Mold or Dirt?


I have a lot of fiberglass insulation in my attice that is grey to dark gray/black in spots on the exposed top and the edges. I was told today by the local code enforcement he didn't beleive it was mold, but was dirt/dust. It can be seen here:
http://i13.tinypic.com/3y3h95l.jpg
Not all the places that are this color are up against an obvious moldy piece of wood.
My cold air return for my furnace also looks like this on one end of the house:
http://i14.tinypic.com/2cmnogk.jpg
Again, the same story "most likely that is just dirt or something".
This section is above an unheated 2 car garage.
And this all over one whole section of the attic roof:
http://i14.tinypic.com/2d8jpg3.jpg
(He did admit it was mold).
There are some other boards with a greenish-white-blackish mold in the attic.
Any opinions?
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In the second pic, the joist on the right, that sure looks like mold to me.
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If you spray a little bleach, diluted a bit, on mold it will lose its color, or most it, in 30-60 seconds. If it is dirt, no real color change.
emichael brandt
Sees-koo-wee-hah-nay wrote:

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Yup, that's mold all right. You have a roof leakage or a condensation problem that has got to be fixed.
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MOLD! AHHH!!!!!!!!!!! YOU WILL DIE SOON!!! FIX IT NOW!!!!!!! Just kidding. It looks like mold to me. Fix the leak and have someone clean the mold.
Sees-koo-wee-hah-nay wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I know you're making a joke but it is my firm belief that all the various ailments my kids and myself are suffering MAY be a result of breathing in this crap for the last 11 years that we have been renting this home. I never had any kind of allergy or other problems until I moved in. I don't think it's normal for a child to get pneumonia 4 times in the past 7 years. I don't thinks it's normal for 3 kids to all keep getting nosebleeds, sometims all at the same time (now that's some chaos!). In the past I've spent months at a specialist in an attempt to get a diagnosis for intense muscle pain and elevated CK levels along with constant fatigue and dizzyness and in the end they just can't find what's causing it.
I had an engineer visit the home via my renters insurance and the offical report is that the attic lacks adequate ventilation resulting in condensation on its ceiling, and the ceiling above the unheated garage lacks adequate insulation resulting in condensation on the bedroom floors. There are no leaks of any kind noted. I had the local code enforcement come in after the landlord started downplaying the problem and jerking me around. I am now in the process of getting set up for testing. Thanks for all who replied.

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On 27 Oct 2006 12:45:30 -0700, "Sees-koo-wee-hah-nay"

Don't even bother. Just move at the nect opportunity.
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Goedjn wrote:

I'm not getting testing done so I can stay here, I'm getting it done because I'm tired of getting dicked around by these people and I need to get it confirmed. I am already in the process of securing another place to live, in the meantime I'm gathering all the information I can.
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I would move first of all. But that amount of mold doesn't look like enough to cause all of the problems you talked about, but Im not a doctor. Many molds are not toxic.
And, why wait 11 years to see if it was the house? It doesn't look like the mold is 11 years old...
Sees-koo-wee-hah-nay wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

That's why I'm gathering information. The attic ceiling mold covers at least 1/4 of the ceiling area and the mold on the rafters is rather extensive. I talked to the kids pediatrician today and he is going to talk with someone else who has more expertise and get back with me. At this point I do not know if it's in the walls or anyplace else that may be hidden.

And that's my problem, when the owners were told about this, I expressed that my first concern was that they get someone in here and find out what it is and if it can cause any problems. That was 9 days ago and still no one has come. I haven't ran my furnace for that length of time. All I wanted was someone to come in and set things straight but that never happened so I'm done with their BS.

I never had a reason to look for anything until I found that the carpet in 2 bedrooms was moldy. After beginning to remove it I came online and learned where to look for mold and thus my search began. The attic is not well lighted and if you are just up there looking for something you put up there you will not see any mold. The code enforcement person said just that "I don't see anything out of the ordinary" and when I held my flashlight at the right angle he then said (in regards to the roof mold) "oh yeah, this is going to get expensive for someone". Was the 30 year old furnace causing problems before it was replaced last year or is the new furnace inadeqate for this house? That's another peice of the puzzle and as I said, I'm not getting anywhere with the owners. Maybe it's because they are ready to sell this property?

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On 27 Oct 2006 17:27:00 -0700, "Sees-koo-wee-hah-nay"

Well, from the owners standpoint, you've been there 11 years an nobody's died, so it's probably hard to develop any real sense of urgency.
On the other hand, there's a big range of "irritant" and "allergen" between "toxic" and "harmless". Making sure that your furnace has a good, new, clean filter in it, and possibly running a stand-alone air cleaner would both probably have an immediate effect. in the short term. It's not obvious to be that mold in the attic should be an urgent health issue, unless the attic is part of the air-circulation path of your furnace. (Which is possible, but it's a dumb-ass way to put a house together.)
If the owners are not cooperative, I'd try a new filter, an air cleaner, and bleaching the cold-air-return with a mop in the short term, and move as soon as possible.
--Goedjn

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