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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Question Shellac-like resin dripping from above window frames

    Hi, I have no idea if I'm in the right forum. But I thought maybe someone could point me in the right direction. I bought an old Chicago (1920s) brick 2 flat a couple of years ago. I am on the top floor. This weekend, I pulled back my curtains to find that 3 of the windows in my bedroom have an amber-like, hardened substance dripping from the top of the window frame. The details are:
    1) The windows are red oak.
    2) This is not a small amount of substance. There is spatter, and some of it hardened mid-drip from the top of the frame.
    3) It is like glue, but it dried crystalline. It is not sap because sap stays kind of tacky and soft or sticky. And it is too hard to be waxy.
    4) It smells bad, like bug poison.
    5) Where it seeped in from the frame, it has bleached the wood.
    6)It is NOT coming from the roof or outside the house. It is something either in the window frames themselves or in the walls and ceiling above the windows.

    So my question is...Does anyone on here know if there was a substance used in the woodwork of old buildings that could melt and drip out and then harden like this?

    Since the substance is most like shellac, and shellac is produced by the Lac insect (Coccus Lacca), does anyone know of an insect infestation that could cause something like this?

    I have photos of it. I'd appreciate any ideas. I don't know whether to call a contractor, an exterminator or an exorcist!
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