Mold question?

Would anyone report this as possible mold and further investigation recommended?

Unless you are 100% sure it is dust, Yes.

I’d recommend treatment of “mold like substances” and repairs to help prevent future growth.

The pictures you posted do not show much detail and it is hard to see what is going on. I don’t see staining on the sheathing or on the roof framing, but it could be the pictures not conveying the appropriate information. I assume you are talking about the gray fuzzy stuff on the sheathing? Here are a couple of questions for you:

What kind of insulation was present in the attic space?
Where does the dryer vent discharge?
Is there any indication that the dryer vent might have discharged into the attic space previously?
Is the attic ventilated properly?
What was the temperature and humidity levels?

If you have marco shots of the substance you are questioning, we might be able to give you a better clue.

we just did this last week, again, déjà vu :wink:

Hip roof, limited soffit vents on sides only. Three static vents. Bath vents and whole house fan discharge in attic. A lot of rain recently, nothing wet inside. The roof covering (shingles) or semi-new. The majority of damage is on the north side, with no soffit vents. I’m not sure if it is from humidity in attic, or old sheathing damage from exterior. Unable to determine presents of moisture barrier.

Missed that one, just what I needed. I hate to alarm someone if there is nothing there.

I would.


ditto³ and remove the obvious source of moisture

I would definitely agree that a further inspection should be performed. I would recommend a third-party accredited inspector with the capabilites to not only take samples, but to provide you with an analytical report with protocol; in that way you may walk away from the experience empowered by the inspection and not left with incomplete information and contractor controversy. Stay away from inspectors that perform their own remediation (this is a conflict of interest); make sure to get a good warranty; and check references and insurance. The IAQA ( has a good resource of information on CMI, CIE, CIEC and their PRO.FILEs (information on volunteer work, education, credentials, etc. as reviewed and approved by a third-party); and, the AmIAQ ( has a list of not only board-awarded individuals, but those with insurance as reviewed by the Council to perform that kind of work.

I suppose, given I am not a member of the NACHI, I should explain my credentials to give this advise: I am a four-time board-awarded Indoor Environmental Consultant with over sixteen years in the Industry. I am an author, business owner, and practicing Indoor Environmental Consultant. I’ve listed my information in the format of a IAQA PRO.FILE that can be accessed at any time by anyone for more information on specifics regarding me ( - ‘about us’).

The ‘grey fuzzy stuff’ appears to be the remnants of overspray from when the insulation was blown in. (Note no use of baffles at the eaves)

I wouldn’t recommend it out for further investigation, I would add the service to my inspection.


Not trying to be argumentative, just curious. By “analytical report with protocol”, do you mean a step by step process for remediation? Isn’t that an entirely different certification, and why would an inspector have knowledge of that? The lab I work with performs that service and I recommend that they use them, but I have to trust the remediator for something right? And who should know better than them on the remediation process. I have to assume they earned their designation in their field the same way I did, and to discredit them should give anyone the right to discredit myself throughout the testing process.

The obvious aspects of the process consists of;
A) eliminating the source
B) removing or cleaning contaminated surfaces and material
C) perform post testing

But the details are far beyond my scope, and my scope includes inspecting and testing. So why should I rely on myself to provide the detailed protocol, if that is in fact what to you are referring?

Thank you

First mold is not prejudice it will grow on any surface that has food moisture and oxygen. And it does not appear to be on the rafters or the insulation just the sheeting. It looks like the insulation is sticking on the lower portion of the sheeting but no where else. This is common on blown in insulation. I do see what looks like black staining on the sheeting. Does it continue under the rafter if it does most likely it was there before the sheet was nailed in place. Mold will get on the rafter and sheeting. Since I see a bath fan venting into the attic. Where are the black spots related to the bath fan duct.
I don’t see baffles on the lower end of the roof. Which when the house fan is running I bet some of the insulation is moving around also. I do see what looks like a cracked rafter.
In my opinion I would call out the bath fan venting into the attic and note staining on the sheeting (If it does not go under the rafter) but no moisture if that is the case. Recommend further evaluation and correction as needed by a licensed contractor.
When you see this look for other signs of moisture intrusion. Kitchen stove/ bath fans venting into the attic, leaking roof, leaking pipes etc.

Good hunting

Did I read this correctly? The lab you work with does remediation work? Is that correct?


No they do not. They will however perscribe a protocol for repair. I think it starts at 700 dollars or so.

In reply to Dylan Bucknavich’s post:

I can appreciate what you’re saying. I’ve worked both as a remediator (for a number of years while earning my CIE and CIEC) before starting my own business, getting out of remediation, and performing the pre- and post- remediation inspections and assessments. Remediators like IEPs when liability can be transferred to the Consultant and the Consultants like leaving some (if not all) of the scope of work interpretation up to Remediators so as to remain in a defensible position. The laboratory, having not performed a full inspection of the situation, will limit their report to their analysis of the samples taken by the IEP, making sure to keep things simple and defensible for them too. I don’t mean to seem as though I’m judging any of them. God knows - I’m a board-awarded Indoor Environmental Consultant and Microbial Remediation Supervisor (among other things) NOT a lawyer. So, I think to keep things in the realm of the professional’s perspective (and try to answer your question from that perspective only) I’d say that the writing of protocols or not by an IEP would be a business decision based on what kind of liability a company wants to assume and their expertise. (In my area it is common place for the IEP to generate a protocol as a starting point of remediation, allowing the Remediator room to recognize necessary precautions and actions when facing complications along the way.)

What I was trying to do is look at this from a consumer perspective and apply the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Certification’s S520 Standard & Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation to the initial post (as it has been explained to me by their technical advisor). In the S520 there are clear definitions of what a Remediator’s knowledge and expertise are and what the IEP’s should be. In that Standard (revised and released 2008) Remediators can perform a ‘preliminary determination’ after the initial inspection is completed, which “is a conclusion that identifies actual or potential mold growth, known or suspected areas of moisture intrusion, and the need for assistance from other specialized experts such as an IEP to conduct assessments or to perform necessary services beyond the expertise of the Remediator.” The IEP performs inspections and assessments. The idea behind the designations and definitions in this Standard were to recognize levels of education and experience, designating some of the work toward the appropriate professional. (Too much to go into here. I’d be happy to chat sometime over it though. I like getting other’s perspectives and experiences.)

Consumers are constantly faced (as I’m sure you’re well aware) with contractor controversy. In order to avoid conflict of interest self-diagnosis of the Condition of the environment and in an effort to successfully identify and address the safety and health issues of a mold claim the IICRC went into the definitions it did. Using those definitions, making sure to involve themselves (Consumer) with their IEP helps them to reduce contractor controversy (perhaps they seem to think one contractor is up selling a job when in reality the other contractor is not doing all necessary, or vice versa, for example) and become more empowered to manage their own claim alongside the IEP and Remediator they’ve chosen to work with.

Acting as one’s own third-party has been a compromising position for Remediators in courts of law all over this country. Avoiding the conflict in the first place is in the best interest of everyone involved. Like I said earlier I understand everyone wanting to be in a defensible position. I was just trying to apply things in a clear manner for the Consumer so as to make sure they understand how to avoid some of the unwanted situations that come up occasionally.

For more on this Standard I typically go to the IICRC S520 technical advisor. I hope this post doesn’t offend anyone. Just trying to clarify my point’s perspective.

Wow, I am not charging enough for my protocols.

I do not thing it offended anybody, just confused them. You got to understand that most of our members are ordinary home inspectors, they do not specialize in mold, so you will need to say things in simpler terms.
Even I had a hard time following. It is like explaining infrared cameras to me, since I have not taken the training, I do not understand the more technical threads about thermography.

I, myself, prefer to preform some testing first before calling for a protocol to be written. Some times the mold tests come back not considered toxic. In most of those cases a protocol would not need to be written. Visual inspection and some clearance testing after clean up, just in case, but not a full blown protocol written. But in the mold field everybody does things different even if they have the same training.