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Ghosting (by Gab [AK]) Dec 1, 2021 6:42 AM
       Ghosting (by gevans [SC]) Dec 1, 2021 7:05 AM
       Ghosting (by DJ [VA]) Dec 1, 2021 7:24 AM
       Ghosting (by Still Learning [NH]) Dec 1, 2021 7:45 AM
       Ghosting (by Robert J [CA]) Dec 1, 2021 7:47 AM
       Ghosting (by NE [PA]) Dec 1, 2021 8:29 AM
       Ghosting (by Busy [WI]) Dec 1, 2021 9:40 AM
       Ghosting (by plenty [MO]) Dec 1, 2021 9:43 AM
       Ghosting (by Gab [AK]) Dec 1, 2021 9:53 AM
       Ghosting (by Richard [MI]) Dec 1, 2021 11:00 AM
       Ghosting (by Scott [IN]) Dec 1, 2021 11:07 AM
       Ghosting (by Busy [WI]) Dec 1, 2021 11:42 AM
       Ghosting (by Gab [AK]) Dec 1, 2021 9:38 PM
       Ghosting (by myob [GA]) Dec 2, 2021 1:28 PM
       Ghosting (by Wilma [PA]) Dec 2, 2021 1:56 PM
       Ghosting (by Lana [IN]) Dec 2, 2021 2:08 PM
       Ghosting (by Gene [OH]) Dec 2, 2021 9:37 PM
       Ghosting (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Dec 2, 2021 9:54 PM

Ghosting (by Gab [AK]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 6:42 AM

I have rentals in different states, been a LL for decades. I have never seen "ghosting" on walls and ceilings until now. I contacted my insurance, Allstate, but they say damages are not covered because a damage has to be "sudden" and not over time. The tenant was there for 3 years, good tenant, but this happened due to a neighbor burning trash in his yard. The tenant said this happened two weeks prior to us seeing the rental.

The tenant used air sprays, such as Glade. I think this created a film on the walls and ceilings. There are dark gray lines where the studs and rafters are, and shadowing above the heat source which is radiant heating (non-forced air). There is no fireplace, tenant was a non-smoker single woman.

The prevous tenant of 1 year burned candles and had plug-in room fresheners. This may have contributed to somesort of sticky film near the outIets above the radiant heaters. However, I did not see "ghosting" when she moved out, and was able to do touch-up painting where there were marks on the walls and trim - the paint matched and no visible sign where I touched up the paint. I then included a clause in my addendum that tenants could not use "smoking candles nor incense" in addition to non-smoking.

Now, I am going to add to the addendum tenants are not allowed to use spray room fresheners. There is an on going investigation to the substance which caused the dark gray shadows throughout the entire house - including closets.

Has anyone added a clause to there contract regarding the use of candles, plug-in and sptay room fresheners?

Ghosting (by gevans [SC]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 7:05 AM

I have no smoking, no vaping, and no candles or incense in my leases. I recently had this challenged by a Jewish applicant. He stated candles were an essential part of the Jewish religion. I added a religious exemption to the clause.

Ghosting (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 7:24 AM

Wow, that is strange - throughout the whole house?!

Plug-in air freshener & candles can cause some staining in that specific area, but it won't travel to the whole house.

I've never had trouble with an occasional use of spray freshener.

Are you sure you really want to tell people they can't spray a little something in the air in the bathroom once in a while? I doubt that would go over well, especially when candles are prohibited.

I have no idea what may be causing that or what you should do, but I will be checking back because I'm curious to know what you learn.

Will it wash off? Maybe with TSP

Ghosting (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 7:45 AM

I get the dark shadow streaks above the forced hot water radiator all the time in my rentals. Sometimes I also get it in corners or along the ceiling edge. It seems to happen more on the front side units. Scrubbing the walls with pinesol and water with magic erasers works for me. I am starting to wonder if being in close proximity to the train station is a factor.

Ghosting (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 7:47 AM

I have a friend who is lousy at picking tenants, but has great insurance. He pays "extra" to have full coverage for damages done by tenants anytime during their tenancy. The insurance company has the right to sue the tenants for claims paid to the landlords.

One tenant took dirt from the yard and spread it all over the interior flooring, around 6 inches tall, then watered the dirt into mud. Damaging the carpet and hardwood flooring. The insurance paid out $30,000, including loss of rent, so long as the landlord filed a complete police report. The extra premium was around $180 a year -- this way around 20 years ago.

Ghosting (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 8:29 AM

What kind of heating system do you have?

Ghosting (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 9:40 AM

My thought too was heating system. Could smoke from neighbors burning been pulled in the air intake? That would have been a lot of smokeÖ.. Would an oil burning system do this if it has a leak? ( ooh, that would smell, I would thinkÖ)

Ghosting (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 9:43 AM

Burnting cheap candles will do this. Like candles from the dollar store.

Ghosting (by Gab [AK]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 9:53 AM

The insurance hired a company to take samples. They only examined the substances which would be covered by the policy -ash, soot and smoke. They took these samples above the thermostat, light switch cover and window sill- nothing from the walls/ceiling. Their report says nothing about what caused it, only it was not covered. The adjuster said it was "organic dust". He determined it was environmental, and not based upon a sudden impact like a fire.

"organic dust" was defined as human skin cells, pet dander and dust. This is unbelievable. This house was painted entirely about 5 1/2 years ago, with the bedrooms repainted as recent as 4 to 3 years ago. The only room not showing "ghosting" was the master bedroom where the tenant slept - one person rented the house for 3 years. It was in great shape prior to her moving in. I think if the adjuster's theory is right, this room would have shown signifcant damage. It is hard to believe "organic dust" can present itself up to the cathedral ceiling and in spaces like a walk in pantry. There was "ghosting" even in the bathrooms. We have to pay out of pocket for re-painting the whole interior. To find out the actual cause, I will have to hire a commercial hygentist to take samples - it would be tested as they do in forensics. Very costly. I think it was the neighbor buring trash which caused the dark gray look to the rooms and the lines appearing where the studs- framing of the house (maybe due to transfer of coldness into the wood?). The hygentist I spoke with said he has seen this type of "ghosting" even in one month of buring candles which smoke.

We will increase our security deposit for the next tenant. We gave back the SD to the one who moved out. We don't believe it is her fault, but attribute this to the next door neighbor's lifestyle. I don't know what he was buring.

We have radiant heat source, pipes which heat up water. Nothing is from forced air flow. We think the tenant left a window open. How can we justify not giving back SD if this happens again? Maybe time for a new insurance, update our policy? It's doubtful any insurance will cover as good as Rabert's friend's coverage. I think those days are gone.

Ghosting (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 11:00 AM

Where is this rental located? --75.7.xx.xx

Ghosting (by Scott [IN]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 11:07 AM

Wood is a relatively poor thermal insulator. In an insulated house, stud bays and ceiling joist bays are much better insulated than studs and joists. In winter, wall and ceiling areas adjacent to studs and joists are colder. A microscopic, invisible layer of condensation can form, allowing "organic dust" to stick or mold to grow. I would scrub it off with a bleach based cleaner.

Maybe Steve will chime in. He is really good with construction science issues.

Ghosting (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 11:42 AM

Iím just a it late again! Scott beat me to it. Moisture levels, insulation, and itís just time for a good, old-fashioned GI party. (Those who went through military know a GI party is a top to bottom cleaning. ) My parents used their annual house party to give our home a 100% cleaning. Wall, ceilings, behind the fridge, top of the stairwell, no spot untouched. My Dad was a smoker, and the house smelled so fresh after that once a year deep clean.

Having longer term tenants, which I much prefer, does mean those deep cleans ( or, cover it with paint, and call it a day,) arenít occurring. Iíve been working lately in a rental with a tenant of eight years. There is an abundance of dust on the ceilings, held in place by cooking oil. Reachable only with a stepladder. As I like long-term tenants, Iím pondering ideas for getting the deep clean done. This house has three layers of siding, and good rim joist and attic insulation, so, probably why the studs arenít apparent.

Ghosting (by Gab [AK]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2021 9:38 PM

Responding to the recent questions. This property is located in Eagle River Alaska. I agree with Busy, sounds like what the other hygentist told me. But, I do not know what caused the dark gray matter, it can't be just dust expecially when there is no carpeting in the entire house. I have recent washed down walls in another rental as opposed to painting due to a large dog rubbing against the walls. I used Simple Green with hot water and a hugh sponge used for washing cars. It worked great. However, my tenant and a house cleaning service tried to use bleach to clean the wall and it only smeared it around. What is weird is the valences I left above the kitchen window where we think the smoke came in is darkened too, almost like it was dyed. Can't figure it out.

Ghosting (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Dec 2, 2021 1:28 PM

we had this in a house a lady was using for "business". She had the entry and living room wall leading to the master BD lined with candles. By the time we got her out the walls had ghosting and the rim of the whole ceiling had discolored. Where ceiling met walls.

Ghosting (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Dec 2, 2021 1:56 PM

We have a SFH with a kitchen ceiling that shows ghosting - one set of tenants burned cheap candles, another fried EVERYTHING. We scrub and use oil-based Kilz primer, then paint, but it still shows up. Next turnover, we're biting the bullet and replacing that section with fresh sheet rock - and taking advantage of the open ceiling to put in more wiring for lights.

Ghosting (by Lana [IN]) Posted on: Dec 2, 2021 2:08 PM

I rented once to one of my closest friends from high school. But, after 30-35 years of life, alcohol and drug use, he had morphed into a loser. He did not like his baseboard electric heating bills and brought in a kerosene heater. He spray painted the back of the house with an obscene message for the electric company. He started hunting the neighbor's dogs with a crossbow too, but that's another tale/tail.

After we evicted him, the entire unit, ceiling to floor, was covered in black with light carpet spots marking where the furniture had been. We ended up replacing the carpet throughout and all the windows. Lots of scrubbing, lots of Kilz, and paint. This was ghosting taken to an extreme. He died about 5 years ago, ravaged by his lifestyle, and I ended up being his attending physician.

Ghosting (by Gene [OH]) Posted on: Dec 2, 2021 9:37 PM

I've had the same thing happen and it has been due to the use of candles. My lease states that the tenant is responsible for any damage done by smoking, vaping, burning of candles or incense. Make sure to charge the tenants for the cleanup or repainting. For me, I usually have to repaint.

Ghosting (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Dec 2, 2021 9:54 PM

I have seen the pattern a few years back on a REO property and wasn't sure what was going on, but the studs where alright but the spaces were darkened. I figured some kinda soot

Subject: RE: Ghosting
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