By: Licensed Mold Assessor Brad Fishbein
February 8, 2023
Both mold and mushrooms are produced by fungus.
You can grow mushrooms in an indoor environment if you try. Mushrooms can also grow on plants in your home.
But what happens when you have mushrooms growing on mold within your home in areas you were not wanting it to grow? Like for example along the walls and out of the floor.
In this article, we will explore if what you are seeing are black mold mushrooms, and we’ll answer the are black mold mushrooms dangerous?
Black mold is used by the general public refers to a specific genus of fungus called Stachybotrys. Stachybotrys will grow on wet cellulose-based building material such as sheetrock under the proper conditions. The off-gassing of mycotoxins is what causes health problems when inhaled or ingested. Regardless if mushrooms are present or not, Stachybotrys can be dangerous. That being said, black mold (Stachybotrys) will not typically produce mushrooms.
If you visually see black mold growing mushrooms in the house, it may not be Stachybotrys.
Stachybotrys will generally be a dark slimy type of mold that looks like it is colored in with black crayons extremely dark. It can also appear in other colors such as grey, blue, and green.
It will also have a distinct odor that can be similar to a towel that has been left outside for a long time.
Just because the mushrooms you are seeing may not be black mold, does that mean it can't harm you?
Many other types of mold can cause adverse health effects, especially in immune-compromised individuals.
While the black mold mushrooms may not be the black toxic mold, it doesn't necessarily mean that the mushrooms aren't toxic.
Multiple other common indoor molds can produce mycotoxins. Mold mushrooms can happen over a long period where a reoccurring leak is present on porous building material in left unattended. These types of mushrooms can often cause health effects such as respiratory infections and headaches.
The types of mold often associated with black mold growing mushrooms are:
The picture below you are seeing are the beginning stages of Cladosporium mushrooms growing.
White mold mushrooms can also be found in water-damaged building environments. White mold mushrooms can also cause adverse health effects in humans.
Depending on what species of mold is present, you may find white fuzzy stuff growing on mold mushrooms.
One of the most constant areas of the home where black mold mushrooms grow is in bathrooms. This is because bathrooms are often dark, moist places where mold will grow quicker than other areas of the building.
If a bathroom is rarely used and not cleaned, it is not entirely uncommon to find mold mushrooms appearing.
If you see the black mold with mushrooms growing on the walls in the bathroom, it could also indicate a hidden leak is present.
Fungi mushrooms growing on bathroom tiles or grout can generally be cleaned very easy on the surface but may suggest you will find large colonies of mold mushrooms behind the tiles.
Since black mold mushrooms could indicate a leak has been present in a home for a while, there is a possibility that mold producing toxins may be present. For that reason, it is recommended that if mold mushrooms are growing indoors, a licensed mold professional be contacted to remove them.
The possibility exists you may be able to file a homeowner's insurance claim to have the black mold mushrooms removed. If insurance will not cover it, and you decide that mold remediation is too costly, you should never attempt to remove mold mushrooms on indoor building materials without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Depending upon what type of material the mold mushrooms are growing on, it may need to be removed and not just cleaned.
Living mold may be present inside the walls if there is still a leak present, and even it the mold is not living, dead mold can affect you just as much as living mold.
If you have mold mushrooms present and would like to identify if it's black mold or any other toxic molds, you can always have a mold inspection done.
You can even test it yourself using a at home mold test kit.
A sure thing when it comes to black mold mushrooms in the house, it's due to a moisture problem that needs to be addressed.
Meet the author: Brad Fishbein is an ACAC council-certified Microbial Investigator. In the fall of 2012, he became a Licensed Mold Assessor in the State of Florida through the Department of Business & Professional Regulation. Brad has helped homeowners with over 5,000 successfully completed Mold Inspections since 2009.