LESLIE: James in Utah could have a structural problem on his hands. What’s going on at your house?
JAMES: I noticed my I-beam had some rust on it and could I use a paint in an enclosed area where the furnace is and would that be a problem that would cause maybe an explosion with the fumes?
TOM: That’s an excellent question because if the fumes do get dense enough and connect with the pilot light, certainly that could happen. So what we would recommend is this. If you’re going to paint in a space like that you should turn the pilot light off and turn the furnace off; turn the pilot light off of both the furnace and the water heater if it’s nearby; ventilate the space. You can use a fan. The fan could be sort of in the doorway of the furnace room and be blowing air or pulling air out.
LESLIE: Outwards, yeah.
TOM: And this way there’ll be plenty of fresh air in there while the paint’s drying. Now, once it dries …
LESLIE: Yeah, how long do you have to allow it to cure?
TOM: Not too long. I mean, you know, just until it’s dry to the touch. It’s only going to offgas while it’s drying.
TOM: So once it dries then I think you’ll be in good shape.
James, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.