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Add Insulation to Get Rid of Stains on Walls and Ceilings

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: John in Illinois, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    JOHN: Hi there. I get spots sometimes – I’ve had them in my bedroom; I’ve got one now in my bathroom – and they’re right where the ceiling and the wall meet. And I’m not sure if it’s just a condensation thing or mold or, really, how to correct the problem so I don’t continue to get those.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Do you think it’s where you have nails that go through the drywall?

    JOHN: Well, you know, one of them looks like it possibly could be; like there’s a fastener there.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Because what happens is sometimes where you get the nail that goes through the wall, that’s a little bit colder than the wall surface to the left or right of it. So you get more condensation there and then any dirt that’s in the air will stick there and it can cause it to sort of darken over time. It’s not necessarily a problem but it is not that unusual.

    JOHN: OK. So, how do you correct it? Do you just get rid of the stain and hope it doesn’t come back?

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. What you want to do is you want to clean it. I would spray it down with soapy water solution. You could spray it down with a bleach-and-water solution. And then you want to touch-up paint that area.

    But if it’s a matter of – I mean, if you had more insulation that you could put in above the ceiling in that area, that would cut down the temperature differential issue and make sure it doesn’t collect dirt quite as readily next time. But generally, it’s sort of a maintenance issue.

    You see this in houses a lot where sometimes you don’t have enough insulation and you can actually see each and every ceiling joist, sometimes, in the house. We call that “ghosting.” But what it really is when you have – the joist is a little colder on the ceiling surface so as air moves around the interior of the room, the dirt, so to speak, starts to stick there and darken that space. So sometimes you see spots or you see streaks as a result of not having enough insulation.

    JOHN: okay, thank you.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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