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what does it mean when studs & beams show through drywall

mjcnyc's picture


 I live in the upstairs of a 2 family house & in my kitchen the studs & beams are starting to show through on some of the walls, its gross & looks dirty! I have a regular over that I rarely use and thats not even tthe wall where its howing? what can this be & what do i tell my Landlord to do to fix it? (he's NOT handy & never wants to do/fix anything unless it is damaging to the house)



mj (post #205816, reply #1 of 4)

If the framing is on an outside wall or in an unheated surface, then what you are seeing is the collection of "dirt" that attaches itself to the colder area-the framing transfering cold to the interior.

Do you burn candles?  This makes for easy soot in the air that attaches easily and is dark enough in small amounts to show.

Wood burner or fireplace-also.

In some cases-poorly vented combustible appliances.

And, lots of pasta boiling.

All day soup.

Properly prepared spaghetti sauce.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Yep, this tends to occur on (post #205816, reply #2 of 4)

Yep, this tends to occur on outside walls where exterior sheathing & siding provides little insulation over the studs, and thus the part of the wall over the studs gets much colder than the space between.  This may also be seen on the ceiling (where there's an unheated attic above) where the joists run.  For reasons having to do with physics and Brownian motion and such dust and smoke particles in the air will tend to settle on these cold surfaces more than the warmer adjacent surfaces, creating dirty stripes over the studs.  Normally it will not occur on interior walls unless air leaks of some sort make them cold.

This tends to be worse when the wall has only a thin coat of cheap "flat" paint, and, of course, it's much worse if there is a source of smoke/dust in the house -- smokers, lots of candles burning, (smoky) fireplace, lots of frying, etc. 

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

a. see previous posts. b. (post #205816, reply #3 of 4)

a. see previous posts.

b. re: what do i tell my Landlord to do to fix it <G>

1. evict you and get a new tenant that does not nit-pik?

2. prohibit cooking for more that 10 min per meal

3. nothing, be happy you are not homeless, unless you are paying way over market rate for rent .  If in NYC, forget even thinking about 'telling'.

4. install SS wall paneling, adding the amortization cost to your rent of course

5. turn off your heat

6.  etc.  



PS: if you were the owner,there would be a totally different set of responses.  Tried being a landlord once, but not a happy experience..........

Thanks for the (post #205816, reply #4 of 4)

Thanks for the giggle!

Maybe the landlord should pay to send you to cooking classes so you'll learn to stop burning stuff.....or

stop complaining to the landlord get off your backside and get a gallon of paint and paint it.


been there too with eviction notices to prove it.