Serious-case-of-dry-rot

Why Are Mushrooms Growing in My House?

11 January 2022

Your house should be a point of pride, and for many any kind of untidiness or dirtiness will be a huge cause for concern – so if you notice that there are mushrooms growing in your home you might well be embarrassed. It is important though to find out the reason that the mushrooms were able to grow inside, along with what their presence might mean for your property.

So, if you find mushrooms growing in your house, what should you do?

Why Are There Mushrooms in My Home?

Mushrooms growing in your home aren’t there randomly, nor are they a problem in themselves. In truth, mushrooms growing in a property suggests that there are deeper, underlying issues that will need to be addressed before those mushrooms can be removed and expected to stay away permanently.

Dry rot fruiting body

Mushrooms are usually found in a property thanks to an onset of damp providing an ideal home for the fungi to grow in. Commonly, the damp will effect an area of your property that has any amount of timber within it – and you might know this condition better as dry rot.

Whilst wet rot can lead to the growth of a black fungus, dry rot will often bring with it the growth of a fast spreading and distinctive orange fungus. Dry rot occurs in the following way; initially, damp will infest your property, and cause timber or other wood in your property to become inherently damp.

That same damp provides a great landing area for fungal spores. These spores take on two appearances: Mycelium, which looks a bit like cotton wool, and the more distinctive fruiting body of the fungus known as sporophore.

Often, the sporophore is the first sign that someone might notice, their first indication that there is dry rot in their property. However, the distinctive orange is actually spores of the fungus itself, which will be released into the air so they can land on more of your properties timber, spread, and grow more fungus. Basically, dry rot spreads incredibly easily and needs to be treated as soon as possible to stop its spread.

You might be confused as to why it’s called dry rot if the condition is caused by damp. The simple answer is that the ‘dry’ in dry rot refers to the state the wood is in once the fungus (or mushroom) has sucked out all of the nutrients and moisture present within the wood.

What does it mean to have these mushrooms in your home though?

Are Mushrooms in My Home Dangerous?

On the discovery of these mushrooms and fungus in your home, you might be concerned not only for your property but the health risks of dry rot. First off, rest assured knowing that in small growth patches, the spores from fungi associated with dry rot should not be too dangerous.

However, with the nature of dry rot being to spread as quickly and widely as it possibly can, you should be aware that larger concentrations of spores and fungus can pose serious risks to an individuals health. These spores could potentially cause respiratory issues, or exacerbate existing issues for those who already suffer from them.

The real danger of having mushrooms or fungi of this nature in your home is to your timber. Dry rot is given its name because the fungus that grows on the timber itself leeches all of the moisture and nutrients out of the wood it lives on, leaving it completely dry and fragile.

Obviously, this isn’t ideal in pieces of timber that are in your home for decorative purposes – but in pieces of timber that are vital to your properties structure? You have a real issue, and could face some serious consequences if your timber is left untreated, and the fungus is able to spread.

So, how can you remove the mushrooms, fungi, and deeper issues from your home to stop the mushrooms from appearing in the future and damaging your home further?

How to Remove Mushrooms From Your Home?

Dry Rot Mycelium

Dry Rot Mycelium

Mushrooms in your home are not going to be taken care of if the fungus is simply scraped away or removed.

Chances are that the fungus has already had a chance to release further spores, and there will be more fungus on the way. So, until you have the damp that caused the dry rot to set in treated, and correct dry rot treatment to boot, you are going to continually suffer from mushrooms in your home.

First, the damp. There are three causes of damp: Rising damp, penetrating damp, and condensation. Without a professional and qualified surveyor helping you identify the cause of your damp, as well as a course of action to rectify that damp, your dry rot is probably going to remain an issue in your home – as well as contributing to other nasty problems that stem from damp.

Now, as for the dry rot and the mushrooms, you can actually begin the process of having your dry rot removed with the booking of a dry rot survey from a qualified expert. At Timberwise, our surveyors will begin the process by inspecting both the cause of the dry rot outbreak as well as the extent at which the dry rot has spread.

This means that the surveyor will have a clear picture of just how much damage the dry rot has done – as well as whether there is any further issue like wet rot to contend with. It will also give your surveyor an idea of how to tackle the initial cause of damp that led the dry rot to set in the first place.

You will then be presented with a full written report, detailing all of the work that will need to be completed in order to have your property deemed completely free of dry rot entirely. This may include removing and replacing infected wood, improving underfloor ventilation, and treating certain outbreak areas specifically to control moisture, and stop the fungus from spreading and germinating.

You may also see the use of a masonry biocide or fungicide pastes being used on certain areas to protect against further growth of fungus, or even the onset of wood boring insects following the dry rot.

To begin the process of removing mushrooms and dry rot from your property, contact our team to book a survey to spot the signs of dry rot and provide advice on how can it be treated. Call 0800 288 8660, or get in touch online here.