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Shrooms under the house?


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I am not sure what this stuff is. It looked like a tiny little mushroom farm growing on the floor joists. This was a very cool and damp crawl, which I believe are conditions that are conducive to mushroom growth. What would you report here? You have shrooms under your house, have tested, or this is just a common condition that needs no mention.

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Cool damp crawlspaces are not good. Some sort of fungus is growing on that joist.

That last photo looks like some wood destroying microorganism has been munching away for years.

In my neck of the woods, I would be reporting the dampness, the conduciveness for mold, rot, and/or structural damage, commentary about vapor barriers, insulation, conditioning the crawlspace, closing vents, drainage, etc.

I'd be looking really hard for damage; I bet it's there somewhere.

For future photos......think like a photojournalist. Take a couple establishing shots showing what we're looking at, then give us the close ups.

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Hi,

So, you've got fungal growth consuming the joists under the house and you're not sure what to say about it? Hmm. Sounds like you've already said it above.

It's a damp crawl that's conducive to fungal growth and there is fungal growth actively consuming the joists under the house. Get the damp conditions corrected and the fungi treated ASAP. I'd recommend BoraCare® as a topical application to knock back the fungi and Impel® rods drilled/inserted into the joists for long-term dosing to kill any incipient rot spore that's already spreading through those joists.

Go here for some good info about dealing with fungi.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I've studied that first photo until I'm getting cross-eyed. It's hard to tell because it's so close-up, but I think that's a seriously infested joist. Did you use an ice-pick to probe that sucker or a rock pick to give it a good smack and see whether it sounds solid or is basically mush?

If you're not trained as a pest guy, best thing to do is to punt this one to a pest guy because I think you've got some serious damage there that's going to come back and nip you in the backside if you don't.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I am not sure what this stuff is. It looked like a tiny little mushroom farm growing on the floor joists. This was a very cool and damp crawl, which I believe are conditions that are conducive to mushroom growth. What would you report here? You have shrooms under your house, have tested, or this is just a common condition that needs no mention.

The second two pictures look like the same thing. It's a fungus that I see every so often. I associate it with wet crawlspaces but I have no idea what it's called. I'd consider the fungus to be a symptom of a wet crawlspace and make all of the standard recommendations for addressing the wet crawlspace. The fungus might also be a problem in it's own right, if it's causing decay of the wood. I'd determine that by probing the wood and by doing a pick test. If the wood were decayed, I'd recommend replacing it. There's no need for any of it to be tested or to apply any kind of treatment to it; if the wood is decayed, it should be replaced. If the wood isn't decayed, then drying out the crawlspace will stop future fungal growth.

The first picture is more interesting. The outer surface seems to be a perfectly flat plane interrupted by honeycombing. It looks as if there were a piece of sheet metal or something similar against the wood and some insects were excavating in there. The damage doesn't look familiar to me, but then again I can't really see the scale of the picture. The white dots at the upper left are fruiting bodies (mushrooms). What happened when you smacked it with your rock pick?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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The first picture is more interesting. The outer surface seems to be a perfectly flat plane interrupted by honeycombing. It looks as if there were a piece of sheet metal or something similar against the wood and some insects were excavating in there.

That one was really throwing me. It looks almost like a cleanly sliced WDO "example" with frass packed galleries, etc, etc. you might find in a classroom...or a glass fronted ant (termite?) farm. The "sheet metal or something" is a good, possible explanation. You would have to expect the damage goes a lot deeper and that the small shrooms are almost a byproduct of the insect damage.

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