Is this potential mold

This was in attic. Should I suggest a mold test. Small area.

No water infiltration and it’s raining. Dry.

The white areas are wood fungus. Needs to be removed or treated.

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Agree with Dom. Dark areas are stains.

What about this? Should I test? And stains, as in not mold?

What are your qualifications on testing for mold? Or, are you asking should you have it tested by a professional?

Would you test?

No, I don’t test. I refer it out to those who are certified and/or licensed. Would I report the possibility, probably and then refer it out.


There are thousands of different molds. If you go outdoors they are all around you, very few are dangerous. Unless your client’s have a specific known allergy to a specific mold all you will do is scare them with the mold testing. On the other hand mold indicates the presence of water intrusion. This should be evaluated and remedied.


When you guys see “discoloration” or “stains” what threshold must be met for you to say, “let’s test for mold?” Is it justified to have both locations tested for mold or not? Are air test and swabs necessary in these occasions? Would you guys recommend it be mold tested - the location in the attic and on wall?

Probably not in this case. That is my opinion. Recommend evaluation to source the cause of the moisture for correction and remove damaged/effected materials.

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Why test at all? Just FIX it!!

Have you ever seen those News Channel expose’s that like to trap Mold Inspectors for ripping off people for “Black Mold” big bucks? Nearly in EVERY case, the inspector stated right off that the house was full of “Black Mold” and needed to be tested for huge $$$$$!!
RARELY was there “Deadly Black Mold” present, and the legit inspector said to not waste your money on testing and just “FIX IT”!!
Testing is necessary if people have sensitivities or medical concerns that Doctors may need to be advised of for the safety of the people.


Jeff nailed it. I actually steer clients away from mold testing in the circumstance you have described. If it looks like mold, just get rid of it. No need to test it.

I only go along with a client’s request for mold testing if there is no visible mold but they feel that a hidden problem exists, or if they want to make sure the house they are buying doesn’t have mold issues. So every test I have performed has been a simple air quality test.

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I agree getting to the source of the water intrusion and encapsulating the mold with something like kilz is a good option and that mold testing may be unnecessary money spent. In this picture, like the ones before, there were no active water leaks and I could not trace the stains to a source. Other than telling them to assure that all water is discharged away from foundation would the following pictures of this attic necessitate mold testing? I’m trying to walk the line of not worrrying the client, have them spend unnecesary money, yet at the same time assure they’re not harmed by potential molds.

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First of all, get “Mold” out of your vocabulary. Use fungal or microbial type growth.

Second, that attic is widespread issue and does need further evaluation and possible remediation.

Killz is not what I would advise. It needs to be removed.


Swab and air tests were taken and it came back non-toxigenic mold and the inside mold was less than the outside baseline. Why not use the word possible mold, when all the template reports say it?


You keep dumping more and more information and photos. You said you were not going to recommend mold testing, but yet it has already been tested?

Ok, if referring to a document that used the term mold, then say the “document stated mold”

You however, observed a visible fungal or microbial type growth.

Brian, the attic was a past inspection.

Not in my book. There is what appears to be possible mold/microbial growth. It is in the attic so not in a living space. Was the roof sheathing dry at the time of inspection? Did the seller disclose a history of roof leaks? Has the issue been corrected? It is clearly some type of deficiency caused by moisture.

Report on what you see and leave it to the client to decide if it warrants testing/further examination.

Here would be my narrative…

Attic - Possible mold/fungus/microbial growth was observed on the underside of the roof sheathing. The area tested dry/wet at the time of inspection. Although not in a living space, this possible growth may cause health concerns and/or cause rapid deterioration of the roof sheathing if it is active.

Your recommendation for the next steps will be based on whether the sheathing tested dry or wet.

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The term mold is a type of fungi. It is also an alarm that should not be sounded until verified.

And it should always be removed or it will become prolific and cause damage to the wood, other components or people. In addition to the removal, the source or cause should be investigated. Such as in the attic above, the attic was likely not properly ventilated.


This is a key point @bcawhern1 brings up. Whenever a client talks about mold, I tell them that we need to focus more on the cause and whether it has been addressed or not. It is a huge waste to test for and remediate mold if the cause has not been corrected first.