Interior ceiling stains

Any clue on how to write up and diagnois a dark stain around the entire living room walls where ceiling and roof line meets? The house has been vacant for several months and appears no active leaks in roof in this particular area. Appears to me as smoke stain?, could it be potential fungi? why would it just be around the living room ceiling? Any clues to how to report? Apologize for picture not being closer

Its called ghosting ,seen it many times

Go to this NACHI string

I doubt I’d even write it up, cosmetics aren’t part of a home inspection.

I would write up as.

Looks like Ghosting to me more info at

I would recommend a full IAQ assessment before and after extensive cleaning and carpet removal. I agree that most of that is dirt ghosting, but being vacant for so long, microbial humidity blooms are also very possible.

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]At time of the inspection there was a discoloration around the ceiling and walls of the living room. This condition is consistent with a term called ghosting. Ghosting refers to a discoloration that appears on a surface which can be caused by small air particles from dirt, cooking and soot residue and many other common sources of household particles. Only a laboratory test can identify whether this discoloration is dirt, soot and/or an organic growth.[/FONT]

Thank you guys! Great information I appreciate the help!

so what would the recommendation be with your theory? IAQ test or ?

Photos are difficult to determine the overall condition. While ghosting in itself is generally cosmetic, it can also hide or mask more serious issues. So if I felt that it needed to be further evaluated I may add something like

“Determining whether the material observed poses a health risk is outside the scope of this inspection. Recommend an Indoor Environmental Professional should be consulted for evaluation and any remedial course of action that may be needed.”

IAQ testing for dirty walls that haven’t been painted in recent history?:roll:
Just call out for IAQ testing for every inspection then.

Mold is part of the environment.
If you see possible mold then recommend sampling/testing.
If you smell it then recommend same.

Other than that it’s just cya and speculation bs.

That friggin place is just plain dirty. Call in a professional cleaner, rip out the rugs, clean that smokey fireplace and call in a painting crew. From the looks of where the pictures were on the wall, that fireplace has been smoking for awhile.

Perfect reply… Roy

like basic language

Under interior/walls. I would write… Walls have smoke staining and possible ghost affect which allows wall stud lines to be seen due to a condensation effect which is often caused by lack of insulation in the walls.

I have seen enough homes like this to know it is often caused by smoking.

Due to experience would use other clues to make my determination of course

Looks like a combo of heavy smoker and a poor venting fireplace. Look at the soot on the front of the fireplace.

That’s just nasty

During winter months, many drywall stains called in as building leaks turn out to be caused by condensation. Because these stains can be large in size, residents are often unconvinced that condensation is the cause.