Posted By nyjojo on 09 Oct 2009 10:02 PM
The tenant noticed a little bit of water every day but assumed...
The key is to politely interview him and NAIL DOWN WHEN SOMETHING CHANGED in terms of becoming aware of more water there than typical.
That is the only way you are going to find an answer for that house, that baseboard. People tend to avoid specifics, but if you persist and vary what you are asking a bit and keep them talking, the truth will come out.
You will read from the "mold is gold" crowd that "killer mold" can start within 48 hours or whatever, but there are so many variables in terms of temperature, the food source (wood, paper, it needs food, it doesn't grow on glass for example).
Another large clue in these type of issues would be if it is:
1) a pressure line, constant leak 24/7 and tends to get noticed before too long
2) drain line leak that only occurs when water has been flushed, shower taken, dishwasher ran, etc. Some slab leaks are like that, a slow death that only happens when water runs, and when it is discovered the back-side of the carpet looks like burnt toast. Your tub may be oozing water only when that tub is used, in which case the issue could have been going on for many months. Best if the resident says when a change was noticed, so they don't crucify you for your presumptions.