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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default soot on walls and ceilings

    My furnace broke down a few years ago and soot came up the air vents coating my walls and ceilings. Does anyone know of a way to clean this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: soot on walls and ceilings

    the smartest way to do it is to call one of fire restoration companies. they come in and do a great job, at least the two that i've dealt with. if you want to do it yourself, you can purchase the cleaning chemicals ****** but they are expensive, ranging from about $60 - $220 a gallon depending on what you need.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: soot on walls and ceilings

    Kelly,

    Depending on the quality and finish of the paint on your walls, you might never be able to clean them to an acceptable appearance. Flat finish paints are generally much harder to clean than paints with more sheen , such as satin or semi-gloss finishes. Also, high quality paints are going to clean much better than lesser, contractor grade paints that are loaded with inexpensive pigments such as calcium carbonate, i.e. chalk.

    That being said, there are several time tested wall washing products such as TSP, Dirtex and Soilax. The most important thing to remember in wall washing is to always start from the bottom and work your way up the wall. Dirty detergent filled water running down the still dry wall can cause streaks that will never go away.

    I like to protect the flooring with plastic drops. Tape strips of the plastic to the baseboard to prevent the dirty water from getting to the carpet or flooring. This forms a trough from which you can mop up the dirty water coming down the wall. I like to fill a pump garden sprayer with the detergent solution and spray a whole section of wall starting from the bottom up. Let the detergent do its work for a minute or two, then rinse the wall with clean water and a sponge, again starting from the bottom up. Change the rinse water often.

    Hopefully this technique will give you acceptable results. Even if it does not, you should have gotten your walls clean enough to be able to paint them without any bleed through of the soot.

    Painters who do extreme fire jobs where there is heavy soot and acrid odor from the fire, often seal the walls with BIN pigmented shellac primer. BIN totally blocks the bleed through.
    The above process is similar to what is neccessry when there is a really heavy nicotine accumulation on walls.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: soot on walls and ceilings

    Thanks so much.

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