Does joint compound seal odors?


  #1  
Old 06-06-21, 04:29 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 4
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Does joint compound seal odors?

If I want to seal some sort of odor coming from a wall/ceiling, would a layer of joint compound (say, 1/8 inch thick) throughout the wall and ceilings seal it? I have an extremely sensitive nose and get migraine headaches in most places don't smell neutral (hard to explain more without a digression). I have been wondering about covering the walls and ceiling of my bedroom with zero VOC hypoallergenic Murco joint compound (https://www.murcowall.com/hypo) which doesn't have any odor once it dries. But I don't know if the smell underneath it can still seep into the air. Any thoughts?
 
  #2  
Old 06-06-21, 06:35 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,196
Received 365 Votes on 316 Posts
You would be better off coating it with a primer/sealer and/or paint. Paint will seal the walls better than joint compound.
 
caldreaming voted this post useful.
  #3  
Old 06-06-21, 09:02 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,579
Received 1,599 Votes on 1,473 Posts
I agree..... definitely a primer/sealer.
Probably something in the Zinsser line of quality products.
Zinsser
 
  #4  
Old 06-07-21, 02:04 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,238
Received 426 Votes on 381 Posts
Joint compound will have minimal if any effect on sealing odors. You need a solvent based primer. Oil base might be enough but a pigmented shellac like Zinnser's BIN is the ultimate stain/odor sealer.
 
caldreaming voted this post useful.
  #5  
Old 06-07-21, 03:50 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 4
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Thank you all for suggesting Zinnser's BIN. I will give it a try, and first test it on some object other than the walls. Do you know how long BIN's own odor will typically last in a well-ventilated area? Will it be just a couple weeks at max?
 
  #6  
Old 06-07-21, 03:57 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,238
Received 426 Votes on 381 Posts
I think it depends on how sensitive you are to odors. For me it can be gone in as little as a few hrs with fresh air ventilation ...... but I've known folks that could smell stuff that I couldn't.
 
caldreaming voted this post useful.
  #7  
Old 06-07-21, 04:18 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10,193
Received 370 Votes on 335 Posts
Just coving it up without knowing what it is or what is causing it is not the proper thing to do.
You need to find out what is causing the odor. Is it just you that is sensitive to it? Can other's smell it? Can you describe the odor? Is it like building product smell such as fresh cut wood or is it a rotting smell like a dead animal. Or is it a cigarettes' smell? Or odors from other people's apartments? Is this an apartment or is it your own home? Is it specific to one wall area or ceiling? Could it be from an outside source such as meat packing facility or a nearby restaurant? Many questions need to be answered. What have you done up till now? An air purifier might be the better solution. But it would need to be a high end, high quality unit. I'm surprised no one here did not suggest cause and effect solution rather than just "answer" the question. (Please I don't need a lecture. I'm trying to help.)
I know what it's like to be sensitive to what I call "ghost" smells that may not actually exist. I have an aversion to cigarettes smoke even when I know there is no such smoke around. And I grew up in house with smokers.
Sealing with above suggestion may be the solution but if you're super sensitive I'm betting it won't last or solve the problem.
 
  #8  
Old 06-07-21, 04:49 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 4
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
@Norm201: Thanks for your comment. Here are the details: it's like a chalky smell of newish paint (a bit sweet smelling, like some latex paints). The place was painted (and renovated partially) a month or so ago (not by me, but by the previous owners). I will own it from this week onwards. To the best of my ability, the smell is originating from the walls and nothing else. In the past, I have been in places where I could smell the fresh pain- like smell for months or longer and kept getting headaches (and eventually had to move out). The smell probably won't bother most people.

My original plan was to tile all the walls of one of the bedrooms with stone tiles (e.g. porcelain or ceramic) so as to create a safe haven, My past experience suggests I do not get any headaches from tiles. That would be a lot of work and expensive and wouldn't cover the ceilings (most tile people I talked with claim that putting tiles on the ceiling is risky/impossible. They probably also think that I am crazy, but that doesn't bother me). But may be still worth it.

Lately, I was wondering if there are easier solutions other than tiling all six sides of a room. Hence my question. I thought that the joint compound is a bit like stone in that it has no VOCs (at least Murco 100 doesn't) and is made of inert inorganic minerals. Of course, it's much more porous so may not work.

My first plan of action is to do nothing for another month, and just ventilate it more before trying anything outlandish. May be it will go away on its own. I would like to tread carefully and not make it worse.
 
Norm201 voted this post useful.
  #9  
Old 06-07-21, 10:13 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10,193
Received 370 Votes on 335 Posts
With those details, I agree that a sealer as suggested will do the job. Another alternative might be wallpaper.

I feel for you. Many years ago I helped out a lady who was allergic to almost everything. She had to put her TV through the wall with a plexiglass shield over it. Her whole house was stripped of almost all furnishing.

You're obviously not that bad. You might also try those hyper allergenic furnace filters for a few months and see if that might help mitigate the odors.
 
caldreaming voted this post useful.
  #10  
Old 06-07-21, 10:21 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,579
Received 1,599 Votes on 1,473 Posts
I'm concerned based on what you said about paint smells. The Zinsser BIN is an oil/alcohol based primer and will have a strong smell right after application. I was checking to see how long the smell would last after the application. Zinsser says it dispels quickly. In my search I came across the following article. I normally don't post links to other articles but this one is right on topic.

Green Home guide
 
caldreaming voted this post useful.
  #11  
Old 06-07-21, 04:30 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 4
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
@ Norm201: Thank you. I will go ahead and buy a sample of BIN to test it out on a few objects. , in the past, I once tried AFM safeseal to block odor from walls, but it made it worse. Which is why I wasn't even thinking about paint/primer based solution. Regarding wallpapers: I am not quite familiar with them. Are there wallpapers which can be taken off without leaving any residue whatsoever? The reason I ask is because in case they don't work out (i.e. are unable to block the odor), I would prefer that I can get back to the original condition without adding in more chemicals to the walls. Unfortunately, the list of things that give me headache is rather extensive (adhesives, paints, perfumes,,,pretty much anything that has a detectable odor).

@ PJmax: I ran into the same webpage as well, thanks for brining it up! If I use BIN, I will stay away from the room where it has been applied at least for a couple weeks.

If nothing works, I suspect I would have to use the nuclear option: either installing new drywalls and painting them with zero VOC paint, or just putting stone/ceramic tiles throughout the whole room. If anyone here can think of other creative solutions, I will very much appreciate it.
 
  #12  
Old 06-07-21, 04:37 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10,193
Received 370 Votes on 335 Posts
Most wallpapers are vinyl and can be removed if not left on for 35 years or more (as I have that problem in my bath reno). The problem you may have is finding wallpaper. Currently it's out of style. But it can be had if you look hard enough. The paste is something that you might want to experiment with to see if you are sensitive to it.

Another option is pre papered or embossed or maybe pre-painted wall board.
 
caldreaming voted this post useful.
  #13  
Old 06-08-21, 02:15 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,238
Received 426 Votes on 381 Posts
Wallpaper is easier to strip if the wall is well sealed. Paper hung over oil base paint is a LOT easier to remove than paper hung over flat latex paint. The wallpaper adhesive residue can often be washed off of oil base enamel but with latex paints it can be difficult to remove it all.
 
caldreaming voted this post useful.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: