Fungus Treatments – A fungus belongs to the Kingdom Fungi. It is not classified in the Plant Kingdom nor Animal Kingdom. A fungus is an organism that grows like a plant, but feeds like an animal as it consumes organic matter. There are thousands of species of fungus in the world to include molds, mildews, yeasts and decay fungus.
Fungus survival basics
Like most living organisms a fungus needs some basics to survive. It needs moisture, oxygen and a food source. It grows well in a wet environment and grows over a food source mycelium strains to feed. They create fruiting bodies (ex, mushrooms) containing spores that act like seeds to start new growth. Like humans fungus prefers temperatures between 32 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
We can notice a lot of fungi in our everyday lives. We we look into our refrigerators and see those three week old green beans we forgot with a fuzzy mold growth. When we walk in the woods we may see mushroom fungus feeding on organic matter on the forest floor. We can see fungus on a wet bathroom wall or fungal growth on wet wood joist in our home crawl space. Because of the moisture build up during steamy hot showers, this is a common fungal growth in bathrooms.
We make not like seeing fungus in our refrigerators but in many cases fungus is very beneficial. Many cheeses depend on fungus to get that perfect aroma or taste. Bread needs yeast to rise. We derive a number of medical benefits from fungus (ex. Penicillin) We also would not have beer, wine and liquor without fungal yeast used in the fermentation process.
Conditions and excessive moisture
Over the past number of years people have been concerned with “Mold” in our homes. There has been a lot of misinformation about mold growing and the medical ramifications in the living areas of homes. Due to allergens, in many cases people are allergic to mold spores and may react with sinus conditions. To add, major mold conditions are caused by excessive moisture and should be evaluated by a professional mold expert and moisture condition must be corrected.
Some interesting facts about fungus
- Wood decay fungus causes more damage to homes than termites.
- Mycotoxins contained in certain fungi help create excellent antibiotics.
- The largest living organism in the world is actually a fungus in the mountains of Oregon measuring almost 2.4 miles across.
Fungi Growing Conditions
As mentioned fungus needs moisture and a food source to grow. There are areas of your home that have high moisture levels you might not be aware of. For example, your crawl space is one of those areas throughout seasons. Moist vapors can come up from the soil in your crawl space and absorbed by your wood joist and framing.
In addition, if the wood moisture content grows up to 18-20 percent surface fungus (mold) will begin to grow. If the wood moisture content grows past 20 percent wood decay fungus can start growing, feeding on the wood and causing damage.
Precautions and moisture control solutions
Finally, you may not be aware that you have a moisture concern in your crawl space. Since air in your crawl space seeps up from your crawl you might detect a mildew smell if a problem is present.
As a result, the best way to know the condition of your crawlspace is to have a professional pest management company trained in decay prevention and control do a complete inspection. Furthermore, they will use the correct tools to determine wood moisture content, moisture vapor levels and possible wood damage.
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