Is wood-decay fungi found during a termite (WDO) inspection the same as mold?
Monday, August 26, 2019
The phrase “Wood-decay fungi” often appears in termite inspection (WDO) reports and it is the formal name for common wood rot, which is one of three types of fungi that can infest the wood in a home, but it is not the same as mold. Wood-decay fungi grows in the wood and consumes it as a food source, which degrades the structural integrity of the wood; whereas mold grows on the surface of the wood and does not cause structural damage. Both produce spores as part of their life cycle and the spores can cause hay-fever-like symptoms, asthma, or other allergies. But the wood-decay fungi spores are not in the same deadly category as the feared stachybotrus “black mold."
Wood-decay fungi spores are constantly in the air everywhere, all the time, but at a low concentration. Unless a home has a serious moisture intrusion problem, any wood rot is in the attic or exterior siding; so most of the spores are floating out and away from the home. Wood rot concealed in the walls from a long term roof or plumbing leak, however, can introduce a higher level of spores in the home that can be an irritant. Also, wood rot in a crawl space can mean some of the spores will be sucked into the house due to the “stack effect."
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