In this case, it was due to areas of missing insulation in the attic. It worries me, but her in-laws say it's just dirt. In most climates this can be achieved by simply increasing the ventilation in the home. your photos look like the dark areas might be due to thermal tracking possibly related to inadequate insulation in the ceiling at the house eaves -particularly if all of the stains on ceilings are at / along exterior walls - in two of your photos I could confirm that the stains are at what looks like an exterior wall, but I also see through a window or door what may be an outdoor porch. This is due to the updraft of air currents created by the heat of the light bulb. A séance won’t help you deal with these ghosts. Ghosting in my opinion is a cowardly way to deal with relationship. The differences between thermal tracking and indoor dust or stains that are coming from the HVAC system include: So it looks as if your daughter's in-laws are probably quite correct - it's indoor dirt, or more technically, airborne dust and debris being blown out of the air supply registers. Another cause of brown spotting on your ceiling is known as ghosting. In the upper left section of our photograph below you can see stains marking the location of ceiling joists. "Ghosting" is particulates sticking to the wall or ceiling in areas that are colder than others due to thermal bridging of the framing and therefore slightly damp from condensation. Sometimes where a porch roof is attached to an existing building or building roof, the porch roof is at a lower slope than the roof on the main building. Major ghosting noted on walls and ceiling, this is symptomatic of a poorly insulated and humid home. Stains under and around doorways, or at carpet-to-wall junctions, are typically indicative of pressure differential issues, while ghosting on walls and ceilings are likely caused by poor insulation. Over time, these particles cause a permanent stain. in the ceiling cavity are occupied by a wood joist rather than by insulation). Apologies for the delay. Apparently, humidity is causing the dark lines. The condition is called ghosting, and the marks are likely caused by particulate matter in the air. Ghosting is a move you make when you're way too big of a GINORMOUS wuss to end things with the person you've been dating with actual words. Large crack in ceiling sheetrock near entrance to hallway, likely secondary to normal building settling. What’s with those ghostly gray stains on the outside corners of the ceiling and walls? If necessary the ductwork, and air handler may be cleaned. Black rectangular stains on ceilings: that are about the width between ceiling joists are likely to mark areas where insulation has been reduced or omitted entirely - as you can see in our page top photo. Without seeing the pattern and knowing nothing else about your home I can only speculate.Sometimes we "see" a stain for the first time when something makes us notice it, but the stain might not really be new. See GHOSTING DARK RECTANGULAR STAINS: CAUSES for more examples of ceiling stains caused by poor insulation and/or air bypass leaks. Whats people lookup in this blog: Ghosting On Ceiling Joists Typically your only recourse is to repaint. The AC compressor and air handler are unplugged and not working since the fall, so no air should be moving through the vent. Water can also cause support beams to warp and rot which will lead to eventual ceiling collapse as well. These interior stain photographs are from my daughter's home in Tulsa, OK - could this indicate thermal tracking? While ghosting often mirrors the attic framing/rafters, it can also occur due to missing insulation. Note: This section on the picture shows darker shadow / ghosting and there are no marks of water leak; just visible dirt. Running your bathroom 12 hours per day will often do the trick. Our page top photo shows two common thermal tracking or "ghosting" patterns. I was in a 30-year-old rancher this week that had distinct marks on the ceiling, evenly spaced as if they were directly under the trusses, that ran the length of each room. 1996 Ashrae Handbook Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning Systems and Equipment: Inch-Pound Edition (Hardcover), ISBN-10: 1883413346 or ISBN-13: 978-1883413347 , Principles of Heating, Ventilating, And Air Conditioning: A textbook with Design Data Based on 2005 AShrae Handbook - Fundamentals (Hardcover), Harry J., Jr. Sauer (Author), Ronald H. Howell, ISBN-10: 1931862923 or ISBN-13: 978-1931862929, 1993 ASHRAE Handbook Fundamentals (Hardcover), ISBN-10: 0910110964 or ISBN-13: 978-091011096, Energy Savers: Whole House Systems Approach to Energy Efficient Home Design [copy on file as /interiors/Whole_House_Energy_Efficiency_DOE.pdf ] - U.S. Department of Energy, "Energy Savers: Whole-House Supply Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Whole-House_Supply_Vent.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11880?print, "Energy Savers: Whole-House Exhaust Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Whole-House_Exhaust.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11870, "Energy Savers: Ventilation [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Ventilation.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy, "Energy Savers: Natural Ventilation [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Natural_Ventilation.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy, "Energy Savers: Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Energy_Recovery_Venting.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11900, "Energy Savers: Detecting Air Leaks [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Detect_Air_Leaks.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy, "Energy Savers: Air Sealing [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Air_Sealing_1.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy. It isn't as spooky as it sounds. I agree that there can be a relationship between dusty or dirty HVAC systems or the absence of a duct system filter and debris stains on indoor surfaces that show up as thermal tracking. The thermal tracking phenomenon goes by a variety of generic names; ghosting, bridging and plating-out are just a few. We need to know the pattern, location, and probable cause of your ceiling and wall stains in order to best suggest a solution to the cause. Three things generally cause ghosting to form: Air passing through the building envelope We got it fixed just a 1 year ago, but obviously left it too long. Ghosting typically causes black, not great lines. If you live in a climate with cool winters, ensure you are properly ventilating your home. Does this look like "thermal tracking" to you? wood structure, wall and ceiling framing is typically on 16" or 24" centers. Staining noted on carpeting immediately adjacent to master tub, this may be secondary to leakage from the poorly caulked areas. Click to Show or Hide Citations & References, HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION COURESES (Canada), HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION: HOME STUDY COURSES, Water leaks into the ceiling from roof leaks or in freezing climates, from ice dam leaks, Water leaks into the ceiling from plumbing leaks, Water leaks into the ceiling from condensation dripping off of cold water piping or out of air conditioning ducts or bath fan exhaust ducts, Water leaks into the ceiling from water entering at a building wall of a floor or balcony above, Thermal tracking or ghosting (discussed in the article below), Animal, usually pets, rubbing against or lying against walls may stain walls but unless you have some meddlesome birds, rarely against ceilings, Use of a fireplace or woodstove during a power outage might add soot or smoke particles that deposit on walls or ceilings, If the stains are really ONLY at ceiling A/C air supply registers and those ducts and registers are used only for cooling, then yes, there can be air movement in and out of ceiling ducts and registers, by convection, during cold weather even when the A/C system and blower are turned off. Only limited research studies are available. Thermal tracking or "ghosting" is the deposition of house dust and debris onto walls and ceilings in patterns caused by a combination of air movement, interior moisture, and in some cases, a source of high levels of particles. In a cathedral ceiling in which older recessed lights have been installed, you may see a combination of patterns: Ceiling stains where insulation has been omitted completely: may be very apparent such as this photograph taken in a garage. - firstname.lastname@example.org. can also lead to mold growth. During an inspection, if you have trouble determining the source of discoloration on a surface -- whether it’s a floor, wall or ceiling -- remember the physics of ghosting. The soot attaches to cold spots on the ceiling. The result: black sooty stains on your walls and ceilings that follow the patterns of the framing. If you notice ghost marks / dark stains on walls / interior ceiling surfaces outlining house framing, dark dots corresponding to nails and screws underneath the wall finish, stains around picture frames hanging on walls, carpet discoloration along the house exterior walls, sooty residue around the windows and doors, etc., mold is usually not the problem. the stud or joists lines. Some examples that might be related to snow cover and a power outage could be, Can I eliminate the stains on my ceilings and walls due to possible thermal tracking staining? Thermal tracking or ghosting stains usually map the location of cooler surfaces such as the locations of ceiling joists, wall studs,or areas of smaller amounts of or completely missing building insulation. - D.C. 1/10/2013. Photos & text identify thermal tracking, thermal bridging, air bypass, insulation defects and air movement in buildings. Ceiling stains are most often due to one of the following: The size, shape, location, pattern of any building stain form important clues in diagnosing its cause. Pistolpete:Painting over thermal tracking stains or many other types of stains on a ceiling, using a sealant such as Kilz™ or Bin™ or Enamelac™ (we get good results from) lacquer based primer sealers will make for a cosmetic repair.But if you don't address the original cause of the stain, such as missing insulation, high interior moisture, sources of dirt or soot, building leaks, etc., then the stains will return. Also known as “ghost stains,” “bridging,” or “thermal tracking,” ghosting creates strange patterns along exterior walls and ceilings. Stop using candles or combustible oils. Insulation Ghosting Vertical Streaks on Walls & Ceilings Home Improvement Library, Insulation I highly suspect that the substantial humidity created with your unvented gas … Moderate surface growth noted on exterior wall in closet. Ceiling soot marks could indicate a serious problem. But your photos do not show that characteristic thermal tracking pattern - the stains in your photos are not thermal tracking in your case. focusing on the cause of various interior wall and ceiling stains and explains how to recognize thermal tracking, thermal bridging stains, Cigarette smoke can cause staining via the same principle as ghosting. Definition of thermal tracking or "ghosting": sooty or dark lines or stains appearing in patterns on building ceilings or walls On the inside of buildings, especially in older homes whose interiors have not been re-painted or cleaned in some time. Can this be a result of the ridge vent that was cut in the roof?-TOM. Large crack in ceiling sheetrock near entrance to hallway, likely secondary to normal building settling. If debris is being picked up and blown through the duct system, and if we also have conditions that invite thermal tracking (minimal insulation, cooler walls, higher indoor moisture, for example), the dust being delivered by the duct system might indeed become deposited in a thermal tracking pattern - the striped pattern that is described above. If you’re observing green growth, this is likely due to mold growth. Sounds like you are talking about Ghosting - which is where the more conductive studs and headers in the wall (or joists in ceilings) make for cold spots on the walls, which then condenses small amounts of moisture, which then traps dust, which then traps airborne oils and other cantaminants, and can eventually support mildew or mold growth. We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need. black streaks up the building wall in a regular 16" or 24" pattern, particularly on cooler exterior walls but potentially anywhere, Ghosting happens when mildly damp, warm and possibly sooty interior air condenses on the sections of walls and ceiling that are colder because they are that uninsulated section of the wood frame. This is not as commonly known by most people. I’m guessing you’ll find these spots correspond with areas of missing insulation. Often these stains are mistaken for toxic indoor mold. *Heads up – I earn a small commission on sales through Amazon links. ANSWER: What you are describing is textbook “shadowing” or “ghosting ” from candle soot. The basic cause is moisture that collects along the underside of ceiling joists or trusses, and sometimes along wall studs. A photo-guide to common indoor ceiling and wall stains and what they mean. Ghosting or mold the difference prevention strategies environix customer testimonials ottsville pa cooper mechanical inc ghosting or mold the difference prevention strategies environix ghosting or mold the difference prevention strategies environix. What causes those long parallel dark stains on building interior ceilings? Considering that the youngster is reported to have recurrent respiratory illness, ask the pediatrician or pulmonologist about the advisability of improving the indoor air quality by reducing the overall dust levels (housecleaning, getting rid of carpets, improved air filtration, etc.) North and south sides both (straight rancher. Any place in the home that draws air through a small space or which pushes room air against a surface may create ghosting. Now that you have cleansed the … The receiver will be found inside the canopy that hugs the ceiling, so you will have to get inside that canopy in order to do this. In that case, we may find inadequate ventilation under the roof eaves of the main building along with an accumulation of snow or ice at the point of change in roof pitch. Warm moisture-laden air touches the cooler surface of a building wall or ceiling, giving up some of its moisture to the surface as condensation.Also see AIR MOVEMENT in BUILDINGS, As air moves Hello Jadie. This article describes how to identify and diagnose ceiling stains in buildings Hot and Cold Spots: Experiencing huge fluctuations in temperature in particular areas in your home. Note those dark "stripes" extending along the ceiling? The issue is exacerbated by the excess humidity in the air. These relate to airborne In most cases, these are the two culprits. Either or both of those conditions could contribute to moisture or leaks in that area. A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem, in this case perhaps a problem with your heating system, air filters, or maybe dirty ductwork, or perhaps finally, an extra source of dust and debris in the building indoor air. Allow the walls to dry and give the room time to ventilate before moving to the next step: Step 5: Kill the Odor. Try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly. Most ghostly outlines like this are caused by soot in the air. dirt being thrust against the ceiling as a result of the thermals that are created by the heat of the light bulb. Heavy surface mold growth noted on exterior wall, furniture had likely been placed against the wall in this area. We discuss this air movement in and out of ducts in more detail at. If enough water is allowed to build up, the ceiling will sag and collapse. It occurs when soot and dust particles stick to the ceiling. The consequences of getting that same scenario occurring to you where someone won’t return calls or see you or disappears is … When left for long periods of time, these can cause a permanent stain. Ghosting can produce other unusual results. CEILING STAIN DIAGNOSIS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice. Thermal tracking ceiling stains, usually black, gray, or dark brown in color, may appear to follow the lines of ceiling joists (and will typically appear roughly 16-inches on center or 24-inches on center depending on how the building was framed (photo at left). The colder temperature leads to condensation, which causes the soot and dust particles to stick. A few weeks back, I replied to a reader's question about "ghost shadows" on his ceiling. Sooty or dark smudges or stains appearing near the ceiling On the inside of building exterior walls or at the ceiling-wall juncture, especially in older homes whose interiors have not been re-painted or cleaned in some time. She has a special-needs 2 year old who has allergies and frequent bouts of pneumonia. When ghosting occurs, extremely fine soot particles in the air collect on the walls and ceilings at locations where the temperature is cooler and where there is higher electrostatic attraction. Mold growth typically has a spotting pattern, whereas ghosting has a grey, diffuse appearance. Check the ductwork and air handler for high levels of dust and debris. Or see CEILING STAIN DIAGNOSIS FAQs - questions & answers posted originally at this page. Long, narrow, parallel black or gray ceiling stains in buildings may be due to thermal tracking as we explain here. Ghosting is the slow buildup of air-borne dust, dirt, and soot particles on walls or ceilings. The stains outline the stud framing, and they even seem darker where there are nails in the drywall. Is it possible that somehow air came out of the vent, carrying with it soot from the AC ducts? Improve your attic insulation. Often homeowners will report dark circular spots above vanity lights. Found here: definition of thermal tracking or ghosting stains appearing on building ceilings (or walls): cause, diagnosis, cure and prevention. Soot collects at framing, under doors, around pictures and on plastic appliances. *Heads up – I earn a small commission on sales through Amazon links. We had a chimney fire 6 years ago, and a crack appeared in the chimney. Major ghosting noted on walls and ceiling, this is symptomatic of a poorly insulated and humid home. This looks like ghosting. When ghosting occurs, extremely fine soot in the air collects on the walls and ceilings where the temperature is cooler and there is higher electrostatic attraction. Ghosting stains have been seen on interior and exterior wall surfaces; on carpet surfaces at wall-to-floor connections or door undercuts; on ceilings; on furniture, around … For ceilings in particular, water can accumulate inside the ceiling, weakening the drywall or plaster. You might want to start addressing the debris stains in your photos by checking for the presence of an air filter in the duct system; if no filter is installed at all, one is needed.