We had to replace our hot water heater as it was leaking. We cleaned up well, not much water, however it did seep under the next wall (very little) but it was all dry. This space is maybe a sq ft. The next day there was black/black powder, I was worried it was burnt from lighting the new heater. Then in one more day I saw mushrooms growing from the wall, vanity, and “flower” or stems coming out of my wicker cabinet. I have been afraid of cleaning it as I have bad allergies and dont want to use bleach. If I get someone to do this my question is: Is it safe to keep my vanity and cabinet? Do I have to remove sheetrock, as there is a minute amount on that?
It sounds like you have a simple mushroom fungi and not any type of toxic mold so it will be safe to clean. However, bleach will not do the job. You’ll need some MOLD BLASTER for the cleanup and this should be applied to all the surfaces around the mushroom including the wall, furniture and floor.
Next, you should inspect the floor under the wall to see if there is a direct path moisture might be using to get inside the home. The reason I say this is because it’s not likely that a subtle leak from a hot water heater would lead to such growth unless it was leaking for a long time (like several months). So if the leak was detected within a few days, it’s just not likely to have been a direct cause for this growth. This means there is some other path for moisture and mushroom fungi to get inside and this path must be identified, treated and sealed to prevent further outbreaks.
Now what is a lot more likely (and what I have found many times in homes) is that there is a point of entry under the wall (or through the floor) which could easily be the source of the moisture and fungi. In my experience, hot water heaters are rarely located on the upper levels of any home. And in your case, you don’t say where it is but it sounds like the area surrounding it is finished off. Now is this a finished basement or some part of the home which is sitting on a cement slab? Because if it is, I would guess the most likely thing happening is that there is a crack in the floor and through this crack the fungi and the moisture could easily “wick” up into the living spaces with the end result being a fungi growth like the mushrooms you’re finding.
To solve this problem, you will treat with some BORACARE. So if the floor is cement and you are able to locate a crack under a rug, tile or wall, treat the crack with the Boracare solution and then seal it up using some PUR FOAM. The Boracare will kill off an prevent any future growth and the foam is a special “expanding” material that’s like rubber and is also impervious to the Boracare. This means it won’t be affected nor will it effect the treatment and in the end, this foam seals up cement better than anything we’ve seen.
I also recommend treating the wall space of the sheetrock wall you mention with the Boracare solution. Boracare will stop future mold growth and this treatment will last many years. I would treat as many of the walls as possible using a FOAMING TOOL. This will insure you get good coverage because once these areas are well treated, no mold, fungus, wood destroying insect or other pest will be able to live in the treated space. In the end, even if you can’t locate a crack in the floor or any other route of entry for moisture to get inside, the Boracare will be all you need to stop future fungi growth which can result in mushrooms, mold or damage.
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