Drywall gosting

Here was a curious call today.

Seen a few up here like that.

I’m sure you probably seen this already.


How old is the place? If it’s newer, any chance it was built with some steel studding…they show ghosting way easier than wood studs.

Not to many houses built with metal studs Brian, and the ones that are were not built right to prevent thermal breaching and could be as simple as magnetic adhesion of the filings from the drywall screws and dust particles never cleaned off the walls.

Just saying. :slight_smile:

Built in 2006, it was seen most on exterior walls with wood ferring strips.

I have mentioned the last big litigation I worked on was against an award winning architect. One of the many issues was “ghosting”…my client loved white walls and in one area with a 2 storey mezzanine, 18 feet of the unbroken wall was visibile as was each piece of steel framing with ghosting.

The building was a mix of commercial (owner’s business on first floor)/residential (hers on the top 2 stories). This particular wall with ghosting sat right on the property line and, as such, had to meet stringent fire requirements…no windows, a fire rating, hence, steel studs required! But the architect had not specified a thermal break to prevent “ghosting”.

This was only one of the issues that added up to about $80 grand which she held back. They then threatened her with a lawsuit until my report was in their hands…we haven’t heard from the other side for about 17-18 months now…it’s a dead issue now, I believe!

The building had so many issues during construction and in the first 6 months that the owner (a single woman) actually had to move out of it for her sanity…that’s when I met her- she bought a house to move into that I inspected. At that point, I knew nothing of the situation she was leaving but she called me about 10 months later after looking at my card and seeing I did “Litigation Assistance”…the rest is becoming history!

This could explain.

Jim, wonder if they vacuumed twice a week and use a rinse and vac every year on that picture?:mrgreen:

Thanks, some good info there.

I see the Sheetrock seams showing up as ghosting. BHOOOOO!!!
I see no studding myself. When the wall board is being taped and plastered, must be taped and at the seams it takes 3 passes to level out that grove. 2 base coats 1 finish skim coat.
Nails take a minimum 2 passes, unless you know how to mix plaster of Paris to tighten up the mix.
That way you get to work around the room and do not have to stop to let the mud dry.
By the time you come the the starting point you keep going with your second pass and so on onto your 3 pass.
I have laid board on new construction and tried my hand at plaster and lath 2 and 3 coat plaster.Mostly repair for lath work.
If it where wall studding it would be 16 inch centers or maybe 24 inch centers if using 2 by 6. The pattern would be every 8 feet, I see every 4 feet.
Bathroom same thing. Cement board or blue-board.
I see quick job, boss giving it a push to maximize money, and inexperience at work here.
Now look at the walls and tell me that darkened area is 1.5 or 1.75 inches thick times 2 every 8 feet… Even if it was a load bearing point it would be 3.5, 5.25,or etc.
I see seams and not finished flush that have trapped soot and atmospheric contaminants. Ghosting,BHOOOOOO!!!
WHO YOU GOING TO CALL ? ( Ghost Busters ) I an,t afraid of no ghost.
I see 48 inch centers and partial cut wall board to end off at the corner. If they used 8 foot board because floor to ceiling was7.8" or7.9,or 7.10.
If over 8 foot floor to ceiling they used 10 foot board and saved time on tapping staggered layout joints.
My opinion.

It was every 24 in. There is no doubt that it has something to do with the construction of the wall as that is how we build in the South. There these are block exterior walls with ferring strips 24 in on center

Sorry Josh.
I was in a happy mood yesterday and carried on.
OK 24 inch centers. Thanks Josh. I am sometimes forgetting that I am on a American website and my mindset remains remains in Canada.
I was just being playful and hope that no-one took my gesturing as offensive or idiotic.
I an,t afraid of no ghosts. ( whoa you going to call? ):mrgreen:

Just a question.
Could the ghosting affect caused by studs ( wooden ) be partly because the timber studding was erected when moist and thustly transferring an image to the opposite side of the sheet-rock.
Metal studding be an attraction of magnetically charged particles? ions ,positive and negative charged.
I am looking at all angles.
Yes I have seen ghosting on more than one occasion and only looked briefly to its nature and not so much the cause but its effects.

I think it happens for multiple reasons. The PT chemicals could be a cause or magnetic attraction. You usually need very small particulates to become attached in any case.

What would you write in the report about this?

Ghosting on wall is usually cause by Smoke See (xxx )

and send them to one of these sites






Roy Cooke

In relation to your question, ( how to add observations into ones report.) about ghosting.
1: I would introduce all my finding about the furnace, chimney, smokers in the home.
2: add how the air in the home is circulated in streams and column’s related to the heat and drafts in that room and home. The same as in atmospheric conditions on the earth that move the clouds rain, hail, etc…
3: how they ( the columns of air ) carry that smoke or soot to the walls surface and the particulates are trapped in certian locations that stick out.
Corners of the room, mirrors or paintings, sometimes any indentation ( concave ) like wall board joints, to convex joints on the wall , like framing seams from the wood framing behind the walls that force a bump on the wall.
Just an idea.

Stop burning the candles and paint.

I thought ghosting was usually caused by indoor vapor on cool spots (heat loss areas) that dust and dirt molecules adhere??

There are several reasons why it could happen. This was wood furs, on exterior walls. The evidence suggests that the owner was burning lots of candles. This would cause the soot that would attach.