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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    MA
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    Default Attic stain (or mold)

    Hello,


    I saw a house that I would like to put an offer, but I am concerned about those black stains in the attic. Can you guys take a look at the attached pictures and let me know what you think? Those black statins seem to appear only on one side of the attic (north), but there are so many and I hardly can find one piece of clean area. Also, the attic is very hot.


    Thanks a lot.
    David

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    Most likely the decking is stained because of condensation due to poor attic ventilation.

    Have the home inspected.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    Quote Originally Posted by David H King View Post
    I saw a house that I would like to put an offer, but I am concerned about those black stains in the attic. Can you guys take a look at the attached pictures and let me know what you think? Those black statins seem to appear only on one side of the attic (north), but there are so many and I hardly can find one piece of clean area. Also, the attic is very hot.
    David,

    It's always difficult to tell from a couple of photos, but I believe Rick is correct. That is typical of restricted or inadequate ventilation.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    Heated air carries moisture, cold plywood causes that moisture to condense on the sheathing, usually the north side of the attic is coolest.

    You have leakage from downstairs coupled with poor attic ventilation. In Maine, stop the escape of heated air first.

    Check the plywood for serious delamination. I don't see any in these pics.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dayton,Tn
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    16

    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    Hi - I believe the previous posters are on the right track. Get it inspected. I have seen this on plywood before it was ever laid. Got left out in the rain or high humidity (for a while), before it was installed or after but before the shingles got laid. It can also be from a one time event or an ongoing ordeal. The mold can be active (bad) or dead and your just looking at a stain. Good luck - check for moisture (air intrusion from home) and roof leaks. Handyman Tabb


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
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    1,842

    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    Quote Originally Posted by David H King View Post
    Hello,


    I saw a house that I would like to put an offer, but I am concerned about those black stains in the attic. Can you guys take a look at the attached pictures and let me know what you think? Those black statins seem to appear only on one side of the attic (north), but there are so many and I hardly can find one piece of clean area. Also, the attic is very hot.


    Thanks a lot.
    David

    As expressed by a previous member, having an home inspector that can inform you will save you thousands of dollars and much more at times.

    As for your mold or staining in question, of the two images I see there is nothing that makes me suspect of condition.
    If mold I would have sneezed from here.

    The black on the ply and the red line is from a manufacturing. Maybe seconds IMO. Ether /or , no concern, the truss or rafters look clean and unstained.

    The rust on the nails, fasteners, is common. Unconditioned space. The question is what nails (fasteners)?Some one ever hear of an attic space that is not as humid as the exterior conditions? It is an unconditioned space.
    How much rust is the question
    Roofing nails should be hot dipped galvanized or stainless. and penetrate the decking material by xxx" inches.
    What nails, shingle or nails for roofing and attic components.

    Even if that was the case and there seemed to be staining, a well seasoned inspector can recommend what to do to alleviate any issues within that component.

    The home inspection report is used to negotiate defects found. Negotiations will be addressed upon whom will be repairing any found defects. The vendor can approach it from several angles and the purchasers outcome being made whole. Ether a diminished value for the home or the vendor repairing what is found and anything in between.

    I will express one more concern, you know what you get for free in real estate? The cost you neglected by avoided a good home inspector. It can multiplied by 100 and more at times. It usually adds up to tens upon tens of thousands in fees.
    Remember, you get what you pay for.

    All the best.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 05-13-2013 at 04:30 PM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    The further you get from the natural source, the more effect moisture will have. Tree<solid lumber<plywood<strand board<particle board<paper.

    You can also see the stain seems to stay back from the rafters. Whatever occurred to the plywood, occurred after it was installed.

    I agree with the ventilation/moisture theory.

    I agree even more with get the house inspected. You may think you are saving money by not having an inspection. Whatever you are paying for the home... even a "cheap" house is expensive, and a real Home Inspection will save you exponentially in money and aggravation.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    The further you get from the natural source, the more effect moisture will have. Tree<solid lumber<plywood<strand board<particle board<paper.

    You can also see the stain seems to stay back from the rafters. Whatever occurred to the plywood, occurred after it was installed.

    I agree with the ventilation/moisture theory.

    I agree even more with get the house inspected. You may think you are saving money by not having an inspection. Whatever you are paying for the home... even a "cheap" house is expensive, and a real Home Inspection will save you exponentially in money and aggravation.
    Steven,
    The image is blurry.
    "The more effect moisture will have the further away form the source" Thank you for a narrative.

    Trusses I suspect. Rafters would be sizably larger in depth and width dimension. They appear clear or what I can see of them.

    Having issues to upload an image, I wanted to illustrate mold and moisture seeing it is a common occurrence and predominant in Montreal "if a deficiency is within the attic venting system" as you expresses.
    Edited the post. I up loaded the image I wished.
    Sorry all.

    Now deficient can mean an an adequate, satisfactory or acceptable volume or roof deck opening space or area but is the venting system is mixed or other deficiencies remain rh many become higher than the ambient humidity. IE: Eave, gable, and roof deck venting in one system.
    In my observation this case apparent mold growth and elevated MC moisture content and the area being effected would be located predominantly at the gabled ends. The gable and roof deck sheathing along with the wooden structures..

    IMO venting is a system and shingle roofers are less than complaint I feel.


    I am trying upload several HD images but to no satisfaction.
    Opps looks like I got one.

    NOTE: A Mixed Venting System. Both gable ends had apparent staining. Its uneven staining, not as in the image by the purchaser. The white mold has apparent in the center of the attic. The units positioning to its surroundings left it in a "dead zone" unless the air current was from a certain direction. Mechanical induced venting would have helped. The roof and deck and the off rafter replaced less than 12 years ago due to venting I suspect. The venting was left as is.

    The real estate agents could not wrap their heads around my hypothesis at selling homes over a decade as expressed by them. I was surprised when I opened the panel. He had never seen a dead front removed.

    The purchasers I suspect feel for the remediation sales narrative hunger $$$$$$$$$$$.

    Steven ether /or moisture or not, the apparent purchaser is trying to self express/diagnose something that may have been stained during the building process. Lumber is left outside and has many chances for staining before application. I personal spilled pop and food before I erected it.

    Instrumentation will allow a proper measurement of MC. As for apparent mold, that is a laboratories responsibility.
    I am not a mold alarmist. Take away the food source and any damaged material and it all good for me.

    Nice narrative. Does it work for mental?
    Just making fun.
    All the best.
    I always took forward to your posts and threads. You are a staple within the industry.
    All the very best to you and yours.

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    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 05-14-2013 at 05:03 AM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Steven,
    The image is blurry.
    "The more effect moisture will have the further away form the source" Thank you for a narrative.

    Trusses I suspect. Rafters would be sizably larger in depth and width dimension are clear.

    The idea is really related to processing rather than dimension. Less water will have more effect on a wood/cellulose material that has been processed, than the same amount (or even more) of water on a wood/cellulose material that is closer to its original state. The more processing the more of an effect.

    This is why green gypsum board is really no better than white gypsum board.


    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Now deficient can mean an acquitted volume or roof deck venting area but the venting is mixed or other deficiencies remain. IE: Eave, gable, and roof deck vents. In this case the apparent mold and moisture would be located predominantly at the gabled ends and sheathing.
    I agree that sealing gable end vents, and adding a ridge vent without adding correct eave venting has caused many a problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Steven ether /or moisture or not, the apparent purchaser is trying to self express/diagnose something...
    I agree. I doubt that there will be any money, or even more important; [aggravation] saved.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I am not a mold alarmist. Take away the food source and any damaged material and it all good for me.
    I believe you mean ; " Take away the water". How can you realistically remove the food source in an existing structure?

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  10. #10
    don agel's Avatar
    don agel Guest

    Default Re: Attic stain (or mold)

    I believe you mean ; " Take away the water". How can you realistically remove the food source in an existing structure?[/QUOTE]

    Once contaminated wood framing has enough moisture content to sustain the contamination so it really is more intricate than many think.

    From experience and what i see in those 2 photos this is fungi which has occurred due to excessive moisture in the attic. Causes of which are extremely difficult to determine without being on site. But I agree that this occurred in place and see two different sheets butted together with the same appearance. Strangely enough I had one of the most extensive lists of fungi present on a lab test of an area in an attic which mirrors this closely.

    If delamination/decomposition is not present treatment with an appropriate fungicide will cease the progression of possible deterioration in conjunction with correction of any issues causing poor ventilation or an increase to the moisture/humidity within the attic space.


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