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Thread: Attic painted

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southern Maryland
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    Default Attic painted

    In a large (8700 sq. ft.), 12year old home the entire unfinished attic, trusses and sheathing, was painted white. Now, I was told this home had a prior kitchen fire and I know sometimes painting areas not normally painted is done to eliminate odors, like the charred smell from a fire. In this case the kitchen is on the first floor and the attic is above the third floor. I wouldnít have known there was a fire based on visual inspection and I donít know the extent of the fire. In addition, the attic was not accessible except to stick your head up in the area above the air handler where the ducts branched out. Iíve also heard about creative ways to keep attics cooker, like using foils, etc. So, is painting an attic white an energy saving thing? Secondly, what do you think about the fire scenario? What do you look for when told there was a prior fire, melted connectors? Thanks in advance.

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    Jim, in Calvert County, MD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Attic painted

    A few fire restoration links if found a while back:



    What to Do After a Fire | CMHC
    Fire
    Fire, Smoke & Soot Damage Repair Guidelines


  3. #3
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Attic painted

    Normally the "white" paint will be Kilz or a Kilz-like product designed to hide not only old odors, but also old staining. The odor is sometimes overwhelming that the homeowner just can't get it out of their nose until the entire attic is painted, even though it may not have been directly effected by the fire.

    On the other-hand, a "silverish" colored spray on (aluminum impregnated) paints are what is what you will usually see for a home that has had a spray-on thermal barrier for energy-efficiency.

    There is only a slight difference in the looks of the two but if you have had the opportunity to see very many of each, they are quite distinguishable.... Hope this helps.

    RR


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Attic painted

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kasterko View Post
    In a large (8700 sq. ft.), 12year old home the entire unfinished attic, trusses and sheathing, was painted white. Now, I was told this home had a prior kitchen fire and I know sometimes painting areas not normally painted is done to eliminate odors, like the charred smell from a fire. In this case the kitchen is on the first floor and the attic is above the third floor. I wouldnít have known there was a fire based on visual inspection and I donít know the extent of the fire. In addition, the attic was not accessible except to stick your head up in the area above the air handler where the ducts branched out. Iíve also heard about creative ways to keep attics cooker, like using foils, etc. So, is painting an attic white an energy saving thing? Secondly, what do you think about the fire scenario? What do you look for when told there was a prior fire, melted connectors? Thanks in advance.
    Inspecting fire damage that has been painted is difficult. I try to probe what I can just to see how charred the wood is. On a 12 year old home, it would most likely be a kitchen fire, heating equipment or lighting strike. Of course it could also be from just about anything, but those would be the most common I would think. The best thing you can do is to simply say "I do not know", when in fact you really do not know. Do not guess.

    If you really want to know, you can contact the local fire department they will have very detailed records of the fire. The FD will detail down to the number of man hours it took to put the fire out.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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