Possible mold? Need clarification please

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Old 07-27-16, 11:28 PM
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Possible mold? Need clarification please

I noticed this on top of my baseboard the other day. It's black in color and almost looks like gun powder (it's definitely not) and I wiped it up and it returned in a week. When looking at it I noticed the window above had some water damage on the window stool. Even though this window is under my porch. In winter I have noticed water on my window sills on a couple occasions and a/c vents were wet too. Any ideas if this even looks like mold? Thank you

 
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Old 07-28-16, 04:14 AM
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Looks more like mildew but it's hard to say without seeing the backside of the drywall or baseboard. Mildew doesn't generally return that quick once it's washed off. Is the drywall still solid?
 
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Old 07-28-16, 06:16 AM
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What is directly above that area? It could be dust. Usually I see deposits like that under door hinges but with the crack between the wall and base molding air could be blowing in and depositing dust.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 06:22 AM
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I think I'd want to double check to make sure it isn't wood dust from Termites, Carpenter Ants, or Powder Post Beetles gnawing at the structural members behind the sheetrock.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 05:57 AM
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directly above it is a window sill. About a foot up just out of the picture. So I am looking at ripping the baseboard out there to check around? Possibly go ahead and rip up the window sill too? We are nervous especially with a toddler in the house don't want her breathing in MOLD!!
 
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Old 07-29-16, 06:03 AM
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With no more than you've showed us, I wouldn't be overly concerned especially if none of you have any respiratory issues. Mold has been present in folks lives forever, it's just that lately it's gotten more media attention. If the drywall feels solid I'd just caulk the crack and keep an eye on it.

Mold need 3 things to grow; heat, moisture and a food source. Is there anything you can do to keep it dry at the window? Is there a leak or is it condensation?
 
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Old 07-29-16, 06:46 AM
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This is what is happening on the window sill right above it.. oh and I guess just im the picture it looks like a crack ontop the baseboards, but in person it's caulked solid.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 07:33 AM
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Looking at yesterday's (7/28/16) photo, I saw two(2) foreign substances; one on the floor at the base of the MopBoard which appeared "tan", and another at the top of the MopBoard where it abuts the stuccoed wall, and that one appears "black".

I initially focused on the bottom "tan" material. Maybe that's just a reflection of your camera's flash?, and not the tan wood dust indicating insect activity that I originally suspected. It's that bottom location on the floor where I've frequently seen the telltale evidence of wood destroying insects.

So, here's hoping that what I saw along the floor was just a flash refection !
 
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Old 07-29-16, 08:35 AM
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Have you figured out where the moisture is coming from? If the window is leaking that needs to be fixed and is likely more serious than if it's just cold weather condensation.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 11:04 AM
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There is no brown type shavings there, that must be the reflection. The black powder ontop of the baseboards is what I was asking about. The window is under my front porch by about 5ft on that side and about 3ft in front of the window. Just strikes me as odd that it would be leaking that much water from rain? Think I should just rip everything up and see what's back there... The baseboard is sealed where the black powder is so I couldn't imagine mold coming through? My initial suspicion was it was falling down from above, but visually looking without ripping anything up I see nothing out of the ordinary.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 01:15 PM
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You never did say if there is a lot of condensation on the window at times. If you can rule out wind driven rain it's likely condensation especially if they are old windows. Personally I wouldn't be in a hurry to rip anything out especially if the drywall is still sound.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 11:07 PM
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I live in South TX, so I've only noticed condensation maybe 2 times and it was in the winter. The house was built in 2003. The drywall is still solid feeling. There is water damage on the sill though as you can see in the pic.. thinking I should at least pull the baseboard to see what's behind it? I installed the floors and base, so I can fix it fairly easy
 
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Old 07-30-16, 04:05 AM
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Unless the paint is lifting from the stool, the water damage looks minimal. If you feel you must investigate further pulling the base, maybe poking a hole above the bottom plate would be the best place to start.
 
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Old 09-04-16, 12:21 PM
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I finally got time to take a look... this is what I see when I removed the window stool. There was what looks like black felt type paper ontop of the 2x and under the felt It's a black substance that looks like tar almost.. has a shiny appearance too... The thing that worries me is it smells musty. Any ideas what I should do???

 
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Old 09-04-16, 12:40 PM
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Huh... a black substance under the tar paper that looks like tar. Better call in csi. (j/k) Heh heh. Put it back together and don't leave your windows open when it's raining. There is nothing to worry about here.
 
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Old 09-04-16, 03:43 PM
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We never open the windows, mich less while raining! After we got like 3" of rain the other day there was standing water on the stool. I tried sealing outside so we'll see how that goes. The musty smell has me worried because just in that corner smells that way, not the rest of the sill. With that smell it has to be something though right??
 
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Old 09-04-16, 04:46 PM
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Give us pictures of the outside that shows the entire window and siding.
 
 

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