Melbourne resident's 'wild' find growing in bedroom: 'Major hazard'

Experts warn the unusual discovery is a significant red flag.

A disturbing photo from inside a Melbourne homeowner's bedroom has sparked a flood of suggestions concerning possible causes and solutions for an unusual problem.

The resident, who noticed mushrooms sprouting from the carpet just outside an ensuite, took to Facebook to in a desperate bid for advice on how best to remedy the situation. "My ensuite is on the border of our carpet and it keeps getting wet and growing mushrooms. How can I get rid of the damp carpet there to stop this happening?" they wrote.

The resident went on to reveal that despite the house being relatively new, having been built just eight years ago, a bathroom flood had occurred within the past few months.

Mushrooms growing in carpet
The Melbourne homeowner shared a photo of mushrooms sprouting from the carpet outside an ensuite. Source: Facebook

The alarming image captured the attention of concerned Aussies, with one prevailing consensus emerging — that mushrooms growing within the confines of a home indicate a significant issue, potentially posing a health risk.

Numerous social media users warned that fungi would only sprout from the carpet if it harboured mould, leading them to suspect a potential leak or waterproofing issue within the bathroom.

One concerned individual warned about the dangers, stating, "Mould spores can spread. Be very careful." Someone else agreed, telling the resident the "wild" find is "a major health hazard". A third user recommended replacing the carpet altogether, claiming it was beyond salvaging due to the mushroom infestation.

How can mushrooms grow inside a home?

Experts from Ambrose Construct Group, Australian insurance repair and restoration specialists, say the presence of mushrooms growing inside a house serves as a prominent warning sign, indicating the existence of moisture within the building.

"Mould and fungi will take root on almost any surface when there is moisture and a food source present," the company shared in its online advice forum's safety section.

They further explained that mushrooms require oxygen, a food source, suitable temperature, and a source of water to thrive. While fungal spores, which give rise to mushrooms, are minuscule and can be carried by the wind, clothing or shoes, the growth of a mushroom necessitates the fusion of two of these single-cell spores. They typically flourish in conditions of high humidity and low light.

If you discover mushrooms like the ones found in the Melbourne homeowner's residence, you're advised to carefully inspect your property for any structural damage, as it indicates the presence of prolonged and significant moisture levels, which could support more harmful growth of black mould.

How to treat the problem

The experts stressed that treating the mushrooms with fungicide alone would not be sufficient to prevent future complications. Instead, they advise identifying and addressing the root cause of the moisture, eliminating it, and then treating the affected area. Only by removing the source of moisture and ensuring proper ventilation can the risk of further fungal growth be mitigated.

Insurance issue?

A number of people suggested the homeowner consider claiming insurance coverage for this issue. Consumer Affairs Victoria explains that statutory building warranties are applicable for building work for a period of up to 10 years following the issuance of the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection. Moreover, Victoria specifically provides a 10-year warranty for bathroom waterproofing.

However, some other Facebook users cautioned that obtaining insurance coverage for such leaks can be a complex matter. "Water leaks are a fine line with insurance," one person stated, indicating that the Melburnian might encounter challenges in securing insurance reimbursement for this particular situation.

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