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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Interesting Problem

    I have an interesting problem that I've never encountered before in all my years in the trades.

    I live in a manufactured home (don't get me started! ). In the master bathroom there are 8 to 10 spots in the walls and ceiling that look like rust pitting through the paint, much like you'd see at corners with metal corner bead. Here's the kicker, it starts as a pin hole with the "rust" developing around the hole, then it sort of migrates away from the hole sort of like what a termite tube looks like. These are areas with no metal corner bead, they're random in nature, though concentrated over the corner shower and around one window.

    I will try to take some pics soon to share, maybe that will help. These are the strangest thing. I suspect that it may be ants, but I've never seen an ant burrow through drywall, much less multiple places. The affected area is the ceiling over the 3/3 shower and around a window that is 16x20. Southwest corner of the house, for what it's worth.

    I really don't want to do any exploratory surgery to figure this one out, but that is probably the only way to know what this weirdness is.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    820

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    here's my guess. the drywall screws are forming condensation and rusting. the lines you see in the ceiling are the rusty water weeping from the screws. just dig out a small part of the ceiling where one of the marks are and see if there's a screw there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    Or paint over them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    Spruce, do you have metal studs by any chance? if not, it's most likely the drywall fasteners (screws or nails) as MLS indicated.
    You could sand, prime and paint over it as HR said.

    OR, replace the fasteners and use rustproof ones...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    It's not my bathroom, so I haven't worried about it.

    The spots are random and not associated with fasteners from what I can see. She had burned a smoldering candle in there, which smoked the walls and pinpointed most of the fasteners, is how I know this.

    You know the sand like grains (poo ) that ants and termites leave behind, the stuff is very similar to this and there is a pin hole from which this stuff both accumulates around and drops from.

    I just Googled "ant damaged drywall" and came up with this pic, which is very similar to what I've got going on.

    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,159

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    If only the drywall was installed and finished with caulk, you probably wouldn't have any problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by ed21 View Post
    If only the drywall was installed and finished with caulk, you probably wouldn't have any problem.
    You're right, it's definitely a lack of staples! LOL
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New London County, CT
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    I agree with the rusting screws. We have a summer camp trailer that I have made repairs to and the same thing happens. A few months after painting the rust is starting to bleed through where I used plated screws.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    ive seen the rusting screws thing quite a few times on older homes that have poor ventilation in the bathroom. and or not enough insulation in the attic.. condensation forming on the nails up in the attic space and its bleeding down through
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Interesting Problem

    Do the dirt grains taste salty or rusty? Tell Mrs Spruce this is a critical test and we need her discriminating pallet.

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