Mystery Soot

I had a person send this email to me… below.
Anyone got some answers?

**I am trying to assist a friend of mine who has a “huge” problem in her home.

There is “soot” everywhere and it started after Hurricane Rita. She had been in the home at least a year before the hurricane and hadn’t had any problems.

Soot began to build up on the air filters etc. I am a chemical engineer and recognize carbon black when I see it. She had mold testing etc done and it was confirmed it is not mold. The furnace has been investigated etc to no avail. Approximately 6 months and after numerous people looked at things, one of the insurance inspectors found the flue dislocated from the water heater in the attic. This was fixed but hasn’t solved the problem.

She does not burn candles excessively and seldom uses the fireplace but the problem continues.

She needs to determine where this is coming from in order to get the insurance company and now her attorney to step up to the plate and repair whatever is wrong. All of her carpeting and furniture is ruined from the black soot which will never come out of the soft items such as carpet and upholstery.

I think this problem goes far deeper than the surface but don’t have the expertise to find the real cause to help her. Do you have an interest in assisting or can you point us in the right direction. She’s spent over $2000 of her own money trying to find the problem but needs to find a solution.**

I believe soot comes from anybody burning anything incompletely so I’d want to check the furnace, water heater, etc. again.

you may have already checked the flue cap but if it is a MetalFab brand cap they can be damaged and still look good. sometimes you have to take them off to evaluate them. this would cause the problem you described.

My brother had this happen and found out he had a crack in his oil furnace Burner .
Any candles are to many in my book Does any one smoke in the home .
Do they have a self cleaning oven .
Do they run Kitchen fan when cooking .

I wonder if this house might be down wind from a new area of burning
that has started since the hurricane, and the soot is making its way into
the house?

Also, a furnace inspection needs to be done by someone who really
looks for details and not just a quicky visual once over.

Same goes for the flue pipe, as posted above.