Hi – I am photo-documenting and cataloging a historic log joist and hand-hewn beam structure under a cicra 1880’s farm house. There are lots of ways for moisture to get into the basement and many of the logs (with original bark still attached) are showing signs of major decay. The color of the decay is bright yellow. In some places it is literally falling off in chunks that break into dusty piles on the basement floor. I have not seen any mushrooms but in my research I keeps coming up with a possible dry rot fungus. I have only recently been in the house (October 1 and 2) for photographs. My contact (it is a non-profit educational center) has made no mention of seeing mushrooms. Major repairs are about to be undertaken to shore up the subfloor. Any advice would be very much appreciated.


[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:19:18 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Zionsville, Indiana, Historic Farmstead’ to ‘Historic Farmstead, Zionsville, Indiana, USA’

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Good luck with the renovation, Elizabeth.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-10-08 11:19:32 CDT (-0400)

I agree with your assessment of the fungus. You state that chunks of the logs are falling off. I believe the logs would have to be replaced with pressure-treated anti-fungicides before re-installing. S. lacrymans can affect the structural integrity of the building. The problem with replacement of the logs is the moisture will still be present in the ground. Good ventilation of the subfloor helps, but does not eliminate the mold problem. Replacement with new logs would keep the historic nature of the building in tact, but might require replacement again within 50 years or less.