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42 votes
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Why are we to leave a front-loader clothes washer open, but not the dishwasher?

TL;DR Temperature Dishwashers use hot water, because that's the way to clean dishes. Then they heat up the hot water even more to sanitize the dishes. Food safety requires it. US dishwashers normally ...
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35 votes
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Does A/C encourage mold growth

Yeah, that advice was super wrong. Moisture encourages mold growth. After a water leak you need to go to extremes to dry the air to get wet things to evaporate into the air, which you then ...
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23 votes

What should I do about mold in a new build?

First of all, you should probably contact a mold abatement contractor. Not only should they be able to remove the existing mold, they should be able to identify its cause as well. Then you may need ...
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  • 20.3k
23 votes
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Mold or rust stain on roof truss

Neither. It's labeling paint. It was either sprayed onto the entire lumber unit or this truss set for identification. source
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  • 104k
18 votes
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What is this white powder on my foundation?

Looks like effloresence to me, which itself is not harmful, but possibly a symptom, mainly of water movement; I would check perimeter walls for further signs of water infiltration, and make sure water ...
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  • 1,242
18 votes
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What is this black sooty material on the inside of my roller shutter?

Looks like fungus of some sort. It grows on many surfaces. Try household cleaners and a sponge. There are many types of mold, and the hysteria surrounding them is often unwarranted. Mold spores are ...
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  • 104k
18 votes

I've moved into a new apartment for a while. Is this mold? Is it safe to continue live here?

Looks more like mildew, which is related to mold, but not as dangerous (from a health standpoint). Yes, a dehumidifier could help prevent mildew. I would also look for sources of the moisture, e.g. a ...
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  • 14.4k
16 votes

Does A/C encourage mold growth

You are being sold. The evaporator coil in the AC condenses water vapor in the air. It does this by blowing the warm air from your home over the cool evaporator coil. The cool coil pulls the moisture ...
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14 votes

Something in my home is making my family sick. How do I determine what it is?

There could be several factors that may be contributing to the situation. It sounds like an air quality problem. This could be caused by airborne mold spores, chemical contamination from bad paint or ...
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14 votes

Why are we to leave a front-loader clothes washer open, but not the dishwasher?

Certainly washing machine door seals are more prone to mould, but there's another reason to leave the dishwasher door shut: It's perfectly placed for walking into and tripping over, in the kitchen ...
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  • 3,664
13 votes

Does A/C encourage mold growth

It is possible for A/C to cause mold issues but it depends on a few factors. The problem is this: when choosing a A/C unit for a home, often people (even 'professionals') will assume that bigger is ...
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  • 1,761
11 votes

Joists in Basement (for main floor) black - is this mold?

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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  • 123
10 votes

What is the recommended way to destroy mold?

I just find it useful to recap all the information I could find on the web about it and the unanswered questions and hypotheses that still need to be tested. Please feel free to correct and update my ...
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  • 301
9 votes

What is this black sooty material on the inside of my roller shutter?

Clean it up with bleach and a sponge (chlorine is the main ingredient of mold-cleaners). If your home is humid (RH >55%) consider installing a dehumidfier so with less moisture you get less mold.
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  • 2,099
9 votes
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What should I do about mold in a new build?

What should I do immediately about the mold? I'm worried about breathing in the mold, and unsure of whether I should try and save the items of clothing that have mold on them. There's a couple of ...
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  • 19.7k
8 votes

What is this white powder on my foundation?

Efflorescence, salts rising to the surface due to presence of moisture. Common in cementitious materials where water is present. You can wash it away with mild HCL solution but the stains will remain....
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  • 33.4k
7 votes

How to manage mold growing along the bottom vinyl window frame of every window in an R2000 home?

First, kill the mold with bleach and wipe down the whole area to try to get rid of as many spores as possible. Next, identify and treat the root cause. Mold at the bottom of the inside would suggest ...
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  • 12.2k
7 votes
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How to prevent mold in stored joint compound

Mold grows on any surface that provides food for growth. Joint compound contains organic compounds and lots of moisture. The compound will only last a finite length of time even under "ideal" ...
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  • 10.8k
7 votes

When buying a rental home after many years of our occupancy, is a home inspection still necessary?

Yes, unless you are an inspector yourself. Inspections often catch things owners don't know about. The owner may have maintained it meticulously, but he can only fix the problems he knows about. My ...
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  • 1,665
7 votes

What is this black sooty material on the inside of my roller shutter?

This is indeed black mold. We had the same problem at home because: A vent is built between the shutter box and our bedroom. The shutter box wasn't insulated at all: the lath was cold and had a large ...
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7 votes
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Help me identify: Mold or fungus or Moss?

This is a combination of Moss (the thick rounded lumps) and lichen (the very thin plants) It is no worse for your health than having the same plants growing on your footpath or driveway or rocks. ...
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  • 6,826
6 votes
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Is this mold on my AC vent?

Definitely mold. Yes you can clean it off - use a mixture of bleach and water. I would however be concerned with the original cause. If you don't fix this, it will just happen all over again.
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  • 27.1k
6 votes
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What is this black stuff that appeared on my drain after cleaning with a bleach-based cleaner and how do I clean it?

This may not be mold but the chrome plating having pin holes and the cleaners / moisture eating the base metals have created a new problem. I would try to dry the area and use a quality fingernail ...
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  • 95.5k
6 votes
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Gray "Dust" On Pink Insulation in Attic

I've been in no less than 300 attics and every one of then has had dust, grey dust, in them. Your attic has soffits installed to vent the attic. You also have vent pipes going through the roof to vent ...
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  • 53.2k
6 votes

I've moved into a new apartment for a while. Is this mold? Is it safe to continue live here?

Yes it is mold. However it doesn't appear to be growing. It looks like the apartment had a water issue and it wasn't dried very quickly. This surface mold can be cleaned up from most things pretty ...
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  • 46.2k
6 votes

Fixing water-damaged, rotting frame. Who to hire?

Does that stud seem structurally weak? Houses are framed and built with redundancy baked directly into the code books. A single rotted stud is not going to make your house collapse. Besides, houses ...
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5 votes

Inside of Washing Machine smells horrible. How to fix?

First, let me say, you are far from the first person to have smell problems with washers, especially front-loaded ones. This has been the topic of many conversations resulting from home inspections ...
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5 votes

Are there any side effects of using sodium hydroxide as a mold-cleaner in the shower?

I think you are right to use caustic. NaOH is fantastic. It comes with some positives that outweigh the negatives in your case. Peroxyacetic Acid or Peracetic acid, they are the same, come with ...
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5 votes
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Are there any side effects of using sodium hydroxide as a mold-cleaner in the shower?

I'm a materials scientist, and I can tell you that the main plastic components used in plumbing products are generally polyolefins (polypropylene, polyethylene and polybutylene etc...). They are ...
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  • 66
5 votes

Killing mold IN drywall using Borax solution - what now?

NO this plan has no merit, spraying the borax water solution in a hole would only get some, if any of the mold and you would be guesting anyway. If your house was on fire would you drill holes in the ...
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