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I removed a section of baseboard and found some unusual little blackish-brownish clumps on the back of it and the drywall that it was fastened to:

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Anyone have any idea what these might be?

For context, this baseboard came off of an interior wall in a dark coat closet. There is some old termite damage nearby (they ate the paper off some drywall) but no tubes or current activity. Maybe it's mold caused by the old water damage that attracted the termites?

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Your guess of mold is correct. The moisture that was or is still present does attract termites also. Something worth checking into, why there is excess moisture enough to harbor mold

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  • That makes sense. A perpendicular wall was used to make plumbing modifications in a prior bathroom remodel that shows signs of being lowest-bidder quality work. I opened up the wall and there's no current leak, but there may have been one in the past. If it's been dry for some time, would the mold be able to stick around? How long can that type mold last without further wetting?
    – iLikeDirt
    May 18, 2014 at 3:40
  • That is a good question, My thought on that is no moisture or food, no mold. Though perhaps the mold only needs excess moisture to get started, it may only need humidity to keep going after established, with a handy food source... I would bleach it at least, a dilution in a spray bottle, or use X-14, I have used that, it turned walls white again that had mildew on them in a basement. Strong odor. I understand it is no more than a premix of bleach too. Smells like it...
    – Jack
    May 18, 2014 at 3:56
  • @iLikeDirt Approximately forever. It does not go away without being removed. The dry spores await any new moisture to begin actively growing again.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 18, 2014 at 3:56
  • Approximately forever is a pretty long time. :) The sure fire way to get rid of it is to cut out the drywall and replace it with a new piece.
    – Jack
    May 18, 2014 at 3:59
  • Thanks all; makes sense, as usual. I suspect the original moisture damage was more than 7 years ago, since that's about when the house was treated for termites and the ones that were attracted to this bit are all long-dead. I've bleached the hell out of that area and will probably replace the drywall anyway. The fun never ends...
    – iLikeDirt
    May 18, 2014 at 4:11
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It certainly looks like mold/mildew - nice pictures of the little balled up colonies/spores.

I'd get some bleach on that pronto, for starters.

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