Fungus on the stairs

For a while now we have been watching bemused the progress of some unwanted wildlife, not wildlife in the garden but wildlife actually in the house. To be specific, this wildlife is a growth of fungus on the main stairway of the building.

Fungus on the stairway
Fungus on the stairway

I got an opportunity to talk to someone about this when a surveyor sent by United House came to look at the back door. When the house was renovated, the builders happily splashed paint here and there, apparently not paying too much attention to the state of whatever they were splashing it on. This included the frame of the back door.

Back door frame
Back door frame

Somehow, the management had realized that the door frame was rotten and needed replacing. As we live on the ground floor and I am often in during the week, I am usually the one answers the doorbell and talks to anyone inspecting the property. This is interesting and can be useful but I am thinking of putting a plaque on our door reading “Concierge”.

I suggested to the surveyor that, while he was there, he might like to take a look at our fungus garden. He did.

“Wow!” he said.

Quite. Noting it all carefully on his printed form, he promised to report it. Something would be done, he assured me.

Several weeks later, I admitted another visitor. He had come, he said, to measure the door frame for replacement. He set about his task, and when he had finished, I suggested that, while he was there, he might like to take a look at our fungus garden. He did.

“Hmmm,” he said.

Quite. Noting it all carefully on his printed form, he promised to report it. Something would be done, he assured me.

Next up was a gentleman with a strange device, though his jumper bore a company name, not Excelsior. The device was a damp measuring instrument and he used it to trace out a large area around the fungus that had been infiltrated by water.

“That’s what’s causing the fungus,” he said.

Quite. Noting it all carefully on his printed form, he promised to report it. Something would be done, he assured me.

Today, the doorbell rang and I admitted a courteous gent in a United House jacket, and his assistant, who had come, so he said, to look at the fungus.

They looked and I could see they were impressed, notwithstanding the jokes about cooking them with salt and butter.

“Have you seen any damp?” he enquired.

I said I had not but suggested that he should really talk to the folk next door who lived against that wall, unlike us.

He went. When he returned, it was to inform me that the folk next door had not seen any damp. I asked what would happen now. If I had hoped that actual action would be taken, I would have been disappointed.

“Well,” said he. “We’ll send in a damp surveyor to survey the damp.”

I mentioned the gent with the damp meter but without any hope of making any impression. I was right. It didn’t make any impression.

“So you’ll be able to let him in, then, the damp surveyor?” he enquired.

I promised to do so, should I be at home when he called. They never make an appointment, you see, or carry keys. They just turn up on spec, hoping there will be someone there to let them in. Could I claim wages for being the concierge?

I don’t doubt that something will be done eventually, but the matter has to go through channels, work its way up through the levels until it at last reaches someone with the authority to issue instructions for the work to be done. We are not quite at that point, it seems.

The chap who came to measure the back door explained it all to me.

“We can’t do the work until it’s been surveyed,” he said. “And we have to get it surveyed by an independent surveyor. That’s to prove that we are not making work for ourselves.”

I can see the point of that and I approve of it. Nonetheless, I do sometimes wish that all the toing and froing could be done at a faster pace.

In the meantime, the fungus continues happily growing on the stairway, luxuriating in the damp oozing through the rotting door frame. And no, I do not fancy cooking them with salt and butter.

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Fungus on the stairs

  1. Villager says:

    That fungus looks rather nasty !

    Where would we be without the independent surveyor ?!

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