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Hi Folks. I'm brand new here looking for some information. I had found a couple of articles that touched on my issue but not completely. I live in an apt bldg with approximately 75 apts every apt has there own blower motor inside the wall. There's a large vent about 3 feet long about 8 inches wide for the intake of air. There's a small vent up high near the ceiling that's probably 5x10 inches that the heat comes out of there's also a vent in bedroom just to throw the heat out. There's no vent for intake. What's happened is in both the living room and bedroom there's a black like substance that has come out of my heater.  It came straight out and also on the ceilings in both rooms. It shows every stud and most of the sheetrock screws.  I sit far away from the vent that sucks the air in,  I have burned candles in the past. Small ones but there always far away from heating system,. I have a question. About 3 or 4 yrs ago there was a fire in an apt above me on the 5th floor. I live in the 1st floor. Well from the fire fighters trying to put out the fire the water made it down to my place real bad. The apt I live in actually sat empty for about 1  1/2 yrs  I think they were probably waiting for the insurance company to pay off. Is it possible that the dirty black water from the fire dept fighting the fire could play into this at all. That had a company come in and replace a bunch of sheetrock I honestly have no idea what else was done in my apt. All I'm picturing is all this black water flooding my apt. Like I said. The apt sat empty for a long time.  The apt bldg is for the elderly and disabled. I could be 100% wrong. But I just can't see burning a couple of small candles could make this much of a mess. I mean the whole length of the wall and ceiling in both rooms have blackened mainly at the studs but on the walls also.  Anyone have any thoughts on this. I'm to the point where I'm afraid to put the heat on. I'm in the process of hiring someone to wash the walls. There's no more burning candles or smoking in apts. The bldg is under HUD  so what they say goes. Look forward to your input thank you so much
Username Tombouy


  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 973
    You need to have your unit tested for mold. With all the water from putting out a fire i wouldn't be surprised if you had mold growing on the back sides of the sheetrock. you can buy mold test kits at home depot. if it shows mold growth call your insurance company. you don't want to be living with mold. you can get serious respiratory issues.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,569
    Posting some pictures of the units and the black substance would help.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • jringel
    jringel Member Posts: 27
    Based on the water from the fire, I would have the apartment checked for mold but this sounds like what we call ghosting. It can be caused by burning candles and will show primarily on the studs and nail heads in the walls. Ther is some information on this site but if you google it you can get more information. https://structuretech.com/qa-what-causes-black-stains-on-my-walls-along-the-stud-lines/
    John Ringel Energy Kinetics
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,630
    It can happen just from the general dust in the air when it is circulated by the hvac system and hits the spots on the wall that are cooler and have some condensation on them like where the studs are.