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I’m being told this is not mold that it is just dirt. There was a leak as well as a smell to this. Would like to know if this is mold?

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    Hard to tell. I presume this is at the top of an exterior wall, under the eave. The stuff that was behind the trim may be some sort of glue, it may be cellulose insulation that has gotten wet, or it may be rot. It's more than just dirt. (And where there is rot there is mold.) – Hot Licks Oct 18 '20 at 16:11
  • Probably both (aka the answer does not have to strictly be one or the other) – Ack Oct 18 '20 at 16:24
  • Mold is ubiquitous - some of it will certainly be mold. A better question is, if it is mold are there any health concerns, and that depends on type, location and exposure. If this is in your bedroom you certainly want it encapsulated, sealed or removed. – Fresh Codemonger Oct 18 '20 at 19:31

There is no way for us to tell for sure. It looks like mold to me and that's a strange place for dirt to just accumulate. So lets play it safe. Get a spray bottle of white distilled vinegar and spray the area thoroughly. The vinegar is great for killing not only surface mold but also going below the surface to the roots. Let the vinegar sit for an hour and then wipe off. You might need a second application. You can then rinse with hot water and let dry. Spray again and let the vinegar dry naturally, the smell of the vinegar will dissapate in a few hours. Don't use bleach, it's only good for surface mold.


Spray bleach on it ;it will pretty much disappear if it is mold. Assuming it is not so thick that one application of bleach is insufficient . There will clearly be a difference in appearance although a few applications of bleach may be required.

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