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Thread: Mold in Attic?

  1. #1
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    Question Mold in Attic?

    Yesterday's inspection
    House is 1100 sq ft 1949 built. Roof is skip sheathed with 2 layers of roofing (original shakes with 3-tab on top. The attic space has 2 end gable vents only. Yes I am recommending that additional vents be installed. The insulation appears to have taken on moisture and is dry and clumpy. The insulation appears to be cellulose, but I am not sure as it feels very strange.

    A dry white substance was found on rafters, roof sheathing and back side of shingles. Also it appears to be in on top of insulation. It looks like some type of mold to me. I have never seen anything like this before. I am recommending testing and further evaluation. Have anyone ever seen this before?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    Does the Dryer Exhaust into the Attic?
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    No the dryer does not vent into the attic and all exhaust fans vent to the exterior. However I would guess that the bathroom exhaust fan vented into the attic at one time. Now that I think of it the majority of the white substance was above the bathroom. My quess it is that the bathroom exhaust fan once vented into the attic and with the inadequate attic ventilation the moisture caused this mold/mildew substance to grow.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    That's an odd one Trent. At first glance it doesn't look like mold to me. The wood in the attic is generally golden brown and healthy looking, which wouldn't be the case with bad ventilation. Of course, that doesn't explain what all that white stuff is.

    I've never seen mold fall off before unless it's attached to wood that is doing so. Just to be on the safe side I'd likely mention it could be mold and/or that it's an unknown white substance and should be looked into further.

    This is definitley one that falls under the 'write what you see' catagory.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    Is there any possiblity that the white is some sort of blown in insulation?
    Either a damp blown cellulose or fiberglass?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
    Kevin Barre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    That doesn't look like mold to me. Sometimes, cellulose is ground too fine and becomes real powdery and not as "chunky" as normal. When that happens, it's lighter weight and tends to fly around more when sprayed. It could easily hit the rafters and decking. Based on what little I can see, that's my guess.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    Could it be the Boric Acid used in cellulose which has settled on the interior framing?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    It very well could have been some type of fine cellulose blown in insulation that got on rafters and other areas. I does not look any type of mold I have ever seen. Did they ever spay in damp cellulose insulation? not quite sure how to advise the client on this one. I was going to recommend having it tested, but now I am not sure. All help is much appreciated.


  9. #9
    Brent Simmerman's Avatar
    Brent Simmerman Guest

    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    I would have to agree with some of the others, it looks like a residue from blown in insulation. Maybe the attic had moisture in it when it was blown in?


  10. #10
    Frank Suchodolski's Avatar
    Frank Suchodolski Guest

    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    How does the attic smell and feel, is musty, damp? If it isn't and the attic is well vented and dry then I would go with the insulation. Mold comes in many forms, the white fluffy kind that I have seen grows in very damp conditions and is hard to mistake for anything else. If it is dry and brushes off easy, it is more than likely a spray insulation poorly prepared. Usually when there is mold, you can tell by the enviroment, wood turns black then white fluffy cottony crap springs up.

    But then that is the molds that I'm familiar with, this being in Washington shouldn't be too much different.


  11. #11
    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    Trent,
    Did the house have a concrete block exterior?
    Do you have a picture of the exterior of the house?


  12. #12
    Denny L West's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    Thats The residue from Blown in Insulation . Seen that alot even on new construction .


  13. #13
    Richard Thacker's Avatar
    Richard Thacker Guest

    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    The visible majority is from over spray of blown insulation. The material impacts and sticks to the framing during the framing process. If you touch it will fall off cleanly, mold won't do that.

    Is that a straight 2x4 framed roof with cedar shake?

    Home Rite Home Inspector, York, Pa - Real Estate Inspection in PA and Maryland


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    I agree with most of the others. Appears to be insulation.

    What I do see is a purlin brace that appears to be at too much of an angle to support the roof properly.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Mold in Attic?

    Yes the material comes of easily when touched. It does not appear to have grown on wood, all wood members are a nice golden brown color. And no signs of moisture were found. I was going to advise that the client get the material tested, however I feeling pretty confident that the material is from the blown in insulation, which is white in color. Thanks for all the replies and help.


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