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  1. #1
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    Default What's with this plywood?

    Can anyone tell me what on this plywood sheeting? I see what I think is mold on the rafters but what is this coming of the sheeting?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    One of two things:

    Fire!

    Fire retardant treated - the original FRT stuff.

    I suspect it was the first.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    I didn't see any evidence of a previous fire. The rafters did not have this on them. Was this retardant sprayed on or was it put on the plywood before installation.


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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by David O'Keefe View Post
    I didn't see any evidence of a previous fire. The rafters did not have this on them.
    The first two photos show 'something' on the rafters.

    Was this retardant sprayed on or was it put on the plywood before installation.
    FRT (Fire Retardant Treated) plywood was treated in the factory where the plywood was made.

    Typically, it reacts all the way through the plywood, not just the surface. Under that peeling and flaking surface it looks like new wood. Like it would if a fire had charred the top ply only.

    Some of the rafters looked nice and clean, those others did not.

    Looks like some of the roof sheathing has been replaced.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by David O'Keefe View Post

    I didn't see any evidence of a previous fire.
    .
    Other ( more fire damaged ) members & decking was replaced.

    The ones shown were salvaged from the fire.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Q. What is the age of this home? Back in the 60/70 there was a product.
    ( WOOD TREAT ) For fungus and Dry-Wood termites. This stuff would do that curling just like in the photos. you may have an old fungus/mold condition and ( WOOD TREAT )

    Best

    Ron


  7. #7
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Here are some more photos,so you can get a better picture of the attic.

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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    This Sheathing shows signs of being reinstalled.
    ..

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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Single-family? (Why would they have used FRT on a single-family,though?)

    Two-family?

    Townhouse?

    I'm going to go with FRT from those last photos.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    This is a single family house built sometime in the 70s. Anew roof was installed recently,3-6 years and some of the sheeting was replaced at that time. Ridge vent was put in at that time, House does not have gable vents. Also it looks like some roof vents were removed.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    My first guess was fire also, until I saw that only the tops of the rafters were darkened. I've never seen smoke damage that's selective like that. That pattern would be more consistent with moisture absorption -- like you'd expect to happen in NY with a cold roof deck and too much moisture in the attic. Based only on sorta blurry and dark pics, I would suspect an issue such as improperly vented bath fans or other source of moisture in the attic. But then again, I'm from an area where icicles or even frost won't often form in attics.
    I also would suspect that the new plywood was a replacement for sections that were too delaminated to keep in place.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    I have a similar condition regarding yesterday's inspection. The home is 35 years old, has vented soffit and continuous ridge vent. The 3-tabbed veneer is original issue, but it rained like hell here 3 nights ago and there were no signs of current water intrusion.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    I have a similar condition regarding yesterday's inspection. The home is 35 years old, has vented soffit and continuous ridge vent. The 3-tabbed veneer is original issue, but it rained like hell here 3 nights ago and there were no signs of current water intrusion.
    Three tab composite shingles 35 years old. I would think that just mayber the second shingles might be half that but 35 year old three tab would have fallen off the roof by now.

    Just my opinion

    And your plywood is an obvious spray coat.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    There's only one layer and they 'gotta be original issue. What kind of spray coat?

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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    I have seen this condition a number of times. When we submit a sample to an independent lab, the results have always come back positive for mold.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    You had to go and use the "M" word. Mold was my initial thought but the conditions aren't conducive, and the runs on the rafters are odd. I'd much rather be unfamiliar with an "obvious spray coat" than find myself caught in a web of mold to be honest with you.


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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    You had to go and use the "M" word. Mold was my initial thought but the conditions aren't conducive, and the runs on the rafters are odd. I'd much rather be unfamiliar with an "obvious spray coat" than find myself caught in a web of mold to be honest with you.

    Bud,

    Look at it this way ... something "liquid in nature" "ran" down the sides of those two rafters.

    Whether it was sprayed-on, or what, I don't know.

    The left rafter looks too evenly covered to had had something run down it, but it could be from a sprayed-on material.

    Out of 8 rafters in your photo, only 2 have that distinct 'something liquid in nature ran down them' look.

    What were the other sides of the rafters like? We are only looking at 'half the story', "the rest of the story" is on the other side of them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  18. #18
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    The additional images may be the opposite sides of the rafters serving the same roof plane or the same side of the rafters serving the opposite roof plane........did that come out right? In either case the condition is prevalent throughout the space.

    Following advice I found on this board, the last time I saw mold, I reported it as such. Not "a mold-like substance observed". But it was obvious: green & yellow spotting encompassing the wood floor/ ceiling joists in a damp basement. My client was grateful since there was a history of respiratory illness in her family. Then came the mold test by a certified inspector. $150 dollars later and the result wasn't much more than, "Yeah, that's mold." Then came the state certified remediator. After $1600. of remediation, I was asked to go back and confirm that the mold was gone. Sounded easy enough, however this company employed fogging, so the mold was still there but presumably dead. Arrgh!! In the end, my client was left with a receipt, which without additional testing serves as a promise that the mold is dead, a cellar full of dead mold, and my recommendations regarding poor exterior drainage and ventilation of the space.

    I simply don't want to unduly sig the mold raptors on my client, or the seller for that matter. "There was a mold-like substance observed on the sheathing and rafters of the blah, blah, blah......." The black staining is questionable. There's no water intrusion, the bath exhaust vents to an exterior diffuser, and the space is adequately ventilated.

    I appreciate your insights, gentlemen.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    This looks like delmaination to me. The sheathing tuns black from the moisture in the attic space. Some of the shething was replaced indicating a newer roof and perhaps the ventilation was improved at that time.


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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    I see this type of staining quite frequently in the northeast.
    It is usually mold that forms on the surface of the plywood decking.

    It typically appears in homes that are poorly ventilated, no vapor barrier and in homes that have teens (lots of showers).

    It occurs from moisture migrating into the attic and condensing on the cold deck surface in winter. It is most prevelent on the North side of the roof. Rusted nail heads (like the one in Dave's last pic) are also typical of this condition. With this condition you will also see condensation dripping on the rafters and mold formation.

    You advise that a new roof was installed with a ridge vent, and it looks like new plywood in places, so this could be from the prior roof and vent system.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    I agree with Ken.

    Jim Luttrall
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Following advice I found on this board, the last time I saw mold, I reported it as such. Not "a mold-like substance observed". But it was obvious: green & yellow spotting encompassing the wood floor/ ceiling joists in a damp basement. My client was grateful since there was a history of respiratory illness in her family. Then came the mold test by a certified inspector. $150 dollars later and the result wasn't much more than, "Yeah, that's mold." Then came the state certified remediator. After $1600. of remediation, I was asked to go back and confirm that the mold was gone. Sounded easy enough, however this company employed fogging, so the mold was still there but presumably dead. Arrgh!! In the end, my client was left with a receipt, which without additional testing serves as a promise that the mold is dead, a cellar full of dead mold, and my recommendations regarding poor exterior drainage and ventilation of the space.

    I simply don't want to unduly sig the mold raptors on my client, or the seller for that matter. "There was a mold-like substance observed on the sheathing and rafters of the blah, blah, blah......." The black staining is questionable. There's no water intrusion, the bath exhaust vents to an exterior diffuser, and the space is adequately ventilated.

    If the mold inspector did not offer much more than "Yeah, that's mold.", I would suggest that you find a different mold test inspector. Our company takes samples of suspected mold and sends them to an independent lab for analysis. Our office then sends the results to our clients with an explanation of the results.

    As I stated in an earlier post, I often see this type of condition in attics. Even in attics that are properly vented, exhaust fans are not dumping moist air into the attic space and there is no apparent evidence of water intrusion, and the results came back as mold.

    Reporting that you found mold instead of a "mold like substance". How would you know that is is mold for sure? Do you carry a 1000 power microscope and necessary lab equipment with you on your inspections, and do you have the necessary training to evaluate that,
    1. It is in fact mold.
    2. If it is mold, what type of mold it is?
    3. Is the mold toxic?

    I think all of us are better serving our clients when we see a "mold like substance", by stating just that. Recommend testing and evaluation of the test by a certified laboratory that will explain his/her results.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Lewis View Post
    I think all of us are better serving our clients when we see a "mold like substance", by stating just that.

    If you are stating that it is a "mold like substance", then you are, in fact, defining it as "mold like", which means, to you, it is "mold like", which is "mold" to your client and everyone else ... just come right out and state 'dang, looks like you got some mold in the attic'.

    Derek,

    Regarding your testing recommendation, that is what Bud was talking about, AFTER having had it tested, and AFTER having had it 'remediated', it was *still there*, only now it was, supposedly, 'dead mold'.

    Bud did his job, the mold guys did not do their job, that is what left a bad taste in Bud's mouth for you mold guys. Others of us did not even need that to have a bad taste for mold guys.

    What protocol was used? What chemical was used? Is that chemical compatible with other building materials? yada-yada-yada

    I've seen some white 'spray on mold stuff' which is supposed to encapsulate the mold, making it 'not a hazard anymore' (or something like that), and that stuff was sprayed on all the NM cables and PVC DWV piping - making it all 'soft' and mushy like. Whatever that chemical was they used, it *was not compatible with* those other building materials. That spay on stuff just took a bad house and made it worse.

    By the way, you asked:
    1. It is in fact mold.
    2. If it is mold, what type of mold it is?
    3. Is the mold toxic?

    The answers are:
    1. Probably, if you are not an industrial hygienist, you should not be testing it, are you one?
    2. Who cares. Unless someone in the house is allergic to it, who cares. There is mold all over, some people are more allergic to some types than other types - THAT is what matters, and THAT is what doctors are for, are you a doctor?
    3. Toxic mold? You gotta to be kidding me, right? TOXIC? EVERYTHING IS TOXIC at some level, and that level varies from person to person, unless you are a doctor who is qualified to determine *at what level* someone is allergic to it, or an industrial hygienist to address the site conditions, you should not be doing anything with the "mold problem" other than to try to find its cause and stop it, let those who are qualified do the health stuff.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 09-19-2008 at 07:56 AM.
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Our company takes samples of suspected mold and sends them to an independent lab for analysis. Our office then sends the results to our clients with an explanation of the results.
    Derek,

    When you send the results to your client do the results say what the threashold limit is for elevated amounts? If yes what are these limits?

    My experience with the labs is that they tell you what type, how many spores were in the sample, and an explaination of the genus. We all know that some mold will be present - no matter, but when is it too much, or more than normally expected? - (I really don't know the answer?)

    Also, I think if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, It's a duck! Not a duck like creature. Therefor, If I see something that looks like mold, I tell my clients "it looks like mold", get it tested by a licensed mold testing company. (I don't say certified, cause I'm not sure what a "certified mold tester" is)


  25. #25
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Hi Jerry,

    Thanks for the reply. I am an HI with training in sampling suspected mold, for submission to an independent laboratory, that is certified to evaluate for mold. Neither I, nor the lab that our company uses, who also does mold testing, would ever state on visual observation that what we are seeing is mold.

    The reason we use "possible mold like substance" is that on occasion what looks like mold, when tested, turns out to be a stain, a discoloration. or some other condition.

    I also explain to our clients that if we sample the "suspected mold like condition" and the test comes back positive for mold, regardless of type, toxic v non toxic, it should be re mediated. Then the question is, If it should be re mediated anyway, why test? Because at some point in time my buyer/client will most likely be a seller. The benefit of testing "possible mold like substance conditions" is for the time my client puts his/her home on the market. The question now becomes, do you want to state in disclosure that "we had a mold condition that was not toxic, we corrected the condition that caused it, and we had it re meditated.
    Or do you want to say "we had a mold condition that was toxic, we corrected the problem and had it re mediated."

    Talking with real estate agents, they say anytime you state the property had a "toxic mold" condition, it is a big turn off to many potential buyers. It is much easier to market a home that did not have a toxic mold condition.

    I have completed a number of foreclosure inspections where we "observed possible mold like conditions", when the results came back as a non toxic mold. The banks typically were not willing to reopen negotiations. When the test did come back with a positive for toxic mold, a number of banks were willing to negotiate with the buyer.

    If after testing, it is determined the condition is not mold, re mediation is not needed and no further expense is incurred by any party and my client can proceed with the purchase without concern.

    And with a report by a certified laboratory stating that the observed "possible mold like condition" is not mold, the buyer can sell his/her home and provide the future buyer with a report from a certified laboratory that the condition that his/her HI is seeing, has been tested and is not a "possible mold like substance."


  26. #26
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Lewis View Post
    I am an HI with training in sampling suspected mold,
    Derek,

    What training do you have?

    To what protocol do you do sampling?

    What significance does the sampling do when no one is being bothered by the mold?

    I also explain to our clients that if we sample the "suspected mold like condition" and the test comes back positive for mold, regardless of type, toxic v non toxic,
    This is where you lost most of this audience in your previous post (at least I suspect that) ... as soon as you used the word "toxic" with "mold".

    There is no such thing as "toxic mold", however, *ALL* molds are "toxic" in too great of quantity.

    Heck, even water is "toxic" in too great of a quantity.

    Is chlorine "toxic"?

    If so, why do millions of us drink chlorine every day, several times a day?

    Your post sounds and reads as being educated and well put together, but when you say "toxic mold", ... well, you lose many of us.

    Then the question is, If it should be re mediated anyway, why test?
    Precisely.

    Because at some point in time my buyer/client will most likely be a seller. The benefit of testing "possible mold like substance conditions" is for the time my client puts his/her home on the market. The question now becomes, do you want to state in disclosure that "we had a mold condition that was not toxic, we corrected the condition that caused it, and we had it re meditated.
    Or do you want to say "we had a mold condition that was toxic, we corrected the problem and had it re mediated."
    There you go with that "toxic" part.

    Besides, if "we corrected the condition that caused it, and we had it re meditated." you no longer have mold, so, the question comes back to what you stated earlier: "If it should be re mediated anyway, why test?"

    Talking with real estate agents, they say anytime you state the property had a "toxic mold" condition, it is a big turn off to many potential buyers. It is much easier to market a home that did not have a toxic mold condition.
    Talking with real estate agents about "toxic mold" "is a big turn off" as there is no such thing as "toxic mold", other than all mold in excess can be "toxic".

    Just the fact that you are talking with clients, real estate agents and banks about "toxic mold" indicates a lack of knowledge about which you stated you had received training in.

    By the way, when I say "in excess" or "in too great of a quantity", that is tested ... not by a mold sample taker and mold lab, but by a doctor, to see what tolerance the individuals in the house have to what is bothering them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Straight from the EPA's information on mold.

    Lesson 4 | Chapter 1 | Mold Course | Mold | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA

    Chapter 1 - Introduction to Molds

    Lesson 4 - Mycotoxins and Health Effects

    Chapter 1

    Introduction to Molds
    Lesson 1
    What Molds Are
    Lesson 2
    What Mold Needs to Grow
    Lesson 3
    Health Effects That May Be Caused by Inhaling Mold or Mold Spores
    Lesson 4
    Mycotoxins and Health Effects
    Lesson 5
    The Color of Mold
    Lesson 6
    Moldy Smell
    Lesson 7
    Biocides
    BEGIN KNOWLEDGE TEST

    As molds grow, some (but not all) of them may produce potentially toxic byproducts called mycotoxins under some conditions. Some of these molds are commonly found in moisture-damaged buildings. More than 200 mycotoxins from common molds have been identified, and many more remain to be identified. The amount and types of mycotoxins produced by a particular mold depends on many environmental and genetic factors. No one can tell whether a mold is producing mycotoxins just by looking at it. Some mycotoxins are known to affect people, but for many mycotoxins little health information is available. Research on mycotoxins is ongoing. Exposure to mycotoxins can occur from inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact. It is prudent to avoid unnecessary inhalation exposure to mold.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Getting back to this thread before it spun off into the mold vs. "mold-like", sampling, and remediation debate....

    Unfortunately on a message board we are limited to our sense of sight (via pictures) and the words written by the person who posted them. When inspected in person, senses like touch and smell often come into play as one tries to form an opinion about what that stuff is and what might have caused it -- while considering possibilities such as fire damage and whether the black stuff is chemical or organic in nature.

    Based on sight alone, the conditions in the photos posted in this thread by David and Bud look like what you get when you have the right combination of too much moisture, not enough ventilation, and cold enough temperatures in the attic space. (agreeing with Ken and Jim) The amount of rust on the roofing nails in some of Bud's pics is a dead giveaway.

    Conditions in both attics at the time of the inspection were probably much drier than what lead to the staining in the first place. Obvious moisture might be present only in the winter or the factors that originally caused the staining may have been corrected.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    "If after testing, it is determined the condition is not mold, re mediation is not needed and no further expense is incurred by any party and my client can proceed with the purchase without concern".

    Whoa! In our area, any staining on the decking is an indication of a previous concern. Aside from how well an attic is ventilation, how people use their home is also a consideration for moisture problems in an attic. I will not know how current/previous occupants lived in the home or what conditions my clients will maintain, all of which can create different environments in the attic.

    Considering this, I would not be so quick to say no further expense or evaluation is necessary. Such an approach would be based upon assumption.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  30. #30
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    After reading Waynes response and reference to the EPA website regarding MICOTOXINS - I couldn't resist. I just had to find out what the EPA would say about MICOTOXINS and mold.

    It was just as I imagined - The EPA said nothing. It was a CYA statement that took liability away from them.

    I got more out of Jerry's explaination than the EPA.

    If it looks like a Duck & quacks like a Duck then go figure - it is.

    This mold thing is without a doubt the biggest chicken little story I ever read.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Appendix B | Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings | Mold | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA

    EPA - Children's Health Initiative: Toxic Mold


    07/10/2003: EPA Orders ‘Stop Sale’ of Unregistered Pesticide Product Purporting to Control Toxic Mold

    GLRPPR: Sector Resources: Documents: Toxic Mold: Menace or Myth?

    And a big page of links about toxic mold!

    EPA Search Results | EPA Search | US EPA


    Toxic Molds

    Some molds, such as Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys atra (chartarum), are known to produce potent toxins under certain circumstances. Although some mycotoxins are well known to affect humans and have been shown to be responsible for human health effects, for many mycotoxins, little information is available, and in some cases research is ongoing. For example, some strains of Stachybotrys atra can produce one or more potent toxins. In addition, preliminary reports from an investigation of an outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage in infants suggested an association between pulmonary hemorrhage and exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum. Review of the evidence of this association at CDC resulted in an a published clarification stating that such an association was not established. Research on the possible causes of pulmonary hemorrhage in infants continues. Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for more information on pulmonary hemorrhage in infants. (See Resources list for CDC contact and other information.)

    Read more about toxic molds at the above link.
    I'm just posting this information to let you guys know that there is such a thing as Toxic Mold and it doesn't have to be inoutrageous quanities to be toxic!.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Toxic Molds

    Some molds, such as Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys atra (chartarum), are known to produce potent toxins under certain circumstances.
    "under certain circumstances"

    For example, some strains of Stachybotrys atra can produce one or more potent toxins.
    "some strains"

    In addition, preliminary reports from an investigation of an outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage in infants suggested an association between pulmonary hemorrhage and exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum. Review of the evidence of this association at CDC resulted in an a published clarification stating that such an association was not established.
    "Review of the evidence of this association at CDC resulted in an a published clarification stating that such an association was not established."

    I repeat: "Review of the evidence of this association at CDC resulted in an a published clarification stating that such an association was not established."

    If they were "toxic", there would be NO DOUBT. There is a limited association based on sensitivity ... if one is sensitive enough, one can suffer from exposure to ... whatever they are sensitive to.

    Be that mold, pine nuts (me for one - they are deadly to me), penicillin - that that good stuff - some people are very allergic to it (me for one), and the list is endless.

    Are pine nuts "toxic" and need to be banned and removed? In anything *I* eat, absolutely, but most people are not *allergic* to them.

    Should penicillin be banned and removed? MANY people are *allergic* to it, but most are not.

    "TOXIC MOLD"? No, only to those who are severely *allergic* to it.

    But, then, as I stated above, anything and everything can be toxic in excess and if one is allergic to it.

    Going back to my example for chlorine, chlorine is VERY TOXIC, but ... we drink it every day ... in moderation.

    Is there such a thing as "toxic mold", no, but, are all molds "toxic, yes. When a person who is *allergic* to that type of mold, it become *very toxic* TO THEM. BUT NOT to everyone else.

    Calling mold toxic is for public use, either to try to scare people or to try to sell them something they may not need.

    That is why, and I repeat, why *DOCTORS* should do the patient checking first, to find out *if they are allergic* to the mold which is present, if yes, then have an Industrial Hygienist address the conditions the patient if occupying.

    That may mean a change in location of where the patient resides, or remediation for remove the mold *which are affecting THEM*.

    It does not mean wholesale carnage about TOXIC MOLD IS GOLD and you've got to rip out all of the gypsum board because there is some mold on it.

    Dang, guys! Use some sense, do you empty the kitchen when you find mold growing on a loaf of bread? Or do you just *THROW THE LOAF OF BREAD OUT*? Maybe the kitchen needs to be mitigated, cabinets removed, gypsum board removed, and remodel the kitchen, heaven forbid there was MOLD in the kitchen.

    Use some common sense, and whatever you do, don't bother with the Mold is Gold guys with 4-8 hours "certification training" ... oh, you went for 3 whole days? Oh, wow, my-my, and you call yourself "certified"? Talk to an Industrial Hygienist and see what kind of education they have, when you can converse with them on a one-to-one level of intelligence about mold, then, maybe then, you can call yourselves "certified" in mold.

    Me, I know a little bit about buildings, but when I start talking to engineers, they can lose me, so I just do not do any engineering.

    It really is that plain and simple.

    If you do not know it, KNOW IT, do not do it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  33. #33
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Jerry you said:
    There is no such thing as "toxic mold",

    I just pointed out that there was such a thing by documentation from the EPA.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Jerry you said:
    There is no such thing as "toxic mold",

    I just pointed out that there was such a thing by documentation from the EPA.

    Wayne,

    No, you pointed out that some types can produce toxins under certain circumstances. That *IS* what it said.

    That is also why I said "Calling mold toxic is for public use, either to try to scare people or to try to sell them something they may not need.", because they did use the "public use" of the scare tactic "Toxic Mold" and then, basically, said:

    "Review of the evidence of this association at CDC resulted in an a published clarification stating that such an association was not established."

    Okay, some molds can (*can*) produce toxins under certain circumstances (*under certain* *circumstances*). And, even then, "Review of the evidence ... resulted in an a published clarification stating ... was not established."

    If it was "toxic" it would kill, injure, or maim, and yet they said that "was not established".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  35. #35
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    From the EPA site:

    Note: the bold is theirs, not mine!

    Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips | A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home | Mold | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA
    Testing or Sampling for Mold
    Is sampling for mold needed? In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.

    Just a question for thought, if the mold staining is outside the building thermal envelope, would remediation be needed and how would clearance testing be done or needed since for practical purposes it is outdoors. How can you compare the attic outdoors with other outdoors air??


    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  36. #36
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Jerry you're a very intelligent man but you do have flaws believe it or not!

    I thought that the direct quote from you and the site I posted where the EPA quoted TOXIC MOLDS was pretty clear and yet you want to argue about a direct quote you said! You are a unique human being.

    But don't you think that you can make a mistake too? You are not always right!

    You have your opinion and I have mine! You have most of the people on this web site brainwashed that what you say is gospel. Well I'm not one of those because I research things through (most of the time) before I speak! Do I use the wrong choice of words sometimes...yes (Fireproof/firestop) when someone has a different opinion than yours you can't stand it and try to prove them wrong with words instead of facts!

    As I said you are a very intelligent man but there is always room to learn more if you will just allow yourself to have an open mind and look at someone elses opinion. I have my opinion on certain things and you have yours.

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 09-20-2008 at 09:10 AM. Reason: typo

  37. #37
    Chris Roust's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Again, back to the original post, I live in a rain forest with freezing temperatures in the winter and I see this condition quite often.

    In my opinion, the black, flaking material is an "organic growth" that formed at a time of high humidity in the attic. It grew on the sheathing as that was the coldest surface where moisture condensed. It grew to a concentration where some of the dark organic materials were dissolved in the water on the surface of the sheathing and ran down the rafters, staining them. It also stained the tops of the rafters where the growth was in contact with the rafters.

    I typically take numerous moisture meter readings and find that the wood is well under the 20% moisture content range. I also probe for rot in the sheathing and rafters or trusses. The new plywood sheathing and the presence of a continuous ridge vent (a recent introduction here) along with the low moisture content indicate that the problem has been previously addressed. The new plywood is still "bright" indicating that the condition has not reoccurred since it was addressed.

    The report outlines the above and advises the client that the condition appears to have been corrected but that the organic growth can reoccur if moisture is not controlled. That can lead to delamination and rot of the wood in the attic as well as possible respiratory conditions in susceptible individuals who may enter the attic. I typically still see "attic bypasses" where moisture can get into the attic such as uninsulated and unsealed attic access hatches and pipe and wire penetrations which I advise should be sealed. If there is no vapor retarder, I advise them that they can use vapor retarder paint on the top floor ceiling to reduce the amount of vapor reaching the attic. I advise the client to monitor the moisture in the attic at various seasons, especially during freezing weather, and to contact me if they find moisture. If they ask if the dried growth should be removed, I advise them that it is dependent on their comfort level but I believe it is not necessary as it will not grow unless moist and that it will not harm house occupants in its dried state unless they are individually susceptible and enter the attic.

    That's my southeast Alaska experience and, no, I did not get Sarah Palin's permission to discuss this with the public.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Jerry you're a very intelligent man but you do have flaws believe it or not!

    But don't you think that you can make a mistake too? You are not always right!
    Wayne,

    I do have flaws, and I do make mistakes, and yes, ...

    I thought that the direct quote from you and the site I posted where the EPA quoted TOXIC MOLDS was pretty clear
    It is pretty clear in that they are, as I said, speaking to the public. The mold is gold people have the public up in arms, and they created a new word "toxic mold", and, in fact, they even say "toxic black mold", so the EPA needs to say it so the public can understand it, so they use that work "toxic mold" (actually two words, but who is counting).

    If you take enough of anything, it will be "toxic", so how about we start talking about "Toxic Water" as in the water we all drink every day. Calling the water we drink every day "Toxic water" *DOES NOT MAKE IT* "Toxic Water", it is just plain old "water", the same with those molds, which *UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES* *CAN* (not will, mind you, *CAN*) produce "toxic mycotoxins".

    That DOES NOT make the mold "Toxic Mold" or "Toxic Black Mold".

    Call it what you want, but calling a chicken a duck does not make a clucking chicken into a quacking duck.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  39. #39
    LR HOME SOLUTIONS's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    FRT PLYWOOD! =


    Back in the early 90s builders were required to use FRT plywood in some states

    In Northern VA. I remember it well...About 5 years after the initial FRT plywood roof was installed. A poor roofer was doing an inspection and fell though the roof

    WHAT THE?

    Yes. the heat in the attic has caused the FRT plywood to fail. A multi billion dollar mistake
    Thousands of town homes had this problem and the FRT plywood replacement revolution began



    If your in a southern state. Its possible that its nothing more than Radiant Barrier Spray that has seen its test of time. Since its a single family home and not a townhouse or duplex ?


    Either way. It looks like you need all new plywood. May I suggest radiant barrier plywood?

    With out a visual. Its hard to say, But those are my 2 cents

    Richard Roofer
    LRHOMESOLUTIONS.COM


  40. #40
    Scott Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    seems like a lot of odd back & forth. Looks like FRT. In a couple areas, looks like could be mold. If it's not being structurally affected, test for mold if for no other reason to clear it in those areas. Other than that, so what...


  41. #41
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Hello Folks.

    I'm coming into this fray a bit late, but have two cents to toss. I, too, used to have a bit of disdain for reporting mold . . . until I witnessed the rapid health decline of my mother-in-law earlier this year. And I mean rapid! It is my suspicion that she contracted her cancer from chronic exposure to molds growing in her house that no one recognized. It was not until after her death that I was in a position to examine the interior of the house closely, in a professional manner, and I was unpleasantly surprised at what I found.

    I happened to be in her house several weeks after the funeral and discovered, quite by accident, that her carpeted den floor was sopping wet from surface water intrusion. Ornamental flower bed soil levels adjacent to the brick veneer exterior wall were higher than the interior slab flooring, and being in a region where heavy rains are common, it was obvious to me where the water was coming from. Humidity in the house was always high, even with a high efficiency heat pump installed. When I pulled up the carpet and pad, 1/8" of water was laying across the area of exposed vinyl flooring. The carpet pad was soaked and black with "mold-like growth", as were portions of the vinyl tile flooring. In the course of my training and experience, I have come to realize several things: 1) people have differing allergic reactions to mold, from none to mild to severe; 2) people who have never exhibited mold reactions can become sensitized to molds they are chronically exposed to; and 3) there are some data that suggest some common molds, including aspergillus/penecillium, may influence or cause cancers.

    You can say what you want to about who did what to whom regarding your mold experiences with mold remediation, but I strongly suggest you wash the bad tastes out of your mouths for "mold remediators" and "mold inspectors" and realize that your clients are facing a very real and tangible health threat from not addressing suspected mold concerns. As an experienced home inspector, when hired to inspect a property, if conditions conducive to mold production exist, are suspected, are confirmed or if visual evidence of "mold-like" growths are observed, whether I like it or not, the client is entitled to know. Period. Hopefully, the inspector will put such concerns in some kind of context and not cause the client to light their hair on fire and run screaming into the woods, but withholding such suspicions or observations because of unscrupulous remediators is hardly the right answer. Instead, it would have been better to find remediators who address such issues appropriately.

    I happen to agree that "dead mold", while perhaps not able to propagate, is still a problem because the allergens are still present, and people with mold sensitivities are still subject to reactions to those allergens. The remediator may be at fault if the protocol was not appropriate for the conditions, not the inspector for calling out the issue. If your state controls remediators, report bad behavior to the controlling authority. If you are unable or unwilling to report the bad remediators, then advise the client to do so. If your training and certifications do not support mold evaluation, refer to several knowledgeable mold inspectors in your area, ones in whom you have confidence. If you don't know any, try to find some, or become one yourself. Check the remediation protocol used. Was the chemical treatment used suitable for habitable spaces or spaces that communicate directly with habitable spaces? The presence of mold is universal in residential environments. The key is whether there is more interior mold growth within a residence than outside. And it matters a great deal which molds are detected. Use of a credible, nationally certified lab is essential.

    Why have the molds identified to the genus/species level? We are not physicians. We can't prescribe human treatments or interventions. No. But physicians can take the information provided from mold reports and tailor treatments to their sensitive clients. And that kind of information can be invaluable for your client's health, immediately and from then on.

    One other issue needs some clarification, I think. The EPA cannot be faulted for issuing CYA statements because the fact is, there are no definitive answers about how much mold is too much. And that is because different people react to mold exposure in different ways. Not everyone has an allergic reaction to molds. LD-50 values and time-weighted averages and threshold limit values cannot be calculated, so the best the EPA and other authorities, including the NY City Department of Public Health, can do is issue some rather vague, but important, guidelines about mold growths and remediation. Industrial hygienists cannot offer any more information or recommendations other than to stop the water and remove the mold. In addition to quoting the EPA, the NYCDPH, ACGIH, you might want to check the Indoor Air Quality Association, if you want additional information or want clarification on the foregoing and following.

    As stated above, sometimes, people who have never had a reaction can develop sensitivities to molds they are chronically exposed to. Something else no one is mentioning is that the "TOXIC MOLDS" produce the toxins as defenses against other invading molds and some of those toxins turn out to adversely affect other organisms. Stachybotrys (the "black mold" of media fame) does just that. It is a slow growing mold that does not compete very well against others members of its family, and so has developed a toxic response to other molds that would like to use stachybotrys for lunch. If left to its own devices in peace, it does not produce the toxin until it is attacked. Same with penecillium and other molds. But when they are attacked, stand by. The worst is yet to come. That doesn't mean identified growths shouldn't be cleaned up, damaged materials removed, and surveillance sampling done. Most known adverse health effects are allergic reactions. But volumes can be written about what is not known regarding mold interactions with humanity.

    Respectfully,

    Gene Bramlett


  42. #42
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Gene,

    Thanks for your 2 cents. I totally agree with you.

    Derek Lewis


  43. #43
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Gene,

    If someone posts, it adds credibility if some kind of professional information is provided. Your post sounds less like a home inspector or homeowner than someone who is trying to sell mold inspections. I am not convinced.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  44. #44
    Weldon Langley's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    David,

    Is there any evidence of prior presence of a radiant barrier installed attached to the bottom of the rafters? The improper installation of a radiant barrier (without openings at lower and upper edges to provide airflow through the space between decking and rafters; without adequate attic ventilation; with foiled side of barrier installed toward the decking; etc.) can result in condensation forming in the dead air spaces between rafters and decking which will likely be conducive to microbial growth.


  45. #45
    Gene Bramlett's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Gene,

    If someone posts, it adds credibility if some kind of professional information is provided. Your post sounds less like a home inspector or homeowner than someone who is trying to sell mold inspections. I am not convinced.
    Mr. Alquist:

    I am a licensed home inspector in Mississippi and Tennessee. I am a certified mold inspector/assessor. I am a SIRI-certified thermographer, a certified instructor in the use of infrared and advanced acoustic technologies in the residential inspection field, and have been teaching and lecturing on advanced technology use for Kaplan/ITA for two years and HomeSafe Inspection, Inc., for four years. I use infrared and acoustic technologies in my practice on a daily basis, and have helped plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors and public and private clients locate water leaks, hot wiring, leaking refrigerant and the like inside and outside residential and commercial structures to limit the extent of invasive damages in preparation for repair. I offer mold inspection services as an additional and usually separate inspection function, occasionally in connection with an active real estate transaction inspection but only if the client requests the services and air quality is suspect, and have been called in to inspect numerous residential, commercial and public buildings when people were worried enough to find out about their indoor air quality. But my primary professional focus centers around home inspections. Period.

    The tone of your inquiry, and especially the statement that you are not convinced is something for you to wrestle with. I would, however, be concerned that you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There are as many, or perhaps more, bad home inspectors perpetrating fraud on unwary home owners, issuing "drive-by" inspection reports at cut rates to pad their bottom lines, hoping and praying that their automobile license numbers were not recorded as their taillights disappear over the next hill. Shall we defame all home inspectors because of those who would cheat their mothers on their deathbeds? If you choose not to become informed and trained in mold inspection protocols and procedures, that, of course, is your choice. However, it seems to me you are depriving your clients of the benefit of your experiences and expertise by not learning as much as you can about such topics, gaining the necessary certifications so you will have the proper initials after your name, and thereby having the professional expertise to properly advise your clients about such things. If you chose not to, fine. Then perhaps they have no choice but to become victims of the charlatans you so despise.

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, affiliated with any mold remediation company or service, but sell my trained services to clients upon request as a third party home or mold or component inspector as needs warrant and as clients demand. I have been called in by local flood remediators, private residential contractors, one major regional medical facility, and numerous other clients to find sources of water that were causing mold growth within their respective building envelopes. In fact, I am currently involved in investigating a local mold remediation company for alleged perpetration of fraud against an unsuspecting and uninformed widow. I, like most of you, don't like sharks stealing from the uninformed.

    My hair is gray (near white, actually). My eyes are brown. I am a military veteran, don't like bigots, don't drink beer, like dogs and cats, love seafood and like to teach. Now, I hope the foregoing was enough to satisfy your curiosity, but if it wasn't, too bad. Oh, and by the way, I know nothing of you, either, Mr. Alquist.

    Gene.

    Last edited by Gene Bramlett; 10-17-2008 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Typographical error

  46. #46
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Gene,

    Welcome to the Best Home Inspector learning site ( thick skin required ) around.

    We get a lot of drive by Posts from people who have an Ax to grind or just off their Medication.

    As in this Profession we are Paid to ( be suspicious ) and able to backup our Opinions.

    Don't take it personal.

    If you would go to the top left click on User CP and fill in your location & occupation it helps to know how to respond to your input and questions.

    Thanks,

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  47. #47
    Gene Bramlett's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this plywood?

    Thanks, Mr. Stephens, for your advice. I don't know anything about User CP, but will check it out. As you have probably noticed, I can "give as good as I get", but am not interested in carrying on a discussion with closed minds. Being a professional skeptic as a home inspector should not equate to being close-minded. Scruples are needed in any job, from digging ditches to managing Wall Street (heh-heh, yeah). Ultimately, a lack of scruples in any profession hurts not only the specific client, but the profession as a whole. It takes dedicated, thoughtful and scrupulous individuals to stand up for ethics and integrity in the home inspection and mold inspection fields. Because of my rather deep and broad background in a host of disciplines, the importance of indoor air quality stands out as a huge gap in the home inspection investigation and reporting protocols and/or standards of practice. Enough preaching. I'll check out User CP shortly.

    Respectfully,

    Gene Bramlett


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