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Dry rot and mold?

I'm getting ready to buy a house.  Had it inspected and the inspector said that there are two joists that needs replaced and he would recommend getting a contractor to look at it. The contractor immediately told us that all the joists were dry rotted and had black mold and it would cost about 15000.00 dollars. The seller got two different contractors to come out and look and they both said that the joists are sawmill lumber and just looks like that, also said that it gets discolored. The black stuff on the joists wipes off with your hand. Just not sure what to do. Would hate to miss out on this house because of one contractor who doesn't know what he's doing. 

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13 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    So, get your own second opinion on this.  

    If the color easily wipes off...it aint from the sawmill.  Could be black mold or just harmless mildew.  

     

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  • Bort
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    That coloration in my opinion is not from the sawmill. Especially if it wipes off easily. What they're referring to that makes wood from a saw mill a darker color (can be and sometimes is black) is when the blade gets dull and it starts burning through the log instead of cutting it. When that happens at a saw mill they either sharpen or change the blade. Getting wood that has dull-blade damage on it isn't impossible, it happens and, yeah, why not use it in places that aren't common living areas where it won't be seen often? It's still strong. 

    Dull-blade damage doesn't wipe off easily.  Mold and dirt does. 

    Whatever kind of mold it is mold needs moisture to grow and multiply. If it's mold the moisture issue needs to be addressed first.

    Your primary need is to figure out and identify what exactly it is. Black mold is a pretty serious health hazard. The type of black mold that's hazardous to our health doesn't present it self on wood like like that, in your photo. In wood the black mold that's dangerous grows in little dots, and as I said it doesn't just wipe off real easily it has to be shot with a strong cleaning chemical and scrubbed. 

    https://youtu.be/bYbpC7NuJPA

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    There's an easy way to test it yourself to see whether it's mold or not:

    https://youtu.be/88vlwbUyd9I

    Youtube thumbnail

    If you find mold have it lab tested to determine what kind of mold it is. 

    You're getting too many different answers so therefore your best way to get the accurate answer you need is to do it yourself, test it yourself, and get your own answer from someone who knows exactly what they're doing. A contractor may not be educationally trained experts on how to identify molds and dirts and whatever that black coloration might be. A person in a lab you send a test kit like the above to is. 

    Contractors fix, build, and put things together. They're not science experts. You need an opinion and determination from an expert. A contractor isn't the kind of expert you need to find out what that blackness is. 

    If it does turn out to be black mold it's in your best interest not to purchase that building. 

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  • 1 month ago

    I see the mold but where is the rot, in the picture. If these are the only joists in the crawl space that are having a problem, then why is that? This does not mean there really is a problem but its worrisome.  I would get yet another contractor to inspect it. Don't tell them anything that anyone has said. Just ask them if they thik any reapirs are needed.

    Problem is, the inspector sometimes exagerates to cover his a**. The contractor you hired may have no real clue but they figure the beams are at least discolored so they can make some $$$ and quote you a new one in case this is a problem. The seller may have used contractors that know him well and he may have bugged them to say there was no problem (though even if there were a problem, it might be major). 

    So, its very likely that nobody is really sure if this is a big deal or not but everyone has a vested interest in saying what they said.

    I would also suggest you get the names of the contractors the seller called and then call them yourself and see if they are truly sure there is no problem or if possibly the seller was exaggerating what they said.

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  • 1 month ago

    If one said it's mold & dry rotted I would get a third one to inspect. You DON'T want the house if that's the case!

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  • Mark
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    That's why you hired the inspector.  You can certainly negotiate all or part of the $15K and they can refuse.  You can choose to walk away or buy.  

    I've walked away before when the sellers wouldn't negotiate repairs.

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  • 1 month ago

    Black mould has a wet, slimy texture and a mildew smell (think rotting leaves). Other molds can have a light, fuzzy texture.  Most mould is quite harmless. 

    Dry rot is one of the most severely damaging decaying forces on household wood in the world.  It is almost impossible to eliminate, I would never buy a house that had it anywhere.

    Get another contractor, this one is an idiot.

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  • 1 month ago

    I would trust the inspector. He has nothing to gain.

    • The inspector was not the one who diagnosed black mould and dry rot.  It was the contractor who did that.

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  • 1 month ago

    Make an offer for $15,000 less than what you had planned on, to make up for the repairs that will cost you when you hire one of the companies that you had look at it.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Real Estate law experience.
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  • 1 month ago

    maybe you should buy another house that dont have so much mold in it

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  • 1 month ago

    I personally would go with the inspector because he has nothing to gain. He’ll report his findings back to the bank and the bank will decide whether or not to lend you the money (assuming you’re not paying it off right away). 

    It’s the inspector’s job to get the right people to look at the house so that it benefits the bank. The last thing the bank wants is for the building to collapse or there’s a black mold contamination because you can argue that you were mislead so you should t have to pay back the loan since the house is condemned. 

    The seller has everything to gain. How do you know that his contractors don’t work for him or if they’re really contractors. 

    If you want to be 100% sure, hire your own contractor to look it over. He has nothing to gain by lying to you. You pay him to inspect and that’s what he’ll do. 

    • He did hire his own contractor.  It was the contractor who said black mould and dry rot, not the inspector.

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