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Drywall dark spots

lasertym's picture

On my painted drywall on only the exterior walls of my house I'm having dark spots appear where I securedthe drywall with screws. I've washed & repainted the walls, but eventually they appear again in time. The interior walls don't have this issue, only the walls that have an exterior side to them. Is there something about the cold studs attracting dirt & dust to the screw heads imbedded in the studs? Before the drywall was put up 1" urethane foam boards were used to sheath the studs. This doesn't happen on the ceilings, but these are 2 x 10's rather than the 2 x 4's which are the exterior walls.

Is there something I can do to correct this problem?

(post #80338, reply #1 of 9)

Do you smoke?

It's the particles condensing from the smoke where the wall is the coldest from the thermal bridging. It's usually somewhat apparent at the studs and even more noticeable where the screws are.

I bet you smoke, or have a lot of fires.

(post #80338, reply #3 of 9)

Thanks for the suggestions.
There are no smokers in our house & non of our visiting friends smoke either. The hot air heating system has an electronic air cleaner. Mabey its the five kids that grew up in the house that did it.

How I do to stop it reoccuring?

(post #80338, reply #2 of 9)

Or candles, or gas lights....

(post #80338, reply #4 of 9)

I've posted on this a couple of times.  The previous poster was right.  Soot/dirt is attracted differently to the warm vs cold areas of the exterior studs and deposits itself there.  Search under "soot" here and some discussions should pop up.


Candles, smoking, bad gas fireplace logs, etc could be the culprit...

I am experiencing the same (post #80338, reply #5 of 9)

I am experiencing the same thing.  We do not use candles, do not smoke, have never lit the fireplace in the 25 years we've lived here. 

The spots look like oil was splattered on the wall.  It started on one wall (too far from the stove to be oil spatter).  Now I am starting to see them on another wall.  I don't even know where to start with this.

Any ideas, suggestions, help would be greatly appreciated!

This occurred during summer (post #80338, reply #6 of 9)

This occurred during summer months, or in the winter?  Where do you live and what was the weather like when the spots appeared?  If they popped up this summer I'm thinking that the awful heat and humidity this year may be a factor.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Splatter sounds more like (post #80338, reply #7 of 9)

Splatter sounds more like mold growth

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

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Possibly (post #80338, reply #8 of 9)

But, only if the air is humid. 

The spotting on the screws indicates it is thremal briding or something similar.   YOu could conceivably get an increase of moisture at the screw heads.  But it is far more likely to be some form of particulate in the air. 

The poltuion lelves are high enough most places that it cold be high enough in the atmosphere even if you don't generate any smoke or particulate in the house, you could still have particulates condensing out of the air. 

Is it possible that the spots (post #80338, reply #9 of 9)

Is it possible that the spots are rust spots??


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville