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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    pa
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    Default Black and white areas on old floor joists?

    Hi all,

    My house was built about 1950 and has these areas of white and black splotches on several of the joists. Is this expected or something harmful? Thanks so much.

    wood-joist.jpg

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Madison Heights, MI
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Black and white areas on old floor joists?

    Quote Originally Posted by matt wicson View Post
    Hi all,

    My house was built about 1950 and has these areas of white and black splotches on several of the joists. Is this expected or something harmful? Thanks so much.
    Likely to be some type of mold. How harmful is a very open question. Try shining a bright light almost parallel to the surface. Mold will stand out from the surface, discoloration that's native to the lumber won't.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by matt wicson View Post
    Hi all,

    My house was built about 1950 and has these areas of white and black splotches on several of the joists. Is this expected or something harmful? Thanks so much.
    Likely to be some type of mold. How harmful is a very open question. Try shining a bright light almost parallel to the surface. Mold will stand out from the surface, discoloration that's native to the lumber won't.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Black and white areas on old floor joists?

    Quote Originally Posted by matt wicson View Post
    Hi all,

    My house was built about 1950 and has these areas of white and black splotches on several of the joists. Is this expected or something harmful? Thanks so much.
    Is it expected in a 65 years old house? Yes, a bit of dirt, soot, mould or all three.
    Is it harmful? It is not hurting the wood. Dampness could be harmful so make sure the basement stays dry. If you do laundry down there it needs some ventilation, or heat or both.
    Harmful to occupants? Not likely. I don't see anything I'd worry about in those pics. If you spend a lot of time in the basement, why not paint the wood?

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Black and white areas on old floor joists?

    Looks like dried up mud and condensation stains. no big deal.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    1,394

    Default Re: Black and white areas on old floor joists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Larmon View Post
    Looks like dried up mud and condensation stains. no big deal.
    Looks more like stains than mold to me, too. If lumber lies around for a while out in the weather before being used, it can look beat up. But having samples evaluated is the only way to know.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Illinois
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    2

    Default Re: Black and white areas on old floor joists?

    Testing has little value as mold is everywhere, most samples test positive and there are no standards for acceptable levels. Of course theres mold there, but If you see it or smell it, get to getting rid of it. Otherwise if it's not posing a problem, then don't worry about it. Don't confuse yourself with ambiguous test results. further, in some states such as illinois you have to disclose if the house has been tested for a real estate transaction. This puts you in a very costly jackpot for a house you are leaving, all much ado over nothing.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Black and white areas on old floor joists?

    Was a moisture meter used? That would indicate if the wood has elevated moisture to support mould growth.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    pa
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Black and white areas on old floor joists?

    Thanks for all the replies. The black marks appear to be in the wood, not growing above the surface. Ill likely have an home sellers inspection in a few weeks and will post again if it turns out otherwise.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for all the replies. The black marks appear to be in the wood, not growing above the surface. Ill likely have an home sellers inspection in a few weeks and will post again if it turns out otherwise.


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