What is this growing in my shower!

Heather B
by Heather B
We were gone overnight and in two days - this grew in our shower. It is coming from behind the wall. What is it and what do we do?
Outside of the the shower
Outside of the the shower
"It" is moving up the shower
Inside shower - looks like it is "growing" from behind the tile, out from where the tiles meet
Outside appeared hard. When water hit it, it softened and then black inside began to run down the wall.
Orange in color on the outside - very black inside. Scary looking!
  31 answers
  • Moxie Moxie on Mar 15, 2014
    It is a fungus no doubt. In my experience you will have to pull the tile, cure the problem allowing water behind the tile and replace. You can try bleaching the crap out of it but it will be an ongoing battle until fixed. What you are seeing I suspect is actually the blooms of the fungus which is grown deep under the tile.
    • Heather B Heather B on Mar 15, 2014
      @Moxie Is it dangerous? What kind of company would have the expertise to correct this? We are leasing
  • Anna Ibarra Anna Ibarra on Mar 15, 2014
    If you are leasing, maybe the owner will need to tend to this. It is scary looking all right. Never seen anything like it, but it looks like a fungi substance.
    • Heather B Heather B on Mar 15, 2014
      @Anna Ibarra Thank you - we sent the owners an email and pictures this morning
  • Lindsay Jackson Lindsay Jackson on Mar 15, 2014
    could be from *behind* the tiles, meaning bad 'seal' job. depending on if sheetrock/wood behind tile is damaged extensively from water leakage/seepage, could cost a good penny to tear it all the tile out, cut out damaged wood/sheetrock, re-sheetrock/replace wood, and then redo the tile. This happened in my daughters master suite shower (brand new, builder did a crappy job)
    • See 1 previous
    • Lindsay Jackson Lindsay Jackson on Mar 15, 2014
      @Heather B Be sure your landlord has it fixed correctly! The effects of that icky stuff growing where you CAN'T see it can detrimentally affect your health and your family's! Symptoms could include, but not be limited to, increases in respiratory illnesses/allergy symptoms.
  • Sheila B Sheila B on Mar 15, 2014
    The Public Health Dept. should be notified. It could be very dangerous just breathing the air around it. We bought a foreclosure and found mold in the basement. It was nothing like yours. I would have freaked. We could not close until the mold was removed. We were told the Public Health Dept. had to called first. We did nothing and paid nothing for the removal. The Realtor took care of everything and we closed on the house 2 weeks later. Good Luck
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Mar 16, 2014
    The black stuff that came out after you put water on it would indicate spores. Definitely call the health dept!
  • Dee Dee on Mar 16, 2014
    Jesus Heather that is scary i would not be in that room .I would call health department and the landlord .If it is dangerous i would be going to the DR and have the landlord pay for it. How long did it take to grow that big. Creeps me out. Good luck hon.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 16, 2014
    OH DEAR! I live just down the highway from you Heather B in Dunwoody. I have been afraid that with all the rain we have had the past year that these sorts of things were going to start happening! We need a HOT/DRY SUMMER to clear up some of these messes! I would get the landlord out IMMEDIATELY! Good luck and keep us posted!
  • Moxie Moxie on Mar 16, 2014
    The only way to know for sure is to have it tested. I don't think fungus/mold is ever good. I would contact a local abatement company (the people who remove asbestos) and ask them who does their testing...then call them and ask if they can test & identify mold/fungus types. Pay the little extra to have them collect the sample so it can't be disputed. If you are leasing..I would think the property Owner will be responsible to correct the problem. If you properly document exactly what it is and notify the property Owner by certified mail they will have to correct for you it if it is hazardous. I would on the side, consult a emergency repair contractor (the kind that cleans/fixes your house after storm or flood damage) Ultimately you will probably need a general contractor type company to remove the tile and wall board, seal the studs/structure behind to prevent future growth and the replace the tile work. I would caution contacting the property owner until you have documentation and proper notice. Nobody wants mold attached to the property as it sticks forever and effects value - so know exactly what you have before you seek correction and be prepared for the possibility to not have use of the bathroom while work is done. In the mean time, bleach it daily
  • Bonnie Lewenza Bonnie Lewenza on Mar 16, 2014
    For a quick fix I would get out the steamer and kill whatever it is. But I do agree that it is a mold, but this didn't happen overnight. There has to be a lot of it behind the scenes. I would get someone in asap because you don't want to be messing with mold problems.
  • Donna Roberts Donna Roberts on Mar 16, 2014
    It looks very strange. Keep us posted on what you find out and how it is removed.
  • Wendy Clougherty Wendy Clougherty on Mar 16, 2014
    I had a mold issue in my home and became very ill. If it is mold, it must be remediated correctly or it can cause serious health issues.
  • Cyndi Comeaux Cyndi Comeaux on Mar 16, 2014
    Black mold, we had the same thing in our shower. If you breath it in it can grow in your lungs. bleach it and keep bleaching until you can get the problem resolved.
  • This is a basidiomycetes which in layman's term is a mushroom. Fast growing and can be destructive. It is growing because there has been a long term leak somewhere behind the tile and severe rot has occurred. Much like mushrooms grow on rotted material really well, so do these fungi. Simply spray with some liquid bath cleaner that has a anti-microbial and wipe away. If you have mold allergies, wear a mask. In any case there is a lot more of this behind the tile that you cannot see. The repair will be to remove the tiles and damaged materials and replace. No other fix or home remedy. A general contractor or bath pro can do this. No need to bring in an army of mold people. This type of fungi grows fast as you already know. In the meantime, clean it, dry it well with hair drier once done and caulk the area well to keep out moisture. This is a very short term repair until you can pull the bath area apart. Expect it to have spread quite a bit.
    • See 5 previous
    • MM MM on Aug 22, 2016
      My cousin has her MBScN and her dad(my uncle) had developed pneumonia and went in hospital and never came out. They found mild in the back of a closet and my cousin had it tested. The results clearly indicated that the airborne spores contributed to his demise (not caused it).
  • Anna Ibarra Anna Ibarra on Mar 17, 2014
    Heather, I hope your landlord has been helpful in taking care of this. Good luck.
  • Shari Veater Shari Veater on Mar 17, 2014
    Have a mold person come out and check it...don't use that bathroom if possible until then!!!
  • Heather B Heather B on Mar 17, 2014
    Owner has a plumber and mold person coming out together - hopefully today! We are using another shower and keeping that shower door closed. I will let everyone know the diagnosis.
  • This was a long term condition. It has been leaking for months, these fungi only develop with moist rotted materials and enough warmth to allow it to develop. But again, not a big deal. Although a scary one non the less. It will require a bit of tear out and rebuild and it should be expected to travel down to the floor area and beyond on each side.
  • Sarieno Sarieno on Mar 17, 2014
    Make sure you saturate it with bleach. Open the window and use it strong then close the door and let it set.
  • Tammy McLain Tammy McLain on Mar 17, 2014
    Reminds me of a "Fringe" episode.. good luck!
  • Gail lichtsinn Gail lichtsinn on Mar 19, 2014
    woodbridge is right on the mark..As long as the problem is still there its going to return and return until you fix it..
  • 153091 153091 on Apr 08, 2014
    I agree with most of your posters....should you decide to bleach...after the bleach somewhat drys..squirt over the same area with amonia..IMPORTANT..NEVER MIX THESE TWO..First one.. then the other. The bleach does just that..bleaches the mold and you can't see it...putting amonia on the bleached areas it then KILLS the mold. Just bleach alone looks good however...your mold will return. What ever you do HAVE IT LOOKED AT ASAP!!!
  • Gail lichtsinn Gail lichtsinn on Apr 09, 2014
    ammonia even over dried bleach is asking for it..It forms a poision gas that will smoke and fill your room instanly..I know first hand..I ended up with chemical pneumonia and in the hospital so be careful
  • Bleach will not do anything in this situation... The shrooms will grow back and the wood framing will continue to rot. The shower needs to be completely ripped out and re built. It's quite obvious that there was no waterproofing applied (to the substrates under the tile). It's probably tiled directly over drywall which is the worst thing you can do in a shower, aside from using mastic adhesive.
    • Cyndi Comeaux Cyndi Comeaux on Apr 11, 2014
      @Alone Eagle Remodeling, LLC. I agree completely, if you dont take care of the problem causing the problem the problem will continue even with temporary fixes like bleach. dig in and get the rot out!!
  • Gail lichtsinn Gail lichtsinn on Apr 10, 2014
    I agree alone..You can treat the symptoms but it wont solve the problem thats causing it..
  • Lreg Lreg on Apr 13, 2014
    move. i would. looks deadly!
  • Suzi Black Suzi Black on Dec 28, 2014
    ewww, looks like mold.
  • Trish Davenport Trish Davenport on Oct 14, 2015
    Oh what a shame. Your best bet is to tear it out and rebuild. It will be all over then and you will have a new bathroom to boot. Easy to say I know but not many choices here.
  • Michelle Michelle on Aug 22, 2016
    Mold, get a professional in to see what type, don't use the shower either. I agree with the other folks, it appears no waterproof board was used. Needs to be a gut job and be prepare there is much more mold behind there, again it will need to be taken care of by a professional. Look at it this way, a new bathroom done the way you want.
  • Karen Heaney Karen Heaney on Oct 14, 2016
    You will likely need to tear out the tile. There is probably much more inside the wall. Contact a professional to eliminate the problem.
  • Carey Carey on Oct 20, 2016
    I looked up molds on the internet, it looks like a "Slime mold pattern -NEFFA", It says that it is the most studied mold. I would contact a professional and ask some questions about what is the best way to deal with it, is it harmful to you or your family, and DEFINITELY do not disturb it until you find out the answers to those questions. I looked under image,Molds. Then scrolled down to find a picture that was similar to the mold that you see in your shower.
  • Mei-ling Natasha Wong Mei-ling Natasha Wong on Aug 23, 2019

    So...my friends have just discovered this exact same funghi growing in their bathroom overnight. Were you able to determine what kind of funghi this was and how did you get rid of it?