"Moldy" Roof Trusses

New construction. Moldy trusses (probably left out in the rain.) How would you address this issue? Moisture content in the wood was negligible. (I have a pretty firm plan for how I will address it…wanting to get others thoughts.)

061709 035.JPG 061709 039.JPG 061709 049.JPG

061709 049.JPG

It could be a problem when the occupants have health issues that are later blamed on this. Try to disprove something like that and good luck. Or if its just discovered later and they need someone to pay for the cleanup, then its a problem.

The SOP will not always prevent an issue from escalating. My policy is to report every single item that could be considered by anyone, including attorneys, contractors and engineers to be an issue in the future. This is not exceeding any bounds, its just good ole inspecting and reporting. Its not our job to decide what is important to our clients, let them decide or get further evaluations done as they deem necessary.

Observe & report.

Don’t see really what there is to “address”.

You see it and have pics so you either report it or you don’t. Not reporting it is not an option. :wink:

How it’s dealt with is best left up to the legal eagles. This has the potential to get ugly.

IMO, the builder should clean/replace. .

I had a case similar to this one. Notice there is no mold on the sheathing, I bet if you dug under the insulation you would find mold growing on the ceiling joists, either way the mold happened during construction. Mold will grow on sheathing at a lower percentage of moisture than the regular framing lumber. In my case the occupants of the home got severely ill because black mold particles floated out of the ductwork and covered everything like dust. The buyers of the new home got their money back, I imagine the contractor just did piss poor clean-up and put the house back on the market. Sad but true.

I’ve seen 2x4’s come off a lumber truck from the yard looking like that.

If that’s mold- and it looks like mold- unless it’s provided with enough moisture to start reproducing (approx. 20% in the host material) it will not release spores.
Since the health threat to humans is from elevated spore concentrations in indoor air, I woudn’t consider it a problem.

If ohter trusses had the same discoloration, they may have arrived onsite from the truss company looking like that.
If only the trusses in that area were discolored, it may have been from a past leak, but you should see discolored sheathing.
It might have happened while they sat onsite, but they usually dry too fast around here. I don’t know about there.

I’d mention it’s presence but wouldn’t make a big deal out of it.

I have seen many clients make a big deal out of it during the pre-drywall stage and the builders are having it cleaned up for them. I do not cause this, the clients have already noticed it and just want it noted in the report.

Some builders are asking the buyers to sign a document that “prevents the buyer from making a claim later” if they clean it up for them.

This is from NACHI’s mold training:

“Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Mold does not have to be alive to cause an allergic reaction. Dead or alive, mold can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Imagine how many spores will be released if there is ever a leak in that attic. Or what if the AC drain pan fills with water and contributes to high humidity conditions in the attic air.

Finally, will a future buyer freak out when their home inspector points it out?

I consider it a very negative condition!

I got a ball-park estimate from a mold remediation contractor today: $2,500.

Bruce, next time that happens, have your client hire me to do mold clearance sampling to make sure the contractor actually got it clean.

At predrywall stage, (house not air tight) what can you do? Just tape samples?

I doubt anyone could truly clean every edge of every truss and floor joist in a house. Enough sampling will show mold for sure. Most clients are happy if they see a substantial improvement but I will send them to you if I can.

If mold gets sprayed with a bleach mixture or some chemical to kill the mold, will a tape sample still show the mold spores in a lab?

Mold spores are everywhere, not just in that house, but in every house. It’s inhaling mold spores that causes reactions in people with allergies asthma, lung disease or compromised immune systems. Especially with those with compromised immune systems, fungal infections can be fatal.

What will happen if that colony gets a lot of moisture won’t be much different from what’ll happen if any other part of the attic gets a lot of moisture. With enough moisture, it doesn’t take very long to grow a colony that size. Natural humidity alone won’t do it. If there’s a leak or a malfunction that elevates moisture levels to an adequate level, any material in that attic with mold on it- and that’s every surface in the attic- that’s wet enough is going to start growing mold.

And that’s not only true for that house… it’s true for every house.

Will a future client freak out over it? Not if they’re educated and understand the danger. Some people freak out about ants… or aliens. It’s not a problem unless it gets wet… just like the rest of the house.

You got that quote because that guy makes money doing mold remediation, not supplying neutral third party expert opinion on the necessity for mold remediation.

I’m just saying what I think. You should do whatever you feel you have to, Joe.

So mold remediation is gold too.

I used to get all worked up over the mold argument, but not any more. People think what they think according to their experience. I spent a lot of time researching mold trying to figure out what was real.

It really does kill people and it’s not something to be taken lightly, but my take on it is the result of my research and I’m satisfied with my understanding.

The reaction of different inspectors to the mold issue is a lot like the reaction of different inspectors to presidential politics. You just don’t often change people’s minds by arguing on the message boards.

Kenton, I posted this to get feedback. Thanks. I understand your point.

Essentially, I told them it is “mold-like” and they should seek the services of a mold specialist or mold remediation company. For CYA reasons, there is no way I’m down-playing moldy trusses in a new home—will gladly give that ball to someone else.

If they want to pay me to sample it to check the spore count, I’ll do that for them too. I didn’t recommend it–gave them that as an option. I got the feeling the client will walk away from the home…she was pretty upset about it and I’m not going to tell her it’s OK because it’s dormant (now).

I want to hear others give their input also.

$2,500 to work in a 120 degree attic, decontaminating 40% of the structure of a 1,200 SF house. Sounded fairly reasonable to me considering the liability.

Yes. Tape or swab. (Surface sampling.)

“Surface sampling can provide information regarding whether the visible apparent mold is in fact actual microbial growth (mold) or not, measure the relative degree of the mold contamination, and can serve to confirm that the sampled mold growth may be producing mold spores in the air.” (NACHI IAC2 training program.)

Until you see how just a little bit of visible mold can destroy a whole family’s health and livelihood, you will never understand. I use to be like you Ken, did not think it was a big deal. Experiencing how mold has effected my client’s lives made me a believer. Sad but true.

Also $2500 is cheap if the remediator does it right.

James, exactly how did it destroy the family’s health? Did they all develop fungal infections? Was this someone you personally know? Have you seen medical reports?

I don’t know anyone who can say “yes” to all these questions because it always (so far) turned out to be an article or someone with a finanacial interest in having it turn out to be mold that’s providing the information.

My cousin’s wife is a registered nurse and she’s seen people die of fungal infections, but they were individuals who already had health problems. Not whole families who were healthy until a moldy house ruined thier health.

I know bad things happen, I just like to see evidence come from a neutral source.

Homeowners can always get someone to come to their defense and say all their problems in life are caused by mold.

Well, that’s often true, but I’ve got a lot of respect for James’ opinion, and yours, Joe… you guys are both in states with way higher humidity than we have here in CO, even though we also get serious mold issues from leaks.

“Mycosis” is the term used to describe human infection from fungus. There are different levels, from infection of the surface of the skin to infections deep in the body and symptoms run from no symptoms to death and everywhere in between. Still, everything I read says that almost all serious cases are from immuno-compromised people. I ran into a great online medical book discussing this in pretty easy to understand terms but lost it when I lost my Favorites. I’ll try to find it again.

I have not seen a study yet that proved that the immune systems of people are strong before they lived in a house with mold, and I will never will. The studies are always taken after the mold growth. Most of the considered toxic molds will slowly wear at an immune system that is why the studies showed the people affected have weak immune systems. Also you will notice that mold affects the very young and the very old first and people who have had surgeries because they have weaker immune systems. When mold propels spores, it is not just the spores that can make us sick (they have to find a wet place to grow such as a lung or nasal cavity first) but the mycrotoxicins ejected into the air when the spores are released is what causes the problems in most cases. A mycrotoxicins is a chemical, and our body is made of a various chemicals, everybody has a different level of chemicals which gives us our different personality and traits. If a person gets overexposed to a certain chemical they become chemical sensitivity, this is what happens with mold. Also our body’s chemical level is why one occupant is more sensitive then another. The reason why the mold is putting out toxicians is to defend itself from other molds. Molds are fighting for food all the time. People getting sick is the after affect of these wars.
I have had cases from mild allergies to death (mold in blood stream). All I know for sure is that after the mold was removed properly the occupants got better, some better than others. Some of the others are perfectly healthy people who are know disabled because they are unable to function like a normal person. Some of the some of the others are children. Sad but true.