And because, I can't leave well enough alone, I checked a few more spots near where I found other mold and found a damp spot behind the door that houses the water main valve. The ground was a little damp. One of the boards as well and there was what I'm calling a clusterfuck of mold on a spot there. Luckily, it's contained with no moisture around it or even above it where the anti-moisture shielding is doing exactly what it should be doing.
So, that's four spots with mold, one of them worrisome. The worst spot is confined to a 6inx3in square in that little cubby but it's also the hardest to clean. I sprayed it with bleach water, wiped it up, sprayed, wiped and put a fan on it. I'll have to check tomorrow after work to see how it is. I also started poking around and couldn't find any moisture elsewhere which is good... I even went so far as to pry up some of the baseboards to feel around the carpet. Nada (yay!).
I'm curious where it started. Now, I bet we bumped the drain on the softener loose when changing the salt pellets. So, that is highly likely the source of that moisture. And I'm also quite certain that the moisture near the water main came from me turning the wrong valve above it when trying to disable the exterior faucets for winter. Apparently I didn't clean up well enough (I'm not going to get into the guilt I'm feeling right now).
Still unsure about the apparent water leak in the den though I think it's going to be from the screws the Dish Network guy put in the exterior sill on that window which is at ground level. Any heavy rain could mean a very small leak. And we had a week of very heavy rain. So, seems plausible.
Some positive things so maybe I can get a little sleep tonight after searching, cleaning, freaking out for the last 2 hours:
With the exception of the black mold, though with low probability, none of these molds are health hazards in the quantity found.
All sources are most likely explainable as human error rather than age or flimsy build in the house.
Most of these can be easily fixed or jut need to be cleaned, dried and monitored.
I'm likely going to get a very quick lesson in removing and re-installing sheet rock if I need to take out chunks of the basement walls.
This mold may account for the allergy problems of the last few weeks.
We have a snazzy home warranty that we added into the offer contract which I shall utilize tomorrow.
This is all to say that I'm trying really, really hard to be positive in this rather than let guilt consume me or worry that the house is going to rot out from under me.
Again, any advice is greatly appreciate. This is my first real house
Found more water in the laundry room this morning. Something is wrong with the water softener for sure.