why only one basement joist moldy?

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Old 04-30-17, 09:54 PM
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why only one basement joist moldy?

house built around 1993, NJ. Basement was finished around mid 90's.
A ~10x10 unfinished storage area has just one ceiling joist showing signs of rot. The sump pump is on the other side of the basement. There's a French drain. There's two large humidifiers that have been running for decades. About a few years ago, they noticed some black/dark dusty stuff on just one of the joists in the unfinished area. There are maybe 5 other joists that look perfectly fine. Not sure the exact species. They are solid wood joists, not engineered I joists. The floor above the joists is plywood, not OSB. It looks fine. They wiped the black dusty stuff (mold spores I guess) off the joist and sprayed it with a mold stop product. The joist has blotches of black areas.


I couldn't really get into the sill plate area (there's storage shelving in the way on both sides), but it doesn't look like the rot started from the end and moved towards the center of the joist which has black blotches.


So anyway, what would cause just one single joist to rot like this? The basement has no basement'y smell or anything, is a higher end home that most likely had good coating on foundation before backfilled. All the other joists and the 2x4 pine storage shelves look perfectly fine.


I was thinking just spray with bleach, but will check out some other mold stop products real quick unless someone has a suggestion for treatment. I'm baffled though why just one joist is moldy. Wasn't kiln dried enough? I dunno. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-01-17, 03:08 AM
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You say the wood is rotted. The mold probably didn't cause that. The mold occurred because of the wood failure and moisture/dark/heat. Do you have pictures of this joist. If it is rotted it needs replacement.
 
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Old 05-01-17, 03:30 AM
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I agree if it's rot that you can stick a knife or screwdriver in - that wood likely needs replacing!
pics might give us a better idea of just what is going on
 
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Old 05-01-17, 09:26 PM
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sorry, rotted was definitely the wrong wording. It's not rotted. It's not soft or anything. It just has some mold on it, I guess was mold spores. They said they wiped it clean and was fuzzy/gritty and then sprayed mold stop. It now has black spots and blotches. The ceiling is about 8 feet off the basement floor. Yes it's a dark room, no windows. I would just think, yea even with 2 large humidifiers running constantly for ~20 years, that the basement just still has some moisture that caused the mold. But strange is that only one joist has it. I believe also one humidifier is in this 10x10 unfinished storage area.
 
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Old 05-02-17, 07:27 PM
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bump. any ideas why just one showing mold?
 
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Old 05-03-17, 03:30 AM
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Mold requires 3 things to grow; moisture, heat and a food source. Take away any one of the 3 and mold won't grow. The wood is the food source, removing the heat isn't likely an option so that means controlling the moisture is what you need to do. Not sure why it would only affect 1 joist. Is there any plumbing nearby? Are you sure it's mold? pics could be helpful
 
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