Help to Identify Fungus

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Help to Identify Fungus

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Steven Brewster
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Posted: Nov 18, 2005 11:30 PM       Post Subject:

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Hey Folks,

Ran across this today. 1985 home, ventilation good in most areas but this area had little crossflow. No barrier, soil was extremely dry. 18% mc in the affected area, 13%mc where ventilation was good. The framing was sound but looks rough. Does not appear to have moisture intrusion from the exterior. What you think active or previous?



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Steven Brewster
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Posted: Nov 19, 2005 8:35 PM       Post Subject:

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Any body got any ideas. Saw the same thing in a 1998 home today.
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Jay Moge
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Posted: Nov 19, 2005 10:35 PM       Post Subject:

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i never try to guess on anything like that, to much liability. try to google fungi or fungus identification. and see what you get. but still recommend further analysis from a qualified tech. and lab. sorry, that's all i got. icon_cool.gif icon_wink.gif
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Steven Brewster
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Posted: Nov 19, 2005 11:53 PM       Post Subject:

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I was hoping to get a comment from Ms. Connell. This is for just my information and not what I would report on. I always defer to a specialist for analysis but am seeing alot of this lately on newer homes.
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Jay Moge
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Posted: Nov 20, 2005 9:45 PM       Post Subject:

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good plan. it almost looks like wet cob webs. but even more so like a rood system for a mushroom. either way i'm stumped. icon_cool.gif icon_wink.gif
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Brian Kelly

Dwelling Doctors LLC
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Posted: Nov 20, 2005 10:25 PM       Post Subject:
Steven I think it is Mr. Connell, I made the same gaffe.
Did you probe the suspected area? Was the wood solid?
I am not familiar with your area so I do not know what normal MC readings would be.
Were your readings high?
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Andrew Way

Keystone Residential Inspection Services PLLC
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Posted: Nov 21, 2005 5:32 PM       Post Subject:
Steven,

Maybe the link below will help.
Rot
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Patrick Sisler

Alta Sierra Home Inspections
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Posted: Nov 21, 2005 8:32 PM       Post Subject:
Steven,

I looked at the images. Was there ever any flooding, toilet, bathtub, shower, washing machine, dishwaher leaks present or past? Any crawlspace waterlines such as irrigation run from one side of the house to the other under the house. How cold does it get? Leaks from a water line(such as cheap irrigation line?) Water in the crawl space at different times of the year? I agree to have a lab check this out. I would ask the other questions as well to try and narrow down the problem. I inspected a home out here and found out that there was an underground spring beneath the house that filled the crawl space every winter. Just a thought.

Patrick
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Caoimh?n P. Connell
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Posted: Nov 25, 2005 11:58 AM       Post Subject:

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Good morning, Steven!

I hope you had a bountiful Thanksgiving Day. Does this look familiar?
http://www.forensic-applications.com/moulds/blackstringers.JPG

Without actually looking at the whole thing, I can only guess of course, but here are some initial thoughts. The black ?stringers? appear to be the older, possibly inactive versions of the following ? this is what they look like when they are active:
http://www.forensic-applications.com/moulds/whitemycelia.jpg

Eventually, they can form full-blown mycelial mats that can cover thousands of square feet, and look like this.
http://www.forensic-applications.com/moulds/Slacrymansmycelialmat.jpg

Ultimately, they can produce a fruiting body that looks like this:
http://www.forensic-applications.com/moulds/MatandFB.JPG

So three guesses on your critter come to mind, by I am going to suggest a species from the genus Serpula, and probably S. lacrymans the common cause of dry rot. I will speculate that since it is black, it is inactive; but it might just be old and active (kind of like me?). However, this organism, if it is S. lacrymans it can cause devastating damage to wood. Here?s a photo of what can be needed:
http://www.forensic-applications.com/moulds/Remediationarea.jpg

The source of the moisture can be ten meters or more from the location of the growth, so don?t let that fool you. S. lacrymans can transport its moisture need considerable distances, and grow on wood that is otherwise completely dry (thus its name).

Now as to age.. trickier question, but you can age the thing by looking for cellulosic items that have a definite time period and see it the mycelia has invaded that item ? that is the best general way to date the growth.

Just a thought of course ? I could be completely wrong!

Cheers,

Caoimh?n P. Connell
Forensic Industrial Hygienist

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

AMDG
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Kenton Shepard

Peak to Prairie Inspection Service
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Posted: Dec 12, 2005 2:53 AM       Post Subject:
I was under the impression that decay fungus require a minimum of 20% moisture to remain active and that even those species that extend root-like rhizomorphs across dry areas to access moisture, then distribute that moisture onto the wood around them.
Distributing this moisture allows them to extend hyphae into wood cells to consume cellulose, thereby causing decay.

The moisture exists to measure, whether it's source is the fungus or otherwise. For this reason Inspectors using moisture meters should still be able read the presence or absence of elevated moisture levels.

Is it not safe to report that decay fungus are present but will remain inactive as long as moisture levels in wood remain below 20%?

Is it not safe to report that widespread moisture stains visible on subflooring and framing in the crawlspace indicate that severe past moisture intrusion has led to the growth of mold, then report that the moisture intrusion/mold fungus growth appears to be either active or inactive according to levels indicated by the moisture meter.

Recommendation upon finding moisture levels over 20% should be to locate and correct the source of any continuing moisture intrusion.

Kent
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Caoimh?n P. Connell
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Posted: Dec 13, 2005 11:39 AM       Post Subject:

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Hello Kent:

I tend to agree with you in general, except ?

kshepard wrote:
I was under the impression that decay fungus require a minimum of 20% moisture to remain active ...

Is it not safe to report that decay fungus are present but will remain inactive as long as moisture levels in wood remain below 20%?


In my opinion ? probably not. For precisely the reasons that you have already raised in your post (some fungi may transport the necessary moisture over large distances, and that moisture may not be readily observable by even the most diligent HI). But also, the 20% figure is not really particularly useful in view of the many other factors involved in fungal growth ? such as the concept of ?available water? and dew point issues at air/surface interfaces. In many cases, fungi may proliferate in spite of apparent measurements which suggest the substrate as a whole is less than 10% moisture.

I would tend to suggest that HIs call out the presence of fungi without necessarily having to go out on a limb and speak to the issue of viability of the organism. Knowing it is there is important, photographically documenting its extent is important, and suggesting the situation be reviewed in six months or a year (or two or three), may be prudent advice.

Just my thoughts!
Cheers,
Caoimh?n P. Connell
Forensic Industrial Hygienist

www.forensic-applications.com

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

AMDG
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