of Mold WebLog or "Blog" where we periodically post results of interesting forensic investigations.
House dust might be a contributor to building air quality complaints IF the dust has high levels of problem particles such as mold, dust mite fecals, pollen, sub-micron particulate debris, bacterial contaminants, pet hair, mouse dander or fecal dust, and similar particles.
The most common ingredients in house-dust in a healthy home are:
Pollen Allergens: identification, advice including a pollen identification photo library - pollen may be allergenic, but it's not mold and requires a different approach to detection and cleaning indoor spaces.
Dark stains on Wood - not mold
We often see this effect on framing lumber that was left uncovered in storage or at the lumber yard.
We may also see reddish-brown to gray oxidized wood surfaces on all sides of rafters in poorly-vented attics that have been very hot.
Characteristic of this wood coloration pattern is that just one side of the lumber - that exposed to sunlight - will be dark in color.
The following Q&A may be an illustration of this wood stain or oxidation question, though without a lab test we couldn't be sure that there was no mold on the treated wood (sometimes a host for fungal growth) or on other wood surfaces in the attic shown here.
Question: are the dark colors on these roof rafters indicative of mold contamination?
Reply: probably not
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem. That said, here are some things to consider:
What the heck - it looks as if that roof is framed over a very very long distance with just 2x6's. I can't be sure from just your photos, but from what I see so far one wonders if the roof is under-framed and lacks proper strength (photo above left).
At above right we can see that someone banged in some additional support between existing rafters using what looks like treated lumber. The fact that the dark color is just on one face of some rafters (photo at above left) and does not extend around the corner from the flat side to the rafter edge is NOT characteristic of in-situ mold growth - more like the wood was left outdoors and weather exposed before it was put to useThe fact that the dark color also does not grow over from rafter faces onto roof sheathing is a similar argument against mold growth on these surfaces since the time of construction
To know for sure what's on the wood surfaces would require a lab test or two. I wouldn't spend the money unless there were other reasons to be concerned about this area.
See MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE at http://inspectapedia.com/sickhouse/investigate.htm for help figuring out if such investigation is warranted.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about building stains that are not mold, harmless black mold, and other indoor deposits or marks that might or might not be harmful contaminants
Question: My pest company says I should hire them to treat this area for toxic mold - can you advise?
They suggest a one time treatment with Boracare which includes a warranty on re-treatment at no cost. The price offered was $1000. Apparently they have a standard $1500 treatment charge for a basement (no partial treatment) and they warrant the work for as long as one owns the house. They are reputable firm and have been in business since 1992.
The basement is roughly a 3000 sq. ft. walkout and about 60% is exposed beams in separate rooms. One room which is always closed with no windows has no fungus. The edges of the 2x12 beams and some of the sides have white rot. Some spots have a darker brown fungus or almost black. The remaining 40% of the basement has either drop ceiling tiles or drywall (about 50/50).
My question is whether this is worth treating. The house was built in 1985 and is in good shape. We intend to move within 3-5 years.
Several photos are attached. The edge of the beam in photos 2& 3 is supposed to be white rot. The first picture is under a bathroom and shows water stains and apparently there is a darker fungus in this area.
Thank you for your review of this for me. - V.M.
V. I found only one photo with your note - it is displayed above.
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem with leaks and mold. I am left very nervous about your pest company's little jump onto the mold bandwagon with just the evidence at hand, and question further whether or not those folks are really qualified to inspect for or cure a problem mold contamination. My worry stems from
Those gripes expressed, I can't see what I could confirm as mold in your photo;
I see or think I see in your photo (above)
I'd need to know more about the building to have a sound opinion about what your photo means and about whether or or not more extensive or expert inspection (and perhaps testing) would be appropriate.
An expert would consider not only what she/he can see, but also the leak history of the home, its construction materials and details that increase the risk of a hidden problem, the results of occupant interviews (health risks, building-related complaints), and more information in arriving at a reliable assessment.
But by no means is it appropriate nor justified to always hire an expert. At MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE we offer suggestions that should help decide if further investigation is warranted.
Question: brown snake like stuff hanging around our basement perimeter
I have a ledge along the outer perimeter of my basement. I saw a brown dangling snake like looking "something" coming out from the finish woodwork of the and the lip covering woodwork appears to be wrotting. Is it mold? Is it correctable? - concerned homeowner 5/27/11
Sorry but with just your description I can't even hazard a guess. It could be a root from a nearby plant, or in some cases a fungal growth. Try sending us a photo using the CONTACT link found at Related Topics and I'll take another look.
Question: what about health problems, head aches ?
What about Health problem? I have had head acks for a long time please answer this comment. Thank you and God Bless Nancyjane - Nancyjane Harvey 7/27/11
Question: black stuff coming out of A/C ducts
I have BLack stuff coming out of my air conditions ducks from the ceilings what type of mold could that be. - Dianne 8/17/2011
Dianne, it may or may not be mold - often not.
Search InspectApedia for or cClick on THERMAL TRACKING Indicates Heat Loss (link at Related Topics ) and within those articles on dark indoor stains, see the article titled "Stains HVAC Supply Registers" (or search InspectAPedia on that phrase) to see photos and read text about mold and other black stains around air supply registers and ductwork.
Question: crystalling substance coming out of my walls - look slike white cotton
Hi, I have crystalline substance coming out on my Kitchen and bedroom wall (adjoining to kitchen) just above floor. From distant, it appear like white cotton. I remove it in morning and by evening it is again there. Moreover, i am also observing black and pink colored spots on these walls. Is it mold ? It is a new apartment. - Deepak Ladha 8/27/11
Question: suspected mold on shower tiles in our rental house and mushrooms in the basement block walls
We have found two things that we suspect is mold in our rental house. The first is mold coming from between the tiles in the shower, which sprouted slimy gray mushrooms shortly after we moved in. The second is growths of small clusters of yellow mushroom-like clusters pushing through the painted cinder block in the basement, particularly in one corner of the room. We live in Arizona and do not experience great amounts of rainfall that would cause excess moisture in the basement. My concern regarding the mold in the shower is that the property manager shrugged it off as something to be remedied with grout. Is that enough, or should the affected area have the tiles removed and any underlying mold removed? The second is that he was scratching the mushroom-type growths from the wall in the basement and pulling off the peeling paint (that is pushing out from darker black spot growths in the same areas) and dropping everything on the floor. If it's mold, doesn't that risk spreading spores through the area? Thanks for any insight you can provide. - Tina 9/26/11
Question: black substance at bottom trim of windows at wood-to-glass juncture
I just moved into an apartment and most of the wood windows have a black susbstance on the bottom trim where the wood meets the glass. In fact, many of the windows no longer ahve any "finish" left on that part of the window. The apartment is generally filthy from the previous occupant, looks like very little cleaning was ever done while they lived here. Should I be concerned about this "mildew/mold"? - Jeff 10/7/2011
Jeff often we find a small area of mold growth at the inside bottom of windows where condensation keeps the window gasket or frame wet. The total area of mold formed by such areas is trivial and would not explain a health concern, but high indoor humidity and poor building maintenance mean you can't rule out a more significant problem elsewhere.
Question: light sandy colored dusty substance on the rooftop of my car returns 12 hours after wipe off
I'm searching for answers on a light sandy colored , dust like substance, that appears on the rooftop of the car. Wipe it off and within 12 hours it's back.
Alan, you'd have to send a sample of the suspect dust to a lab for particle identification, but if you are saying that the material is appearing only when the car is in the garage, I'd look first for trouble with a nearby chimney, flue, or heating appliance. - don't send mold samples to us - it'd be a conflict of interest.
Question: dark gray substance on structural brick wall
Hey! I've bought a house that was built in 1860, all brick 3 layers deep. The previous owners never tuckpointed, which resulted in me pulling all the brick out because the mortar in the middle of the wall had deteriorated in a few places. In the middle of the brick wall, some of the mortar and brick is covered in a sandy like dark grey substance. Is this a mold that grows on mortar/brick? - Luther 11/3/2011
Luther, I'm not sure what you're seeing inside the brick wall, as there are some molds that will indeed grow on masonry surfaces (as will algae) but more likely you're seeing mineral salts from moisture that entered the wall.
Question: white attic mold looks like snow, in circular patterns
Hiya there is some white mould on the beading in my attic, its white like snow and as circular pathes of whiter , i cannot see any black in there, iam worried that this is dangerous as my attic as been converted into a badroom and fitted wardrobes, there is nothing in the bedroom part are the wardrobes, but as soon as you go bhind the wardrobes were its the bear brick n roof the mould is growing on all the beading on the roof. its not thick and starts off alot and as it goes up the beading it goes smaller. - Trudy 11/7/11
Could be a fungus, or water leak stains. Take a look at MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
Question: Cold storage room in basement seems to get musty and stuff stored there gets moldy
We recently finished our basement. The only room that was left unfinished is a "cold storage" room with cinder block walls and a metal ceiling. The room that shares a wall with the cold storage is our office, and is drywalled and insulated. It is also heated centrally with the rest of the house. The cold storage room is directly under the garage, and is really cold during the winter. We noticed condensation on the metal ceiling during the winter and found mold on a mattress that was stored in there. The room also had a musty smell. We don't have any other soft surfaced things in the cold storage room, and cannot see any other mold on the walls or ceiling. The mold on the mattress was black, white and tan, and pretty dense. What do we with this space? Needless to say, we pitched the mattress, putting it in a plastic wrapping first. Installing a ventilation fan would require drilling into the foundation of our house which will cost a few thousand dollars that we do not have. Suggestions? - Karen 11/30/11
Karen, once you've removed all mold-friendly materials from the cold storage room you've reduced the propensity for mold growth in that area. What else makes sense?
Thanks for all of the information. We could care less if the room remains cold, we have been storing overflow storage in there, merely because it offered extra space. We don't have anything in that room that needs to be kept cold. Does this change anything? I was worried insulating would just hide the problem, or give the mold more material to grow in. Can we use the moisture resistant foam board over the metal ceiling surface? Thanks for your help!
Karen: ok; if the room doesn't have to be kept cold, running a dehumidifer, plus the effects of the heat output from the dehumidifer will make an easier time of reducing the condensation problem there.
Question: mold on hardwood floors
what would mold look like on hardwood floors? Barbara - 12/29/11
Barbara, take a look at the photos at MOLD GROWTH ON SURFACES, PHOTOS
Question: white powdery stuff appears on my stuff every day
Since moving into my apartment a year ago, my possessions are covered daily with a very fine, white powdery substance. It returns almost immediately after cleaning, and finds its way into cabinets, closets, and sealed containers. I think it's killing my electronic equipment, too. (Four items to-date, but the CD player can be sufficiently cleaned so that it works again for a while afterward.)
The carpet was new when I moved in, but the problem is worst in a hardly-used room, despite regular vacuuming. It abated over the summer, but returned with fall and its attendant closed windows and baseboard heater use (which looked clean, but have been partially disassembled and vacuumed). A mold culture was negative. I want a lab test to identify the substance. Do you agree, or have alternative suggestions, please? Thank you, Mary Jo - Mary Jo 1/19/2012
Sounds as if you need to track down an unusual dust source - maybe being distributed by central air or warm air heating. Try sending a dust sample to a forensic lab for help with identifying the dominant particle in your dust - as that may help track down the source. IF the lab says your dust is mostly skin cells and fabric fibers, that's typical for house dust and means you need better housekeeping or better air filtration in your home.
See HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS for some suggestions.
Question: strange growth on bath shower tile grout
Hi there, we have a strange growth in the bathroom that appears to be coming through the grout between the shower tiles. I started out as a tiny little red spot but over night grew into almost a golf ball sized yellow blob. The yellow blob looked like yellow filler foam or even sticky honeycomb. When we poked at the yellow blob, we noticed that the red colour was still behind it and had grown into a veiny/branchy pattern. Unfortunately I can't send a photo since we poked at it and washed it away before I found your website - but does this sound like anything you recognise? - Michelle Ferguson 1/24/12
Mold growth is common on bath tiles or tile grout; if there is no leak in the wall or ceiling, the proper response is better bathroom cleaning with normal household cleaners, and improved bathroom exhaust venting.
Details about what to do, health concerns (rare) are at BATHROOM MOLD
Question: spots on my ceiling keep coming back
I get spots on my dry wall ceiling, that wipes off, but comes back within a week. - Molly 2/28/12
If it's mold, look for a leak or moisture source. Just wiping off mold won't prevent its return.
Question: car dashboard air vents seem to be growing mold
My car winshield was replaced two years ago. Since then, I have noticed that white looking puffy marshmellow mounds have formed on the dashboard air vents. Furthermore, in the years that I owned the car, I was not very savy about how to wash a car properly and often times would wash down the carpets of the floorboards with a hose (for a few seconds) never allowing for adequate drying. Over the years my grey floorboards turned dark black in patches. My biggest concern are my leather seats, especially on the drivers side.
Again, not being a savy cleaner, I would use Clorox wipes at times, which eventually ate down the leather to the suade looking material part of the seat. I also developed some tears along the side of the seat and one in the middle of the seat so I placed Clear packing tape over them to prevent further tearing. In a matter of three days, the clear tape turned black and became furry and started spreading outside the sides of the tape.
Eventually after the third replacement, I just extended the tape out, now it covered the tears and some of the exposed worn down leather. Same thing happened. Eventually, I had the whole seat covered and within a week the tape would be black and furry on 60% of the outer edges of the tape. Over the past year, my health has deteriorated whereby I developed chronic fatigue, memory loss, I feel sick after driving in my car for any length, and my back begins to hurt as well. Do you think this could be mold I am dealing with? I am on limited budget so before I hired a remediation specialist I thought I would ask for your expert advice. I appreciate your time in advance. Kindly, Lisa - 3/2/2012
If the problem in your car is recurrent mold growth you won't be successful in stopping it without
Please see our articles on finding, curing, and preventing car mold beginning at CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
Watch out - be sure to read OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS as well, as some car mold remediators overdo the ozone treatment approach and ruin the car.
Question: black stains on concrete walls in a humid coastal climate
Hello, there is a black "stain" at the corner of a smaller room (14' x 12') with concrete walls and a concrete ceiling, located in a humid coastal area. It is at an exterior wall which can get some moisture at times, from rain. There is also a gas cook stove at the diagonal corner of the room, creating steam.
I'm not sure if this black stain is from exterior moisture, or interior cooking of meals. It was painted over, and within about two months, the stain came back through the paint. It is more vertical, at the corner of a wall, from the lower/mid area, on up to the ceiling, with some darker brownish staining on the ceiling surface, at the wall. It is mostly a grayish to blackish kind of color; darker shades in some areas. It does not look wet nor slimmey.
Would the toxic form of black mold be like this, on concrete ?
Thank you for any advice!! - Mike 4/25/12
Mike, there are black algae that grow on many masonry surfaces as well as some black or dark fungi; I can't say if your black stain recurrence as a "bleed through" the paint is due to moisture, mold, or simply not using the best paint to seal the surface.
Question: prior flood was cleaned up, now there is black stuff on windows - thermal tracking?
Your discription of "thermal tracking" sounds just like what I found on the walls of an apartment. I know there was a flood of water inside, cleaned up @ a month ago. It is now completely dry. Bleach,TSP and scrubing did not budge the stuff. There is black stuff on the windows, blinds and the worst is behind the fridge looks like dust with soot on it. Can I assume the tenant had some sort of minor fire or could that much soot appear from candles and incense? - Julie 7/26/12
Julie if there was a flood I would look with care at the scope of work done as cleanup and beware of hidden water damage or mold. We do not leave wet drywall in place.
Question: mold looks like coffee grounds on our table tops
our problem is a mold that looks like coffee grounds on the table tops in about 6 inch circles all over the house--cant tell where it comes from--have checked floor vents and ducts..no ceiling vents--what is it and what causes it ? - Jon 8/4/12
Jon, what's bigger than a duck? In other words, lots of things. With 1.5+ million mold species no one can accurately say what mold is growing in your home just by a brief e-text description. A simple tape test sent to a lab can identify the fungus for you = but more likely you should spend your money on finding and fixing the leak or moisture problem that is causing mold growth in the home.
Question: My house in Bavaria Germany has white foamy stuff appearing
I own a house in Bavaria Germany, which is 250 years old.
Be sure to go to Efflorescence & white or brown deposits to review our photos and text on how to recognize mineral efflorescence that is likely to be found on masonry structures.
Question: what causes a musty smell in my air conditioner return vent and how do I fix it?
I have noticed a musty smell at my air conditioner air return vent. What could cause this and how do I correct this. Thanks. - Clarence 8/21/2012
Musty smells are often traced to mold contamination; if that's the case, moisture or leaks where they shouldn't be are the underlying problem to be found and fixed. If you see mold or mold-suspect material that is less than 30 sqft. you can use ordinary household cleaners to remove the problem.
Mold removal, not "mold killing" is what's needed.
Watch out not to damage fiberglass duct insulation or liners.
Question: how do I handle green stuff on roof trusses in new construction?
They put up my trusses for the house the other day and I have noticed several areas on them that have green "mildew-ish" areas on them. The trusses were delivered tied up and it rained for off an on for about 4 days before they put them up. Can I wipe/scrub with a mold/mildew mixture? I can get to most of the trusses with use of my ladder but there is a spot or two that I can not reach. If left alone, will this continual to grow or if well ventilated, remain dormant? Please advise on this. Thanks - Green Stuff on Building Materiral 8/21/12
Question: black spots in my son's room I've been told is "condensatoin" but now there is white fluffy stuff - is it dangerous?
I have found black spots in my sons room which i have been told is condensation, but now i have noticed there is white fluffy stuff growing on top of this,is this dangerous and what is causing it?thanx - Nadia 8/23/12
Questions & answers or comments about how to identify stuff in buildings that is not mold but may be mistaken for it. Stains, deposits, growths, etc.
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.