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I have a property that has remote hot water heat. Above the…

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I have a property that...
I have a property that has remote hot water heat. Above the heat registers/radiators in one room (living room) I'm getting what looks like soot build up on the walls and in the metal radiator covers. It is not as evident in other rooms. These are base board radiators and the floor is hardwood.

What is causing it and how can it be prevented.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Home Improvement
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Answered in 2 hours by:
1/5/2010
Home Improvement Expert: tinman, Home Improvement Enthusiast replied 8 years ago
tinman
tinman, Home Improvement Enthusiast
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 177
Experience: Property Maint, Electrician, Appliance Repair, HVAC, Carpentry, Plumbing, Mechanic, Water Treatment
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Hi, this is unusual to say the least.

There is no open flame of anykind anywhere around the (what looks like soot build up), right? You haven't been burning a lot of candles or had any type of open flame around, right?

If this is the case what you are looking at may not be soot at all. Since the stain is located above the radiators, (warm places) I would say that it's possible it could be mold. Check the edges of this (soot looking) stain with a magnifying glass. Does the edges of the stain look finger like or feathery? If it does, it's mold. If it were soot the stains would have a more even edge. To only way to be sure would be to take a sample to your County Extension Office. They should identify the stain for you and it shouldn't cost you anything.

Another cause of this dark area could be just because this is where the heated air is always rising up. Carrying minute deposits up the wall because the hot air is always rising over the radiators. Pulling any type of particle that may be floating around the radiator and carrying it up the wall over the radiator. Anywhere there is a lot of air movement you always get more deposits.

My 3rd and final guess would be that when you have a hot surface and a cold surface these surfaces set up a positive and negative charges. So, opposite forces attract, dirt/dust/minute particles are attracted to the walls due to the temperature variance. Thus depositing themselves on your wall above the radiators as the air is always rising. If you have ever looked through sun lite sitting in a room and seeing all the particles floating, you can understand how this can happen over time.

I hope I have given you something to think about?

thanks, tinman

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