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  1. #1
    Matt Segedi's Avatar
    Matt Segedi Guest

    Default Strange Dust Collection

    I am quite willing to post all of the details about my problem if someone really wants to know what's going on and attempt to make guesses on what the problem might be, but several professional HVAC and insulation companies have taken a look and are quite stumped. At any rate, the basis of the problem I'm having in my home is an insanely large amount of dust or soot-like substance on our walls. We have a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen / living room and most of the dust is easily visible on the vaulted part of the wall (i.e. above the top of the doors and higher, sorry for my lack of proper terminology here). I'm pretty confident at this point that the reason most of the dust is gathering in those particular locations is due to poor insulation, but poor insulation isn't the cause for the dust itself. Of the two insulation companies that have looked, they are both completely stumped on what could be causing so much dust, although they both agree additional insulation is needed, but not the direct cause of the problem. There are quite a bit more details i can provide, but based off of the information provided, what kind of professional should I be contacting in order to investigate further? Also note that we've also had a mold test ran and everything came back fine, so the "dust" is not mold. I thought maybe some kind of home inspector would be the type of person to take a look, but all the home inspection companies I keep finding via the Better Business Buereu seem to be generic home inspectors that walk through your house and inspect it before completing a home purchase. I believe I need someone a little more specialized than that because I believe this is an out-of-the-ordinary case. Any input on what type of company I should be contacting would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Strange Dust Collection

    Pets?
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Strange Dust Collection

    Is this an older house? Central heating with ductwork?
    You say dust or soot, so we imagine it is dark in color, and sticking to the exterior walls?

    Do you burn scented candles? If so, that is a likely source of soot.

    Has there ever been coal used to heat the house? Coal dust may be coming up out of the ductwork.

    Do a Google search for an air quality inspection company in your area.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Strange Dust Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Segedi View Post
    I am quite willing to post all of the details about my problem if someone really wants to know what's going on and attempt to make guesses on what the problem might be, but several professional HVAC and insulation companies have taken a look and are quite stumped. At any rate, the basis of the problem I'm having in my home is an insanely large amount of dust or soot-like substance on our walls. We have a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen / living room and most of the dust is easily visible on the vaulted part of the wall (i.e. above the top of the doors and higher, sorry for my lack of proper terminology here). I'm pretty confident at this point that the reason most of the dust is gathering in those particular locations is due to poor insulation, but poor insulation isn't the cause for the dust itself. Of the two insulation companies that have looked, they are both completely stumped on what could be causing so much dust, although they both agree additional insulation is needed, but not the direct cause of the problem. There are quite a bit more details i can provide, but based off of the information provided, what kind of professional should I be contacting in order to investigate further? Also note that we've also had a mold test ran and everything came back fine, so the "dust" is not mold. I thought maybe some kind of home inspector would be the type of person to take a look, but all the home inspection companies I keep finding via the Better Business Buereu seem to be generic home inspectors that walk through your house and inspect it before completing a home purchase. I believe I need someone a little more specialized than that because I believe this is an out-of-the-ordinary case. Any input on what type of company I should be contacting would be greatly appreciated!
    I have a few questions.... What you are describing is what we call "Ghosting", it is a common occurrence in homes and it can be caused by many things..

    How old is the home?
    Do you have a ventless fireplace?
    Do you burn candles?
    Do you use those plug-in air fresheners?
    Do you have an ionization/ozone air freshener?
    Do you fry foods in the kitchen?
    Is your kitchen vent fan vented to the exterior?
    What type of cladding is on the exterior of the home?
    Do you have a gas, electric,oil furnace?
    Do you warm up your car in the garage? If it is not attached don't answer..
    Does anyone smoke in your home?
    Did you buy your home new or was it pre-owned?

    A good (experianced with a few thousand inspections under their belt) home inspector would be your best bet. The problem you have is not uncommon and can be diagnosed but it will require a person with knowledge and experience to do it.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Strange Dust Collection

    Matt,

    Apparently you've monkeyed around enough with various people and are still no closer to figuring things out. Go to iaqa.org and find a certified indoor environmentalist in your area. With the proper equipment and testing that person should be able to pin down exactly what it is that's in your home. This can be done via surface and air samples that can be laboratory analyzed - this should also include an air sample from the exterior. Armed with this information you should have a better idea of how to proceed.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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