What is this from

I am doing a reno on a revenue property and there is something that is not right in this house.

  1. There is black stuff on the ceiling in the kitchen

  2. There is a grease like substance on the lights

  3. There is black stuff around the windows. (all windows)

  4. There is 2 circles on the screen in the kitchen. (most likely from a fan)

Any Ideas of what is going on???

PS. This is the reason I am at the place



You probably nailed it right on the head in your description of one of the pictures. It’s probably grease build up. It is imposible to say for sure without actually being there though. Get a good degreaser product like 409 or Fantastic and have at it! If it is really bad on painted surfaces, you might have to encapsolate it after cleaning as much as possible before repainting. Kilz and Zindzer work wonders, but the surface can’t be slick. The ultimate fix would be to replace any damaged surfaces, but that can become unrealistic in most cases.


Thanks Scott

I was wondering the same but also wondered if it had something to do with drugs???


Say no to drugs. Like Scott said, poor housekeeping. You have cooking fats all over the place mixed with fly poop.
Poor ventilation in bath and kitchen. Put in a high quality bath fan and a high quality range hood/fan and add in some proper house-keeping habits as well as a diet change and the reduction in mess will be very noticible.

Thanks for the replys

It was pointed out to me today that there is no range hood :shock:

Also the hot water heater was leaking and the floor sloped away from the drain and into the bathroom.

Renters are great ](*,)


Cigarette smoke ??

Still see cheaper fans even in higher end houses. Did a first year warranty inspection on a $1.5 million house 2 years ago- none of the 5 bathroom fans met codes and 1 was dead…at 11 months. That was the smallest of the house problems!!!

Less than 1 in 75-100 houses I’ve inspected have good or even code ventilation systems!!

Did you say smoke? Here is a partially cleaned wall…

skyview smoke2.JPG

Some Cigarette smoke in this house but cooking smoke and grease is the biggest problem.


Exactly what I was thinking,… poor housekeeping and heavy smokers. Cigarette smoke tar will leave a yellowish, sticky film on every surface, including ceiling, walls, light fixtures, etc. Last picture is an obvious plumbing leak with mold.