Possible Mold?

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Posted by: from Vancouver
4/25/2013 at 6:18:25 PM

The bathroom in the condo above mine has been leaking. The ceiling in my bathroom is starting to bubble out from the leak. I have recently noticed on one section of the bubbling a lot of dark spots.

Could this be mold, or (hopefully) something less concerning behind the paint? I attached a picture.

Any help is appreciated.



possible mold?
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Ashley in Vancouver
Date/Time4/25/2013 at 6:18:58 PM

Here is another picture. I do not see any dark spots on the other bubbly sections, just the one in the picture above.

Possible Mold?
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James from KbHome in Ottawa
Date/Time4/25/2013 at 7:15:12 PM

Black mold will start with small circles and get bigger with time. If it doesn't get any bigger just wash with javex and re paint ceiling with Anti mold paint.

Hope this helps.


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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 7:17:55 PM

Hello Ashley,

By the description that you provided it sounds like it is mold, especially if it is a reoccurring problem. You should get the superintendent or the building maintenance personnel to investigate the leak above and fix it before you go ahead and fix the problem on your end. All leaks have to be sealed before you repair your ceiling. Otherwise you're going to face the same problem again.

Chances are its either coming from the toilet gasket or vanity drain. And some times bath tub drain.

I hope this was helpful.

Kentaver Contracting

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 7:22:12 PM


If the intrusion of moisture which has come into contact with the organic material, has not been dealt with within 24 - 48 hours, mold can occur with the right conditions. The black spots can certainly be mold, but to confirm samples should be taken, and confirmed by a lab.


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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 7:39:18 PM

The dark spot is most likely black mold and should be remediated/replaced. The source of the water leak should be repaired prior to repairing the ceiling.

You may also be able to contact the strata corporation that manages your condo building for help with this matter. If the ceiling leak is caused by common property most of the time they will pay for repairs.

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 7:47:41 PM

This could definitely be mold. Mold needs three things to grow, moisture, warmth and a food source.

Gypsum wallboard has a paper backing, which is where most mold growth is found, this type of mold is typically penicillium aspergillus. This is actually a classification of two different mold types that are difficult to differenciate under a microscope, the latter of which is considered one of the toxic molds, meaning it gives off mycotoxins which can be harmful to humans.

The wood framing of the ceiling can also harbor mold growth, usually cladosporium, which when mixed with penicillium aspergillus and given growth conditions for an extended period of time, can mutate into stachybotris, which is the most commonly referred to "black mold".

These issues typically present themselves as you have explained and can cause a feeling of constantly being sick, loss of appetite, headaches, nausea, and a plethora of much more serious symptoms in people with compromised immune systems such as children or the elderly.

My recommendation as a professional in this field is to have your indoor air quality tested and the issue dealt with by a certified company. If you are renting then your landlord is responsible for supplying a living area free from biological contaminants, which is what a mold problem presents.

Shawn Walsh

Canadian Envirotec Inc


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Jason from Bovaird Contracting in Barrie
Date/Time4/25/2013 at 8:25:00 PM

Hi Ashley, how are you.

In all my experiences if your paint is bubbling and there is brown spots on your ceiling then you will have mould. If there's brown spots, the water has absorbed through your drywall and rotting away and where ever you have water marks there will eventually be mould. And if you think about it there really isn't any clean water that leaks from a bathroom.

Your best bet is to once the leak upstairs is fixed, remove all stained drywall and replace with new.

I hope that helps you.

Jay (bovaird contracting)

705 331 9938

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 8:56:48 PM


From my experience in the past, black dots usually start to become mold.

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Ashley in Vancouver
Date/Time4/25/2013 at 9:40:51 PM

Thank you all for your replies. You've been very helpful, much appreciated. Wonderful group of contractors on this site.


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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 10:19:29 PM

Hi Ashley,

It is very likely that you have mold. However, it is my understanding that the people who own the condo above you are responsible for your ceiling. It is their responsibility to prevent anything from leaking in their condo onto your ceiling.

Whenever, we go into a condo to replace a hot water tank we always place it in a metal tray and make sure that there is proper drainage. This would help to reduce any water damage if for any reason the tank starting leaking years down the road.

I would check your condo contract to see who is responsible for ensuring the leak has been fixed and who is responsible for repairing your ceiling.

Good luck!

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Date/Time4/27/2013 at 11:09:06 PM

Hi Ashley,

Yes, it sounds like mould, however not a health risk if its looked after. Just write a letter to your land lord and tell him about it that way you have proof he's been notified and give him a month or so to deal with it. Tell him that if it's not dealt with by a certain date you will have the repair done and take it out of your rent Just go to the rentals men and give him a copy of the recites.

Aaron Vega

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Date/Time5/9/2013 at 1:19:04 PM

Hi Ashley

Black mold is a health risk. Another option if you do not get quick action from your landlord is to call the B.C. or Vancouver Board of Health and make a complaint and send pictures. Your landlord will be stumbling over himself in a New York minute to fix your problem.

Good Luck


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Leslie in San Diego
Date/Time8/14/2013 at 1:51:19 AM

The key to avoiding mold and its accompanying health problems is by controlling humidity in the home. Buy a relative humidity gauge and keeping humidity between 40 and 60 percent in warmer months. To reduce condensation potential in the winter, keep the humidity level at 30 to 35 percent.

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