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Fine haze/fog/smoke coming off steam pipes

Good Day. I manage the facilities and property at a catholic parish. The church is heated by a large steam boiler with radiators in main church zone and an array of overhead pipes in the lower church zone. Recently when the lower church zone is running the room fills with a strange fine haze or fog. Fire Dept and plumber checked, and it was not flu gasses or CO or any other dangerous gases. I originally thought it was possibly a small steam leak but its not hot, damp, and heavy like steam. I've had a boiler company, the oil company, and our plumber out and the consensus is that it is just the paint baking off. We had the lower church painted at the start of January. Its strange it didn't do this until now. I also have 16 yrs prior as a professional painter and have painted countless steam and hydronic radiators, baseboards, risers, returns, ect and never had this happen. Granted this is the first time its been ceiling paint on the pipes and not a wall latex or oil. It produces so much of this smoke/fog that it goes up through the floor and fills the upper church. I have had windows open and fans running while I bake off the paint for 3 full days now (i shut it down overnight), and it hasn't gotten better. Anyone ever experience this? Any suggestions? It was Benjamin Moore waterborne ceiling white. Pipes where previously painted.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,453
    I've never used that particular paint. It's a little hard to get details on it, but it appears to be a different formulation from the other acrylics, such as Aura, which Benjamin Moore makes, but it is an acrylic at least, and not a latex or oil. Like you, I've had excellent success with acrylics such as Aura on pipes and radiators! I'd kind of have to agree with the folks you've talked to -- though it does seem a bit odd. One question, though -- does the intensity of the haze change depending on when and for how long the steam has been on?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Waher
    Waher Member Posts: 253
    I would call Benjamin Moore's technical department and see if they have anything to say.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,634
    Sounds like you have covered all the bases. Just have to run it and hope it stops. It should
  • Chip1108
    Chip1108 Member Posts: 2
    Thank all. the haze builds up the longer the system is hot but the intensity does not change. Im friendly with the local BM rep and got him to come over and take a look. Hes never seen it before either but put a call into a friend who works on the science side of BM. They were confident it was one of the ingredients in the paint that has a much lower heat tolerance that was burning off. Recommended just continuing to vent the space and burn it off.