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Strange sticky dots appearing on basement objects

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  • Apr 16th, 2020 2:12 pm
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[OP]
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Jul 9, 2003
347 posts
127 upvotes

Strange sticky dots appearing on basement objects

Hello all,

Since moving into our country home I've been noticing these little dots appearing on things. Mostly confined to the basement. We keep the humidity low. We have very high levels of minerals in our water.

This lampshade for example has been attached to a lamp in the basement and the light has been left on for years (two cats).

My projector is getting them on it.
The ceiling (drop) is getting them on it.
The pot lights are getting them on it!

What the heck are they?!
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21 replies
Deal Addict
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Dec 27, 2007
1264 posts
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Oshawa
Tar. Were the previous owners smokers?
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3908 posts
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Toronto
looks like mold spores beginning to grow....

Probably looks a lot worse in your HVAC ducts and behind the walls
Deal Addict
Feb 24, 2008
2998 posts
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Mississauga
Blood Splatter omg!

I agree with the poster about mold. Are these items near vents?
Deal Addict
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Mar 23, 2008
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Toronto
Partially cover the vents with a light layer of tp. See if it goes on the tp.
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
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Toronto
NEMESIS_2008 wrote: Partially cover the vents with a light layer of tp. See if it goes on the tp.
TP is a valuable commodity nowadays... I don't think he should be wasting TP on a test like this,

Just open up a vent and I'm sure he'll see the interior walls lined with this stuff. Scary to think that he's living in it, breathing this 24/7.

If you look at the last photo, its a circular vent, typically used in a basement, where your spin it either opened or closed... From the picture it looks like he has it completely closed. I'm guessing that all/most vents in the basement are closed like this in an effort to save heating costs. But in reality, its creating very stale air and allowing the mold to thrive in what can be a very damp environment, especially during spring thaw. There might be some water ingress either below the finished floor (which appears to be carpet..... never recommend that for a basement) or behind the gypsum/insulation from the concrete foundation.

He noted that he keeps the humidity low... but how? by not running the humidifier on his furnace? Or is he running a dehumidifer in the basement? Is he monitoring the relative humidity level in his basement and not just on the main level of his house where the T-stat is located?
Member
May 15, 2017
202 posts
181 upvotes
Weird. First thought was: projector - warm surface, lamp shade - warm surface, pot light - warm surface, vent cover - warm surface.
Could be condensation related?

Take some ceiling tiles down and poke your head around to rule out any other larger issues first. What is the humidity level in the basement?
Deal Addict
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Oct 14, 2010
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Barrie ON
My first thoughts were insect poo, although I can't say what type of insect. If the spots are sticky to the touch, then that makes my theory more likely. "Turtler's" theory about warm surfaces also fits in, since insects are drawn towards light and heat.

EDIT: I just noticed that you mentioned sticky in the title of the thread.
Sr. Member
Apr 5, 2009
934 posts
233 upvotes
Hmm, I'm at a lost here... my gut says some weird fungus... are those the only places u see them? I'd love to know what the heck those are?
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
Rick007 wrote: My first thoughts were insect poo, although I can't say what type of insect. If the spots are sticky to the touch, then that makes my theory more likely. "Turtler's" theory about warm surfaces also fits in, since insects are drawn towards light and heat.

EDIT: I just noticed that you mentioned sticky in the title of the thread.
My first thought was also insect poo.
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3908 posts
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Toronto
cba123 wrote: Is the OP's house upsidedown? Spider dung falls onto the surface below. The OP has these on the underside of items hanging on the ceiling, not sitting on the floor.
exactly.

it's mold and/or fungus, people.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2833 posts
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Mississauga
cba123 wrote: Is the OP's house upsidedown? Spider dung falls onto the surface below. The OP has these on the underside of items hanging on the ceiling, not sitting on the floor.
Not necessary, it sometimes sticks to the surface where the spider is standing.

The frame and window glass in my garage has spider dung on the top and vertical surface. When the garage door is closed insects are attracted to the window since it is the only light or possible exit.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
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Toronto
My guess is mold. That's the first thing I thought of when I saw the pics.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Repooc wrote: exactly.

it's mold and/or fungus, people.
Spiders can hang upside and drop deuce whenever they are.
Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2014
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Just Moved To Somewh…
Jerico wrote: Spiders can hang upside and drop deuce whenever they are.
Exactly, it all depends on how close their ass is to the surface. Go to a marina and have a look at a few cruisers and you will see the crap on all surfaces, vertical, horizontal, upside down, etc.
“Before one can have a Clue they must first accumulate 10 Inklings. That said, all it takes is one bad post and you erase all Inklings & Clues accumulated'"
[OP]
Member
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Jul 9, 2003
347 posts
127 upvotes
I don't understand how it could be mold. It's not on everything. The basement is dry, only had minor water issues after we fixed the foundation in 2016 - nothing my dehumidifier couldn't handle (out doors flooded in 2018 and tiny amounts of water got it the basement). Everything was dried ASAP the moment anything happened.

The vents are open. In fact, before I installed those vents there was no HVAC air in the basement.
There is a natural gas fireplace running in the basement to heat it if required.

The dots are NOT sticky I was incorrect. Its more like they are hard to the touch and difficult to clean off.

We do have spiders but not enough I'd notice them frequently.

We have two cats that live in the basement most of the time and are both very clean.

We have caught a mouse or two, one I physically caught with my hands - crazy moment.

What do we even do to figure this out?

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