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Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Posted by nutmeagan27 (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 28, 10 at 2:34

Hello fellow gardenwebbers. I have a roofing/construction dilemma...

We started building our home in NW Oregon this past May, and are just about to the end of it. Cabinets are going in, countertops going on, etc... Well, DH went up into the attic today to see what kind of insulation was installed, and there found mold growing on the underside of the roof. Like puffy, white/grey mounds of mold... He also said there was water slowly dripping from some of the roofing nails.

Needless to say, I'm just horrified at this. We were starting to pack our items from our townhouse, getting ready to move...

So, calling all experts (or just anyone with some ideas): What should we do? Our builder is a reputable, stand-up guy who I know will do what it takes to make it right (Holmes on Homes, anyone? :) ). Has anyone ever had this happen before?

I'm sick to my stomach with this discovery... :(


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Sorry to hear this. Please do research online so that you know bleach does not kill mold. Hydrogen peroxide does. Mold isn't something a builder should try to fix on his own. A reputable mold removing company should be called.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

"Please do research online so that you know bleach does not kill mold."

Do not confuse a lack of research with a conclusion.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Your builder is responsible for having the leak taken care of. He is also responsible for the mold clean up whuich he or if he has employess can take care of by getting it while it is damp with a 50/50 bleach water solution used in a garden sprayer. Most molds are harmful to humans when the mold has dried out and the spores are released into the air ingested into the lungs. If the insulation has been soaked, ( fiberglass batts), it should be replaced as well.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Call your builder or the roofer ... it's their problem.

They need to fix the roof and "abate" the mold, whatever it takes. They need to rip out the moldy sheathing, replace it and the roof - doing it PROPERLY this time.

And they need to check ALL the insulation for mold, and replace it and any damaged drywall.

Send DH back up there to take pictures!


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Most molds are not uniformly harmful to humans otherwise we'd all be sick or dead, as mould is everywhere. It's their concentration indoors especially that is the usual source of problems. (Not to mention at least 150 mycotoxins produced by certain moulds that are very dangerous to fatal to humans when consumed, and that even heat cannot affect.)

Removing mould is your builder's responsibility.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inspectapedia on Mould


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Thanks for the comments everybody. DH did go back up there to take photos and document. Right now, they thinks it's a condesation problem having to do with the heating system rather than the roof... either way, ugh...


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

I'd like to see the pics.

best of luck


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

An HVAC system without proper duct seals and insulation in an unconditioned attic is a common problem.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Do not confuse a lack of research with a conclusion.

I'm not sure where you are going with that... I was in a rush, but since many people believe bleach kills mold, I wanted to take the time to tell the OP it doesn't. Bleach gets ride of surface mold, but not the roots/spores. If bleach is used, the mold will return. Even The Clorox Company states it should not be used for mold remediation. OSHA even stopped recommending chlorine bleach for mold remediation.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Sandblasting with dry ice will remove the mold.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

"Sandblasting with dry ice will remove the mold."

No better than wiping it off with a sponge.

You are only treating the surface, even more so than with bleach.

Bleach DOES kill mold, but like ANY treatment must penetrate to the location inside the material.

There does not appear to be a lot of research on bleach penetration, or hydrogen peroxide for that matter.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Bleach gets ride of surface mold, but not kill the roots/spores. If bleach is used, the mold will return.

Even The Clorox Company states it should not be used for mold remediation. OSHA even stopped recommending chlorine bleach for mold remediation.

I stand by my statement.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

first find the reason for the moisture source
stop the moisture intrustion.
Then dedide how much needs remediation.
no matter how you try to "kill" the mold
if the original source of moisture is not
resolved it will occur again.

IR cameras are show moisture & temp differences.
it could be some thing as simple as duct or house
heated air leakage into the attic. a warm air source
near roof decking will cause nails to condensate.

too little info for us to determine, but maybe
point you in the right direction.
pics of roofdecking and attic would help.
pics of roof from exterior would also
provide more info.

best of luck.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

"Even The Clorox Company states it should not be used for mold remediation. OSHA even stopped recommending chlorine bleach for mold remediation."

Clorox does not want to get sued. and OSHA does not deal with anything but worker safety.

Boracare (and every other method) suffers from the same problem.

How do you penetrate as deeply into the wood as the mold may have?

If you remove the source of moisture and then treat the surface the mold is not coming back.


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photos - brand new roof leaking, mold growing in attic... help!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the responses - they are much appreciated. Our contractor (who is a very good one, so that makes things a little better...) has talked to the roofers and the HVAC guys, who both blame each other. They have all said they've never seen anything like this before. The mold/mildew is concentrated above the attic hatch in the master bedroom closet, which was left open during the drywalling/mudding process. Our contractor is somewhat baffled, but is deducing that the moisture in the air during the drywalling process moved up the hatch into the attic where it landed on the plywood pieces and condensed. Interestingly, the plywood pieces where the mold is located is almost solely on the north side of the roof.

However...

Something we can't explain is that the mold is 99.9% on only certain pieces of plywood. There is actually a solid line where the mold stops from one piece to another. It seems to grow only on certain pieces of plywood in the attic. These pieces are a distinctively different color as well. We checked, and all the plywood is made in the USA (thinking of the Chinese drywall scare...). Likewise, the mold isn't growing on any of the rafters themselves.

I've attached some photos of the mold to give a better idea of what I'm talking about.

So far, our GC has put a dehumidifier up there to get rid of the moisture. And we're going to go from there. I asked him if they would replace the pieces and he said they would just put a bleach solution on it to get rid of it. Also, he didn't think the insulation wouldn't be affected and mentioned it had some kind of anti-microbial or anti-mold stuff inside it. Maybe the insulation is blocking some of the roof venting? I don't know... Obviously, they don't want to have to redo the entire roof and attic. That said, I want to make absolutely sure this is taken care of the correct way. Should we bring in an independent mold person? If so, who foots the bill for the service? Where does one even find the right people to take care of this?

On a personal note, I'm allergic to mold and use a steroid inhaler due to this allergy... And we have a two-year-old and 6-month-old who I don't want exposed to anything nasty as well. Our move-in date is at the end of January, but who knows? I don't want to move in to our house if they are still mid-process trying to figure out the source of the mold...

Thank you all again for your opinions and just lending an ear.

Meagan

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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Yes, bring in an independent mold inspector. You should not have to pay for this! Do a Bing.com search for 'mold inspector/remediation' for your area.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Definitely looks like the plywood has something on it, in it, whatever that is growing the mold. Very interesting pictures.

You could be onto something with the attic hatch, drywall, but I can add, that I have seen drywall compound grow mold under carpeting on a slab floor, so its possible that with the stack/chimney effect carrying warm moist air, it probably also carried drywall dust, which wouldve stuck to the condensation on the roof sheathing.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Just bumping this up to see if there are any other (much appreciated) opinions or ideas. We are about 2 weeks from our supposed move-in date, but not much else has been done since I posted. The humidifier is still up there, but we haven't heard much else. Would anyone have any ideas as to why some of the pieces have it and some don't?


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

You can probably repair the leak, kill what is on the surface n get on with life with no impact.

Mold will not grow if you remove the source of moisture, and a decent high summer attic temp will make sure it is dead.

It may form spores and remain, but without moisture it will not grow.

If you make a big enough public issue of it you may have problems with your homeowners insurance (many already decline mold issues now).


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

What Brickeyee said.
Personally..having no experience with cold climates
if the leakage site is eliminated...I wonder will the
roof decking dry out at this early stage of winter.

beware that builders, & trades people will cover for
each other. (not all...but too many) if they delay the
real fix..aka bandaid fix until the home warrenty runs
out (which changes from state to state) then the
repair will be on your dollar.

best of luck...and man I'd freeze to death in your climate!


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

It does sound like the moisture from the drywall mud floated up there and condensed on some cold roof sheathing. There is a huge amount of water in that stuff.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

"It does sound like the moisture from the drywall mud floated up there and condensed on some cold roof sheathing. There is a huge amount of water in that stuff."

If this is the moisture source (and leaks are not normally over a large area) then the problem will be 'fixed' as soon as you close everything up and the nmud finishes drying.

Pre-mixed mud hardens by simply drying out (and shrinking as the water evaporates).

Setting compound (mixed from powder) hardens by chemical reaction, and then the much smaller amount of water used to mix it up evaporates. If mixed with minimum water there is very little shrinkage (even in thick applications over an inch in thickness).


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Doing research for my roof job saw this thread and was wondering whatever happened here? Anyone know.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

jjaazzy,

I used to roof full time about 100 years ago (or so it seems).

I would bet that the main fault was the warm humid air being allowed to enter the attic and with the cold underside of the roof , the moisture condensed under the sheathing and the mold started.

Another problem might have been that the soffit vents were partly blocked, lessening attic air flow, but I doubt that the pros would have done this.

Good luck with your project.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

Was it just me, or did anyone else see rusty nails penetrating the roof sheathing into the attic. If that was rust on the nails, did the moisture come from the exterior roofing side, or did the moisture such that there was enough moist air in the attic from the house interior to rust the nails? I find the latter hard to believe, but I'm no expert on such matters. An experienced roofer or builder would likely know.


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RE: Brand new roof leaking, Mold growing in attic... HELP!

anyone else see rusty nails penetrating the roof sheathing into the attic

I did. It means the roofers didn't use galvanized nails, so they're rusting within a year. It's against Code here. (But, hey, who's gonna see that anyway.)

And it also may indicate poor ventilation and/or a leaky ceiling plane with inadequate or poorly installed insulation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lstiburek's Rules for Venting


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