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Any ideas what this is?


DonTx
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My inspector emailed me these photos of a home he inspected today. His explanation was that this stuff was all over the soffits, hardi plank, metal window frames and he even found some inside the home.

He said it appeared to be a rusty red color.

Any ideas what it may be?

Donald

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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif redrustystuff2.JPG

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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif redrustystuff3.JPG

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Trying to ignore the header or lintel in the first photo...the amount and size of staining in that soffit and the bump-out in photo 3 would suggest a lot of water had been sprayed up into those areas. Could they perhaps have been trying to "beautify" the home by using some sort of cleaning product that was then not rinsed off thoroughly or soon enough?

Taking the header into account...my other WAG would be smoke mixed with the water. Any signs of fire?

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Weird. It looks like it was definitely on the surface rather than some kind of bleed through. The fact that it's on the soffits says it didn't fall with the rain. My guess would be that the homeowners used a cleaner, sealer, or something on the exterior and it didn't go that well. If you don't have a good answer suggest asking the sellers about it, that's what I do. Put the ball in their court.

Brian G.

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How about:

The homeowner used his B&G sprayer to apply red stain to his deck. Then, after failing to thoroughly rinse it, he used the same sprayer to apply an insecticide to the exterior.

Either that or he had a hard time washing the lamb's blood off his door. Has the angel of death been through the neighborhood lately?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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This is actually a one year warranty inspection. He looked at a couple of the neighbors homes and didn't see it on any of those. He also said he found small amounts of it inside the home.

I basically told home to tell them in the report that he didn't know what it was and call for further evaluation and testing by an environmental lab.

Lambs blood? I should've known...It just keeps slipping my mind to look for it. I hope that ommission is covered by FREA in my policy [?]

Donald

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It does look very similar to the interior of houses that are inhabited by heavy smokers. The nasty stuff hangs on the walls, & then condenses into the sorts of patterns this house has. It's some sort of nasty film on the exterior that subsequent rains caused to coelesce into these patterns.

Or, lambs blood......

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How about dirt in the air. It lands on the house it rains or the homeowner washes the house off and this is the end result.

I would rule out lambs blood, it has a deeper hue and when I tried to wash it off my front door it left a bunch of clots.

I think referring to an environmental lab is a little bit too much on this one.

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My initial response to the soffit stain was going to be something I caused a few years ago. During this time of the year I hose off the winter's dirt from the siding but a few years ago I got carried away and thought the soffits needed a good cleaning too. Except, the more I washed the dirtier they got, stray cellulose insulation resting on the soffit was getting wet and bleeding down EVERYWHERE. And believe me, the more you wash the dirtier it gets.

But, the third photo talked me out of it.

Here is my guess.

The cantilever soffit photo may give us a clue to the problem. I see a 'banded' area at the outide perimeter that has not been affected, no stain on that area which indicate that it could have more insulation.

I'd guess you're in a cooling climate most of the year, I'm thinking the home is insuffeciently insulated and 'leaking' cool air to the outdoors and condensing the warm air on its surface.

The house would have the same effect as a glass of ice tea in the mid afternoon sun.....creating condensation on its exterior surface.

As to the rust color it's more likely air pollution and dust accumulation.

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The lambs blood is not accurate - much darker. You may give some thought to checking for Vampires in the neighborhood. We used to have a family of them a couple of blocks over and they were so messy, they'd get blood everywhere ....

Looks like some type of overspray or water quality problem from the pictures - or is possible the nails are the wrong type and its rust???

Dan Bowers

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Many good answers, and I thank you guys for reminding me to wash the lambs blood off of my door.[:-banghead]

I don't know where this house is located but I think Rob C may have nailed it. (No pun intended) If this is a humid/warm environment the condensation would make sense.[:-scared]

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