In the painting industry, dark streaks or patches on the walls, carpets and ceilings are referred to as “ghosting.” Ghosting occurs when soot, dust or mold builds up on surfaces. Moisture, static electricity, cold spots and dust can all lead to ghosting.
Cold Spots and Ghosting
Cold spots on your walls and ceilings can become damp with condensation. When wet, the dust clings to the walls or ceilings. If this happens, the ghosts can indicate joists, studs or wall headers. Ghosting can help you identify any leaks in your home so that you can have them patched. Once you find the leak, you can then fix the cold channels. Moisture may also gather due to an overuse of humidifiers or drying your clothes indoors. Propane logs may also cause a buildup of moisture.
Lack of Moisture and Ghosting
While too much moisture in the air may be the cause of ghosting, too little moisture in the air can cause the same phenomenon. With too little moisture, static electricity can build up. As static electricity builds up, it charges the particles and causes them to cling to ceilings, walls and other surfaces. Heating systems can increase your static electricity by drying the air.
Dirt and Ghosting
Where does the dirt come from? Most of the dust and soot come from woodstoves, smoking and fireplaces. You can also have a dust problem because of firewood, pets, clothes and shoes. If you want to cut down on the dust and ash, you can vacuum regularly, clean your welcome mats and ensure that guests wipe their shoes off before entering the building. Air filters and purifiers can also help with dust buildup.
The steps to ridding your home of ghosting are simple. First, you want to deal with any damp spots, cold spots or dirty ducts. Once you have the problem areas taken care of, you can wash the walls and repaint. The cleaner your walls are before you repaint, the more likely the paint will adhere to the wall. The key to ending ghosting for good is to get rid of the causes.