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Mold, mildew or bio-organic material


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#1: Home we're buying had mold remediation in basement due to plumbing leak when old owner left due to foreclosure. 14K in repairs later all drywall is up and is like a clean slate. Restoration is certified for 10 years. Anything we should look out for?

#2: Also, inspector found bio-organic material (aka mildew/mold) in the attic on the wood underneath roof. Could this be from the mold in other areas of the house? The bathroom vents into the attic so this could be the source of the mold/mildew. Can this be remedied by cleaning the wood and fixing vent?

#3: Deck out master bedroom connects to the living room window ceiling area. Inside the window sill are signs of a leak & water damage. Although we know this needs to be fixed, what issues could we see inside the wall from this be left while the home has been empty?

Although we know you get what you get with a foreclosure, safety & our health is my overall concern. We can fix cosmetic issues.

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"#2: Also, inspector found bio-organic material (aka mildew/mold) in the attic on the wood underneath roof. Could this be from the mold in other areas of the house? The bathroom vents into the attic so this could be the source of the mold/mildew. Can this be remedied by cleaning the wood and fixing vent?"

I highly doubt that the staining that is visible on the sheathing is from any mold condition within the home. It can be caused by a bathroom(shower) venting into the attic cavity, it can also be caused by poor ventilation, age, moss build up on the shingles or a previous leak. Definitely route the vent to the exterior of the home(preferably through a roof cap).

"#3: Deck out master bedroom connects to the living room window ceiling area. Inside the window sill are signs of a leak & water damage. Although we know this needs to be fixed, what issues could we see inside the wall from this be left while the home has been empty?"

It's quite possible the deck wasn't properly flashed to the home which has caused the visible leak, or there is an opening around the window which is allowing the water penetration. What you can find when the wall is "opened" are numerous issues like rot, mold, insect activity, wet/damaged insulation etc... The initial fix is to stop the leak and open up the damaged area. The damage will more than likely extend beyond what you are seeing right now.

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#1: Home we're buying had mold remediation in basement due to plumbing leak when old owner left due to foreclosure. 14K in repairs later all drywall is up and is like a clean slate. Restoration is certified for 10 years. Anything we should look out for?

After $14,000 I certainly hope not. Good grief!

#2: Also, inspector found bio-organic material (aka mildew/mold) in the attic on the wood underneath roof. Could this be from the mold in other areas of the house?

No. It's from condensation. In winter, warm moist air is getting into the attic and condensing on the cold underside of the sheathing - usually the sheathing on the north side of the house. Because it's wet all the time, mold grows on it. The mold produces enzymes that stain the wood. It has nothing to do with mold in other parts of the house. However, if you have enough moisture in other parts of the house to cause mold there, that moisture can migrate through the house to the attic and contribute to the condensation problem.

The bathroom vents into the attic so this could be the source of the mold/mildew. Can this be remedied by cleaning the wood and fixing vent?

You need to eliminate the sources of moisture. I'd certainly start with the bath exhaust fan ducts. They should go directly outdoors through tight vents that allow no opportunity for the moisture to blow back into the attic. Another source of moisture was probably the basement water issue that's, presumably, been solved. There might be any number of other moisture sources - recessed ceiling light fixtures are a common one. You need someone to help you sleuth out the moisture. I'd recommend your home inspector but since he was enough of a wuss to call mold a "bio-organic material" he's too concerned with his own butt to bother protecting yours.

Don't even think about cleaning or treating the mold until you've gotten the moisture issue under control. After that, I don't see much benefit to treating the mold. If you manage the moisture, the mold won't continue to grow. If you fail to manage the moisture, the mold will just come back whether or not it's been cleaned or treated. Now if you happen to be some kind of whack-job mold sissy, then by all means, hire a pest control contractor to apply an EPA registered fungicide such as Boracare with Moldcare, Sporicidin, Concrobium, or something similar. If you're a chump whack-job mold sissy, then hire a "mold remediation specialist" to do the same thing but be sure to pay him $14,000.

Now, be aware that after all this, there will still be staining up there. If the stains really bother you (that is, if you're an anal-retentive whack-job mold sissy) then you can paint the attic with a stain-killing primer such as Kilz or Bin. But be warned that any inspector going up there in the future is going to see the paint and think, "Geez, some anal-retentive whack-job mold sissy must have owned this house.)

#3: Deck out master bedroom connects to the living room window ceiling area. Inside the window sill are signs of a leak & water damage. Although we know this needs to be fixed, what issues could we see inside the wall from this be left while the home has been empty?

Is the master bedroom deck *above* the window? If so, I guarantee that the ledger is leaking into the wall. There might be concealed water damage and maybe even *gasp* mold. Open up the wall to find out.

Although we know you get what you get with a foreclosure, safety & our health is my overall concern. We can fix cosmetic issues.

My advice: Stop focusing on mold and start focusing on water. Keep your house clean and dry. If your family members get sick, take them to the doctor.

Don't pay any attention at all to anything you read on the internet or hear in the popular media about health concerns associated with mold.

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#1: Home we're buying had mold remediation in basement due to plumbing leak when old owner left due to foreclosure. 14K in repairs later all drywall is up and is like a clean slate. Restoration is certified for 10 years. Anything we should look out for?

After $14,000 I certainly hope not. Good grief!

#2: Also, inspector found bio-organic material (aka mildew/mold) in the attic on the wood underneath roof. Could this be from the mold in other areas of the house?

No. It's from condensation. In winter, warm moist air is getting into the attic and condensing on the cold underside of the sheathing - usually the sheathing on the north side of the house. Because it's wet all the time, mold grows on it. The mold produces enzymes that stain the wood. It has nothing to do with mold in other parts of the house. However, if you have enough moisture in other parts of the house to cause mold there, that moisture can migrate through the house to the attic and contribute to the condensation problem.

The bathroom vents into the attic so this could be the source of the mold/mildew. Can this be remedied by cleaning the wood and fixing vent?

You need to eliminate the sources of moisture. I'd certainly start with the bath exhaust fan ducts. They should go directly outdoors through tight vents that allow no opportunity for the moisture to blow back into the attic. Another source of moisture was probably the basement water issue that's, presumably, been solved. There might be any number of other moisture sources - recessed ceiling light fixtures are a common one. You need someone to help you sleuth out the moisture. I'd recommend your home inspector but since he was enough of a wuss to call mold a "bio-organic material" he's too concerned with his own butt to bother protecting yours.

Don't even think about cleaning or treating the mold until you've gotten the moisture issue under control. After that, I don't see much benefit to treating the mold. If you manage the moisture, the mold won't continue to grow. If you fail to manage the moisture, the mold will just come back whether or not it's been cleaned or treated. Now if you happen to be some kind of whack-job mold sissy, then by all means, hire a pest control contractor to apply an EPA registered fungicide such as Boracare with Moldcare, Sporicidin, Concrobium, or something similar. If you're a chump whack-job mold sissy, then hire a "mold remediation specialist" to do the same thing but be sure to pay him $14,000.

Now, be aware that after all this, there will still be staining up there. If the stains really bother you (that is, if you're an anal-retentive whack-job mold sissy) then you can paint the attic with a stain-killing primer such as Kilz or Bin. But be warned that any inspector going up there in the future is going to see the paint and think, "Geez, some anal-retentive whack-job mold sissy must have owned this house.)

#3: Deck out master bedroom connects to the living room window ceiling area. Inside the window sill are signs of a leak & water damage. Although we know this needs to be fixed, what issues could we see inside the wall from this be left while the home has been empty?

Is the master bedroom deck *above* the window? If so, I guarantee that the ledger is leaking into the wall. There might be concealed water damage and maybe even *gasp* mold. Open up the wall to find out.

Although we know you get what you get with a foreclosure, safety & our health is my overall concern. We can fix cosmetic issues.

My advice: Stop focusing on mold and start focusing on water. Keep your house clean and dry. If your family members get sick, take them to the doctor.

Don't pay any attention at all to anything you read on the internet or hear in the popular media about health concerns associated with mold.

Great Answer! No moisture=No mold. If this was Facebook I would have "Liked" your response.

It is amazing to me that we all survived the "Mold Problems" in our homes before the Mold Testing and Remediation Businesses were invented.

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I'm actually managing a couple disaster reconstruction projects in public buildings (schools) right now; well, less managing as walking around and making sure nothing really stupid happens. Pay's good.

Of course, we have a mold "expert"/consultant that waxes tragically about how we got some of this and some of that kind of mold, in a grave voice with feigned intellectual brow furrowing, wherein one would think we're going down for the count this afternoon.

Ambient exterior levels of each of these killer materials was actually higher than combined levels inside, all of which is still lost on the masses. We got pee soaked wood subfloor in an institutional bathroom, and folks are actually worried about mold. We had shit geysers out of the toilets, and folks are worried about the "stachy". The drywall is saturated with urine water, and folks are fearful about the black mold.

If this wasn't paying me handsomely, I'd have to tell folks what I really think.

Which is, for Gods sake, get back to clean dry materials and stop thinking about mold.

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