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In a storage area in my basement, the ceiling is not finished. I notice recently that the wood joists for the main floor are covered in these patches of black. Is this likely mold or something else (burned wood?). Is there anything to do or check, or should I just get a mold detection kit?

photo showing area of concern another area of concern yet another photo

The house is only a few years old. This is an unfinished storage area and it is not typically that moist in there. I put in some desiccants and they've barely absorbed any moisture, but I can't remember if the wood liked like this when I moved in. I don't really see anything on any of the exposed wall framing or OSB subfloor that looks like this in this unfinished area either.

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    that looks like writing
    – jsotola
    Dec 31, 2021 at 0:09

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The existing answer does a great job of telling you what it is but you should also know how to visually identify mold. Albeit, sending a sample to a lab is the only 100% way to be certain.

New mold starting

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Ongoing mold

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Dried and dead mold

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Dry and fresh mold mixed

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Mold rotting issue

The structural integrity has been compromised and the proper fix is replacement.

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This looks like black spray paint. Mold would tend to have a less uniform appearance, and you would likely have other indications of moisture.

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    Absolutely correct. It's very common for truss plants and lumber yards to label orders after they're accumulated in a stack.
    – isherwood
    Dec 30, 2021 at 19:54

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