Why are mushrooms growing inside my home?

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Have you found mushrooms growing inside your home? Here our surveyors cover the cause of mushroom growth, tips for removing them from your property and how to prevent them coming back.

What causes mushrooms to grow indoors?

Mushrooms are a symptom, not the cause of problems in your home. If you see mushrooms inside your home, it is very likely that you have water getting onto surfaces that you do not want it to be on, creating mould. As a rule of thumb, where you see mushrooms, there is mould.

How to remove mushrooms from my home? 

As mushroom growth is a symptom, not a cause of problems in your home, simply removing the mushrooms will not remove the root cause of the issue – so they may re-appear sooner than you think! A Chartered Building Surveyor will be able to identify the cause of the growth and suggest the relevant steps needed in order to fix the problem and advise on the best methods for repairing damage that may have been caused. We would always recommend that you use a professional cleaning service to clean the area impacted by mushroom growth. 

| Tip: If you find mushrooms in your home, don’t remove them yourself. Call a surveyor to establish the cause of the water intrusion and source of the problem first. It will help them to trace the source of the problem if they can see the mushrooms in situ.

| Tip: If you’re living in rented accommodation, depending on the terms of your lease, your landlord will likely be responsible for maintaining and repairing the building. You should contact them or your management agent as soon as possible to report the presence of mushrooms in your home. 

It is likely they will want to hire their own professionals to review the problem and you might not be able to recoup the cost if you instruct a surveyor or trades person to conduct wok on the property without their consent first. You should always check the repairing and maintenance clauses of your lease before instructing any work to be carried out on a rented property.

Causes of mushroom growth indoors

Poor ventilation causing humidity, leaking pipes and water intrusion all cause a build-up of moisture inside your property. This leads to mould growth and eventually mushrooms.

To reduce moisture in your home, prevent mould growth and keep mushrooms at bay;

  • Keep bathrooms as dry as possible when not using them – keep windows or air vents safely ajar using inbuilt locking features, and use an extractor fan
  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture in the air
  • Keep your home ventilated – by allowing air to circulate around your home. Trickle vents are great for this and always open the window when you’re having a bath or shower.
  • Call a professional if you have water leak in your home – don’t just mop it up without fixing the source of the issue. A professional tradesperson or surveyor will be able to check the spaces in your home that you can’t see without causing more damage, and create ways for the water intrusion to dry out properly.

Conditions that promote mushroom growth indoors

  • Decomposing materials
  • Moist environments
  • Humidity

| Tip: The cause of mushroom growth is usually water leakage and you may not be able to see or identify the full extent of the damage without the expertise of a surveyor.

Case study

Our Building Surveyors were instructed to attend a property in Kensington, London, to inspect the condition of its windows and investigate a plumbing leak when mushrooms were unexpectedly found.

The property with mushroom growth had been left vacant with the heating left on with no ventilation available for around three months. Additional moisture was also present in the flat due to a hidden bathroom leak from the flat above the property.  This moisture combined with the humid environment created the perfect conditions for mushrooms to thrive.

In this example, the leak caused damage to the ceiling and wall finishes along with mushroom growth in the carpet.

Outcome: The affected area of carpet was lifted and floorboards checked for damp damage. The carpet was replaced and damage to the walls and ceiling were rectified.

Mushroom growth in carpet

Mushroom growth in carpet due to water leak

If our surveyors spot signs of water leaks, damp and mould when conducting a building survey, condition report or ad hock inspection at your home, they will let you know and advise you of the impact it may have. They will be able to check the surrounding area for associated problems such as rot and damp to establish if any of the structures need replacing.

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Need advice or services?

Kempton Carr Croft’s building surveying team can inspect your home or commercial premises to provide a building survey or condition report if you’re worried about the impact of water leaks, damp or mould growth. Contact us to discuss your individual needs.

 

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