Chalking, Mildew, or Something Else

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Old 10-26-19, 08:33 AM
J
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Chalking, Mildew, or Something Else

I'm having the same issue described in this old thread and wonder if anyone has a definitive answer.

White streaking started along top wall edges and down corner edges of back bedroom. Starting to get some patches on other places of the wall now, not just edges. Along both exterior and interior walls in back bedroom at end of house. Don't notice it on walls of attached master bath or anywhere else in house. Exterior is wood slab siding. House was fully remodeled 5 years ago, new insulation, sheetrock, paint, etc. Streaking just started.

Down the hallway at the other end of our house is the kitchen with electric stove. We have noted that our microwave/vent does not draw well when we are cooking and are wondering if it might be the result of grease accumulating at the end of the hall (we don't cook greasy food, but it just doesn't pull steam out when cooking)? We also run A/C in summer and have a new wood fireplace running most of winter, and feel like the house stays relatively dry on the inside - no overall excess moisture buildup really happening.

Thanks for any updated insights.
 
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Old 10-26-19, 09:21 AM
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Hard to say without seeing it. Doubtful it's cooking related if it's not greasy. Take a black napkin or cloth and rub it. Does the white come off? Is it powdery? Furry or flat and grainy? If you wipe with a white napkin and it's greasy you will see the dirt and grease.

If you can rub it off with soap and water and the paint seems unaffected I would say its a powdery mildew. Being mainly in the corners would tell me that it's related to air leakage and poor insulation at those hard to seal areas. Corners are always cold so that's where condensation can form when conditions are ripe for it. Then mildew can form.

Unfortunately washing regularly and/or repainting are the only solutions. And it may reoccur. Adding mildewicide to the paint might help but mold and mildew spores are in the air and will grow if the conditions are right.
 
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Old 10-26-19, 09:26 AM
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Chalk can also be washed off but I don't recall ever seeing interior paint degrade that bad.
 
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Old 10-26-19, 10:49 AM
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Take a couple pictures of it.

You have something weird going on as it is on inside and outside walls and the humidity in the place should not be high.
 
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Old 10-26-19, 11:54 AM
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Thanks everyone.
It's not dark when wiped, so probably not dirt/grease. It is slightly tacky to the touch, but not all of it is tacky. I will wipe it all down and see if it returns, but I'd also like to get some of it tested (is there a simple mildew test available?)

Two odd things:
Where it has left the corners and expanded to the main wall, it seems to be forming around the furniture or other objects, but not behind them. You can see in the last pic where it is forming over the top of a dresser, but there is none on the wall actually behind the tall dresser. It just forms around things.

The other odd thing is that the same exterior wall in the adjoining master bath has no signs at all of the streaking.

It is worst along the house corner, and least on the interior wall. (The interior wall is light purple, so very hard to see). I guess it does seem a little like mildew, but there's no smell and I'm not having any allergic reactions to it like I normally would.

Thanks again for your replies.
 
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Old 10-26-19, 02:34 PM
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It could even be drywall dust from the carpet from previous work for all we know. The shadows have something to do with airflow, that's for sure.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 04:40 PM
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I also have the same issue.House is built in 1976.All interior walls are drywalled. Son's bedroom painted dark blue about 15 years ago. On the 2 outside walls there is a white powdery film. When it is removed with a 4 water /1 bleach solution, the powdery white residue returns in about a week or so. Most of the top floor of the house is painted in a Taupe color, in the correct sunlight you can see the same powdery build up but in streaks. All paint was purchased from Home D ( Behr) and is interior paint. Exterior of house is all vertical cedar boards painted with solid stain from home D.

There is no smell in the house, when I run my fingers across the wall with the powdery film build up it has a slightly sticky feel and comes off onto my fingers. Just clean blue paint left after wiping with fingers. Please see before and after pictures.

Mostly concerned if this is a health hazard: mold, mildew,etc ??? I have read about paint "chalking" due to paint deteriorating due to time.

Any help from those who know for sure is greatly appreciated.
 
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