Everything You Need to Know About Poria, the 'House-Eating' Fungus

Right here’s a nightmare state of affairs for any house owner: You discover a wierd, orange-colored development someplace in the home that retains coming again regardless of how nicely you clear it. You open up the wall, and uncover an in depth fungal infestation that’s turning the strong wooden of your private home right into a spongy catastrophe. It spreads extremely quick, and in contrast to most molds or different fungi, it doesn’t appear to rely on an instantaneous supply of moisture.

You’ve simply encountered meruliporia incrassata, typically known as merely “Poria”—and it’s an enormous downside. An orange-tinged fungus that develops mushroom-like our bodies, Poria has been described as “probably the most devastating wood-decay fungus of homes that we all know of” and “probably the most damaging fungus.”

Fungus with arms

Poria is very damaging due to one thing known as rhizomorphs. “Poria is exclusive in that it has what could be considered ‘lengthy arms or tentacles,’ also referred to as rhizomorphs,” explains Liz Keefer, CIEC, a licensed mildew inspector, indoor environmental guide, and CEO of The Mildew Woman, a mildew testing and inspection firm based mostly in Charleston, South Carolina. “These ‘arms’ will lengthen as much as 10 meters in size and might journey throughout surfaces to seek out the vitamins and moisture wanted to continue to grow, which permits them to increase far past the preliminary infestation web site. Think about being at a restaurant surrounded by ravenous individuals with 30-foot-plus arms—and no manners to cease them from stealing.”

Unchecked, Poria can doubtlessly do sufficient harm to render a home uninhabitable—and it will probably do this harm quick, advancing its rhizomorphs as much as 10 inches a day. The excellent news? It could possibly nonetheless take Poria years to do important harm to your private home (though it might go undetected for a lot of that point), and it’s attainable to successfully do away with it if it’s recognized and handled rapidly. Right here’s what it’s essential learn about this “house-eating” fungus.

The best way to determine Poria

Your possibilities of seeing Poria in your own home fluctuate enormously relying on the place you reside. “Poria could be discovered really all around the United States,” notes Keefer, “however it’s mostly present in coastal areas, with the Southeast having the best quantity of recognized circumstances.”

A type of “brown rot” fungus, Poria eats the cellulose in wooden however leaves behind the brown lignin, leaving it darkish and crumbly. The primary option to know you’re coping with Poria will probably be these rhizomorphs or ‘arms’—they resemble roots, and could be white or shades of brown in colour. The rhizomorphs might “bleed” if damaged. One problem to figuring out Poria is the truth that these ‘arms’ are usually hidden behind partitions and might worm their approach by way of tiny areas, permitting the fungus to unfold to areas of the home you may assume have been protected.

Steps to take

In fact, when you understand you will have some type of mildew consuming your own home, you don’t want to attend to determine if it’s Poria or not. “All molds above regular fungal ecology ranges needs to be thought-about dangerous,” advises Keefer. However due to the pace of destruction that Poria is able to, you must transfer so much sooner than you may with a less-invasive and less-aggressive mildew or fungus.

The first step is to contact knowledgeable mildew testing firm. Whilst you might need the urge to simply name a remediation firm, Keefer stresses that could possibly be a mistake. “Remediation is the time period used for corporations that take away mildew,” she notes. “However an inspection is crucial to a profitable remediation, as a result of they are going to discover the supply of the moisture which really is the foundation trigger.”

As Jehremy Foster, chief estimator for Precision Environmental famous to the Washington Publish, you have to be ready for “numerous demolition.” As a result of Poria can journey—and journey so rapidly—to wooden that isn’t uncovered to any moisture supply, treating it requires slicing away any wooden that has even doubtlessly been uncovered—and rooting out the entry level of the fungus, the place there’s typically a taproot or “root ball” that must be eliminated.


One of the best ways to take care of Poria is to by no means really need to take care of it, after all. “One of the best ways to guard your private home from Poria is to be proactive in stopping extra moisture,” Keefer advises. “From correct constructing practices reminiscent of slanting rainwater away from the inspiration of your private home to monitoring relative humidity inside the house, decreasing undesirable moisture is vital.”

The opposite key to stopping any form of damaging mildew or fungus in your house is to be vigilant: Poria strikes quick, so don’t ignore any frequent indicators of fungal infestations, like:

In different phrases, being conscious of the situation of your own home is essential. In the event you assume you’ve bought Poria in your own home, don’t panic—but in addition, don’t dawdle.

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