Stud Lines on Inside Walls


Old 09-10-00, 09:01 AM
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I live in a bi-level house, brick over concrete block on the lower level, and siding over wood frame on the upper. All of my exterior walls in the upstairs are developing a dark, shadow-like lines coming through the paint located over all the wall studs. The house needs a new roof, as the shingles are beginning to look bad, but there isn't any water damage on the ceiling, just the lines.

Could this be a mold/mildew problem? Would a new roof fix the problem, or is it something else entirely. I plan to re-shingle the roof anyway, but wonder what else might need to be done. Any advice is appreciated.

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Old 09-10-00, 12:40 PM
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If any of these rooms has a musty smell in them it is probably mildew. The cause would be inadequate ventilation. It'll do it every time.

How well is your roof vented? How about the underside of your house too? These are causes of mold and and mildew in buildings.

You may solve the problem when you put on the new roof. Make sure that you ventilate the ridge area and draw fresh air from either the soffits or gables.

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Old 09-10-00, 09:26 PM
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I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that those lines can be eliminated with the proper application of some Mr. Clean mixed with some elbow grease.

You see, wood is a good insulation, but it's not nearly as good as fiberglass. What happens is when you have cold weather outside and you're boiling spaghetti inside, then you can end up with condensation on the coldest part of the walls and ceilings. The studs are the coldest parts of a stud wall insulated with fiberglass, and any condensation that forms on the wall in these areas catches the dust and dirt like an oily patch on your driveway catches bugs and such.

If you let it get worse, you'll start to find out where your drywall screws are! See, the coldest part of that line where the dirt has collected on your wall is the spot right over top of the drywall screws because they're at the same temperature as the end of the screw, which is closer to the outside of the wall.

I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and them lines are pretty common up here.

Old 09-27-13, 02:56 PM
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I realize that this is an old thread but I think you just answered my question as well.

I'm looking at a home purchase in NY and I see what I think are the same lines on almost all of the exterior walls. In my case, the home (built in 1996) is all steel construction framing which is kind of rare around here. I thought that the lines existed because of the steel studs, but perhaps not. Perhaps the steel even makes problem / issue worse than wood due to thermal properties of the metal?

The home inspector said he thought that the lines were from cold transfer / condensation. This thread might confirm it.

His solution was to use a good primer and repaint, but warned that lines may eventually come back.

I'm happy if it is this simple. The lines are quite noticeable in some rooms but I plan on re-painting all rooms anyway.


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