LESLIE: Ben in Massachusetts has a leaky roof and is wondering about mildew. Tell us what happened. Is it still leaking? What’s going on?
BEN: Yes, Tom and Leslie, I have a little problem with a shed roof.
BEN: OK, I intend to get it repaired, (inaudible at 0:12:31.5). But stain is coming through inside the house.
BEN: Ceiling is all stained. Now, how can I detect if I have any mildew or mold?
TOM: Well, the first thing, Ben, is to get the leak fixed; because if you don’t get the leak fixed, then you could definitely be growing some mildew or some decay in between the roof and the ceiling. But if you get the leak fixed and you dry it out, then all those decay organisms essentially stop deteriorating your wood.
BEN: Is there any way of telling if I do have mold without pulling (ph) the boards apart now or …?
TOM: I would worry more about getting it fixed so it doesn’t leak anymore and not so much about what’s happening in a place that you can’t get to and can’t see.
BEN: OK, so basically you can smell mold. Correct?
TOM: Well, you – sometimes you can. But if you dry it out, then decay organisms can’t deteriorate your wood. In your case, I’d be more worried about the structure than anything else. You see, if wood gets 25 percent moist, then the decay organisms wake up and start to eat away at the wood and that’s how you get rotted roof rafters and rotted roof sheathing. So you’ve got to fix this leak so that that stops happening.
BEN: Right. OK, sounds great.
TOM: Alright, Ben. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.