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Over the last few days, i have had a lot of white fungus growing in my sleepers in my garden, what is the best way to remove and tackle this problem
There is not much you can do-they will disappear on their own accord -it is common too see many fungi/toadstools this time of year.
If the sleepers are sound-I wouldn't fret too much
If you're using the sleepers as steps or as a walkway it's best to remove them, as they will make the wood slippery. Otherwise, as Geoff says, no real problem.
thankyou for your responses. I was getting very stressed as i did not know what to do.
We live on a hill and decided to go for sleepers in our front garden because they can be repaired/replaced, so we were told, as opposed to brick which was more expensive and less flexible once cracked. Within 2 years we noticed areas of rotten wood. Now, five years on we have white fungus growing in the seams of the sleepers, also many areas of rotten wood. I've just found out that the New Zealand railways have discovered fungus growing on their sleepers causing premature decay. Sound like what we have. We were told the sleepers would last 20 years. Does anyone have any info/advice?
The only thing I can think of is jet washing the sleepers that only have the fungus on them, and painting them with black bitumenous paint (not sure of spelling!). It's got a high tar content, so will protect them from water and hopefully the fungus. The sleepers that are rotten will probably need replacing, but I'd paint those too.
It's the wrong time of year to be doing this though, I'd scrape the fungus off and wait until spring to do the painting, otherwise your paint will never dry. An added bonus of using the paint is slugs don't like to cross it, so if you've used the sleepers to terrace, with a bit of luck there won't be as many slugs next year. With a bit of luck we'll have a bit less rain next year (or rain at the right time of year), so there'll be less of the blighters anyway.
Thank you for your reply. Jet washing sounds like a good idea. Taking it off with a scraper might be quicker though. Not sure how it would look painted with bitumen.
Any more ideas?
You could try oiling them once they are clean. This would be a more expensive option though, teak oil or danish oil is quite expensive if you're doing a large area. The only other thing would be to paint them every year with a decent quality wood paint, then you can choose a colour that suits. I'm not sure if they're still doing it, but cuprinol were doing free paint samples on their website earlier in spring (free p&p too, so I bought a few colours at £1 each to do my bird table - yep, cheeky I know!) Basically you need to weatherproof them so the fungus spores can't take hold. Sleepers are hardwood, so should last a long time, but even hardwood needs to be treated yearly when it's outside. I know weathershield works on brickwork, but not sure if it will work on wood.
If you don't want to bend to scrape the stuff off, then wolf-garten do a great tool for cleaning weeds off patios, that might be good (the knife variety, not the brass brush). I've used mine for scraping Ivy off my walls where I can't reach, I think they're fantastic tools, so you only buy the interchangable heads with a single handle. No, I'm not a rep for wolf, I just think the tools are very well thought out and made, and are great for me where storage is an issue.