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  1. #1
    Drew Brink's Avatar
    Drew Brink Guest

    Question Black soot on week old window blinds

    I just moved into an apartment located on the basement level with one side at ground level (building is built into a hill). When I moved into the apartment, I noticed a black ring around where a few of the pictures used to hang. The previous tenants had been here for 3+ years so I figured possible soot from candles, smoking, etc. However, I replaced the blinds less than a week ago and they are already covered with the same black soot on both sides. Many of the surfaces I wiped down and cleaned also have the beginning of a black film.

    Because it is a basement apartment and susceptible to moisture, I purchased a dehumidifier that seems to be helping with any musty like smells. The bathroom does have some mold and rotting damage around the tub that the landlord will be fixing.

    Could this black soot be related to mold? Any suggestions on how I move forward?

    Thank you,

    Drew

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Black soot on week old window blinds

    Hello Drew –

    Unfortunately, your living area is not as insular as you would like to think. Rather, in an apartment, you share your breathing air with as many people and living areas as are in your structure.

    Therefore, if someone is burning candles three floors up (or down) … or three doors sideways… whatever… you could be the recipient of the pollution. In fact, you could be the recipient of the pollution even if the intervening apartments are not experiencing any problems.

    I have seen contaminants take very tortuous and circuitous routes through structures, originating in one location, and manifesting in a further location, without affecting the spaces in between.

    It’s probably candles. Based on your description, it’s probably not mould.

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Industrial Hygiene

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  3. #3
    Drew Brink's Avatar
    Drew Brink Guest

    Question Re: Black soot on week old window blinds

    Could a few candles cause that much soot build up on the blinds? All three windows have residue on the blinds after only one week. It's a one-bedroom apartment about 425 sq ft. The bedroom and bathroom door have the soot residue on them as well after being wiped down a week ago.

    Thank you,

    Drew



  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Black soot on week old window blinds

    Drew,

    Sure can. This is a indicator that your neighbor whoever is burning these candles is burning "cheap" candles too.

    Check your air filter too.

    rick


  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Black soot on week old window blinds

    And just think that every time one burns candles they are sucking all that garbage into their lungs. Years ago when I saw the affect of burnings candles we stopped doing so and never have since.


  6. #6
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: Black soot on week old window blinds

    I think that it is worthwhile to consider the heating system. I don't see houses with oil burners here in northern CA, but being in a basement, what kind of heating system do you have? Oil burners can burn poorly and belch black soot.

    Soot from burning candles seems to be a stretch, if so, I wonder what the candle burner's apartment looks like!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Black soot on week old window blinds

    Drew,

    I did a search and used Google images and got a picture from your the inside of your neighbors apt.

    Just what I expected.

    rick

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  8. #8
    Bob Phoenix's Avatar
    Bob Phoenix Guest

    Default Re: Black soot on week old window blinds

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Drew,
    I did a search and used Google images and got a picture from your the inside of your neighbors apt.
    Just what I expected.
    rick
    Holy Carp!
    I think Drew's neighbor is trying to save on their heating bill with that many candles going at one time...

    Or... maybe she's the romatickle type... That would be an awful lot of.. Ahem... "Buring Passion" there...

    I'm inclined to take a look at the heating system too... Oil heaters are notorious for "back drafting" through the flue... Or, if the nozzle is warn badly enough there will be more unburned soot in the combustion chamber than the stack can handle... (Had that happen in an old house once... The whole family woke up looking like a bunch of Al Jolsons...!)

    For those of you who don't remember who...


    Oh never mind...

    Bob


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