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  1. #1
    Terence McCann's Avatar
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    Default Fuzzy wood under front porch

    What causes the wood to start deteriorating like this, a fungus?

    tia

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    High moisture levels in the crawlspace would be at the top of my list of suspects. And high moisture could lead to fungus growth (including mold).

    Did you notice standing water or wet soil in the crawl? A plumbing leak? Improper grading around the foundation? Clothes dryer or bathroom exhaust fans discharging into the crawl?

    Did you check the floor framing with a moisture meter?

    Anyway, it appears that house will need quite a bit of floor framing repairs.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    That looks bad, really bad.
    I was under a house almost that bad about a year ago, within an hour I had a screaming headache and had to go home.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
    Terence McCann's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    That looks bad, really bad.
    I was under a house almost that bad about a year ago, within an hour I had a screaming headache and had to go home.

    Funny you should mention the headache, I've taken 7 aspirin so far and my head is still pounding - the kind that gets you right at the base of the noggin at the back of the neck.

    This was under the front porch, no crawl and plenty of ventilation.

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  5. #5
    Chip O'Brian's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    And why do I wear N-95 mask in all attic & crawl spaces?


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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Chip
    That's good advice, for all.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
    Greg D. Dames's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Cannot be sure without testing but this could be "Poria Incrassata". The attached photo was taken off the web. NACHI has an article on the one in the photograph. Another name is "House Eating Fungus"

    Looking at the photo that you furnished it almost appears that there is a tap root dropping down from the beam in low center of the photo. This is typical as the fungus draws water from the ground.

    This stuff is bad news.

    Avoiding Litigation: A House-Eating Fungus - InterNACHI
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  8. #8
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip O'Brian View Post
    And why do I wear N-95 mask in all attic & crawl spaces?

    I actually wear a 1/2 face respirator. You get a much better seal and the dust covers over the cartridges can be replaced. I also wear it in attics in old houses.

    About $35 at the orange box.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    It takes a while, but after a few years, the moisture damage from that fungii makes the wood as soft and brittle as balsa-wood.

    Yes... that crap will turn your respritory system to mush also.

    RR


  10. #10
    Zivka Ljutic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    I know this thread is a bit dated but...
    I just inspected a home for an appraisal and encountered "fuzzy" wood under the front porch. The home is in Chicago and ventilated. Owner says it's been like this since he bought it; not that it matters...

    Any idea what "it" is? Fungus? What? How does it (if at all) effect the structural integrity, livability or soundness of the porch? Health hazard??

    Any/all help is greatly appreciated. I have attached photos.

    Thanks
    Z

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Zivka Ljutic View Post
    I know this thread is a bit dated but...
    I just inspected a home for an appraisal and encountered "fuzzy" wood under the front porch. The home is in Chicago and ventilated. Owner says it's been like this since he bought it; not that it matters...

    Any idea what "it" is? Fungus? What? How does it (if at all) effect the structural integrity, livability or soundness of the porch? Health hazard??

    Any/all help is greatly appreciated. I have attached photos.

    Thanks
    Z
    Did you try to probe the wood? That is wild looking, I have never seen that before.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    I suspect someone who did not understand what they were doing took a pressure washer to it ... that is exactly what you will get when you pressure wash the wood with a high pressure nozzle ... ask me how I know ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I suspect someone who did not understand what they were doing took a pressure washer to it ... that is exactly what you will get when you pressure wash the wood with a high pressure nozzle ... ask me how I know ...
    OK, How you know?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    OK, How you know?
    'Cause I done it ONCE a LONG LONG, Long time ago.

    Pressure washed that ol' paint right off that sucker (old ship lap wood sided house) which then left it "hairy" jus' like that.

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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    'Cause I done it ONCE a LONG LONG, Long time ago.

    Pressure washed that ol' paint right off that sucker (old ship lap wood sided house) which then left it "hairy" jus' like that.
    .
    So It Was YOU.
    * I hope you got a whole bunch of sandpaper.
    .

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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    'Cause I done it ONCE a LONG LONG, Long time ago.

    Pressure washed that ol' paint right off that sucker (old ship lap wood sided house) which then left it "hairy" jus' like that.
    Even as inexperanced as I am, I know better that to do THAT!

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Even as inexperanced as I am, I know better that to do THAT!
    They used a power washer, with rotating zero degree nozzle, to take several layers of paint off siding on one of the "This-ol-house" episodes. Old siding must have been a whole lot harder than the new stuff. They said it would be dry enough to paint in a couple of days....hmmmm?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    'Cause I done it ONCE a LONG LONG, Long time ago.

    Pressure washed that ol' paint right off that sucker (old ship lap wood sided house) which then left it "hairy" jus' like that.
    Southern yellow pine (old growth) gets pretty fuzzy when pressure washed especially if it has been a bit damp for a while.

    Yes, I know as well

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Even as inexperanced as I am, I know better that to do THAT!
    "
    Good judgment comes from experience.

    Experience comes from bad judgment.
    "


    I must say, though, that was back in the days of stripping lead based paint off the house, raking up what you can, putting it in a garbage can, and then setting it out by the road to be picked up, so ... I was faced with stripping that old lead based paint off, and after trying scraping, mechanical scrapers, heated plates, torches, etc., that pressure washer had them all beat ... and the time it took to go over the house with a belt sander was probably about the same as, or less, than trying to strip the house any of the other ways.

    Lost my butt on that paint job, but I did Git R Done ... and I did get "experience" from it.

    Rick, sometimes "inexperience" can be a GOOD THING.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fuzzy wood under front porch

    This post caught my eye because I found a similar looking condition a few years back in a old church attic. The moisture source in this case was a leaking furnace vent pipe system.

    The furnace exhaust was rising and flowing up the underside of the roof plane right above the furnace. As you moved further away from the rafter channel just above the furnace, less and less damage to the wood was seen. The attic floor below the damaged area was littered with fallen wood pulp fibers and this appeared to have been going on for many years.

    There was however no fungal problem associated with this particular issue. Probing showed that the lumber was substantially solid below the surface layer of clinging fuzz and, at the time, I attributed the destruction of the wood surfaces with the acidic nature of the furnace condensate (The ph level of the condensate from a natural gas furnace exhaust is about 4).

    I have seen this kind of wood deterioration only a few times and in all cases it was related to flue gasses from natural gas combustion (either furnaces or water heaters). In this case of this post however it would seem that combustion products have nothing to do with it.

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