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matotex

01:07PM | 03/02/04
Member Since: 03/01/04
6 lifetime posts
Bvbrush
Please help.....we have been suffering with a horrible unidentifiable odor in our home for the past three months. We have been on a "mission" to find the cause from having carpets professionaly cleaned, to hiring handyman and exterminators thinking that the odor was due to a dead animal in our walls. Nothing has been found. What has made the problem even more difficult to solve is that the odor comes and goes depending on the weather outdoors. We have found that we can go days with the house closed up and cold weather with no odor. The warmer days outdoors and windows open will always mean that the odor is back. At this point in time, we are at a loss as to what to do however,we did hire a contractor to paint a large room in our home three months ago. We just recently noticed that he used a exterior paint on the interior room. Is it possible that there are some ingredients in the paint that could be causing such a horrific odor still? Any explanations for the come and go odor? Should we be concerned with any chemicals used in an exterior paint that might be dangerous to our children? Any similar experiences or information would truly be appreciated. Thank you

5slb6

01:44AM | 03/04/04
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
There are exterior and interior paints for a reason. Exterior paints should not be used inside as the mildecides used are not designed for interior use and can cause respiratory problems in some people. The higher volume of acrylics in the exterior paint could also be the cause of the lingering odor.

I would think that the trim should be primed with a pigmented shellac to hold the odor back and then repainted with a interior paint.

I know painters that do this and the reason is that alot of exterior paints cover better than interior paints so in order to cut corners this is what they do.

Hope this helps out.

homebild

01:55AM | 03/04/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
Using exterior paints in the interior should result in no odors or health problems.

Your problem sounds more like a sewer gas and can be caused by a cracked sewer line, a blocked vent, or traps devoid of water.

Likewise, if you have a combustion type heat such as natural gas, propane, oil or coal...you could have a faulty chimney or heating system.

Suggest a plumber and/or heating technician.

Not likley a paint problem.

mattyd

10:28AM | 03/04/04
Member Since: 02/04/04
34 lifetime posts
http://www.turnto10.com/consumerunit/1782342/detail.html

Here is a link to a article about sherman williams admitting to a problem in there paint concerning mildewcide and smell. i am not saying that this is what happend to you but it is interesting stuff.

matotex

10:47AM | 03/04/04
Member Since: 03/01/04
6 lifetime posts
Just wanted to thank each of you for your response. Since I wrote the message, our paint contractor through Kelly Moore has agreed to come back to our home and repaint. Mattyd- the article you forwarded exactly explains how the odor comes and goes- when the weather is warm and the windows are open! Although we did not use a Sherwin Williams paint, the concept that the mildewcide or other chemical in the exterior paint can oxidize and give off the odor is what we believe is happening. I appreciate all of your responses and hope that others will learn from our ordeal. Thanks again.

homebild

06:43PM | 03/04/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts


How does this explain the commonly used practice of adding mildewcide to interior paints WITHOUT odor problems?

It does not.

I will be glad to examine any evidence that anyone has to the contrary, but since this is self admittedly NOT a Sherwin-Williams paint problem AND since there is debatable research about the 'dangers' of using exterior paint interiorly (and vice versa), I would not be at all satisfied that this remains a 'paint' problem until all other known causes of the osor have been resolved.

Sewer gas odors occur under the EXACT same circumstances as these alleged 'paint' odors....

Sign me,

Not Convinced.

matotex

05:29AM | 03/05/04
Member Since: 03/01/04
6 lifetime posts
Homebild- Thanks for your feedback. I would tend to agree with you BUT....after speaking with a technical rep directly from Benjamin Moore's corporate office, I was told that when looking at the paint that was used, there clearly are different types of mildewcides that are used in the exterior and interior paints as well as different chemicals. Perhaps I was not as clear as I should have been when I sent in my first message. We live in a newer home (5yrs) and the odor is clearly not a waste, sewer, or gas odor. The people that we have used including handymen, electricians and plumbers have each told us that everything looked o.k. to them. The odor is in my second story large game room (20'by20') and depending on the day can be so strong that as soon as you step foot in the house downstairs, you know it is there. That gameroom was the only room that the paint was used in. Now, that we suspect that it is the paint, on the right day we can actually go up to the walls and smell the odor. I wish this was as simple as having a plumber come in and take care of our sewer lines and check the traps and fix the problem. As a consumer, I too have been very confused with the differences of opinion on using exterior paint on inside walls. Most however (Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Kelly Moore) have told me that they do not recommend it. Some of the painting contractors felt different and said that it goes on all the time. Some of the major paint companies were stronger than others, but hearing it from them has convinced me that in the future, I will be much more cautious and ask many more questions, before the job begins. Why bother with the possibility of problems developing when it is not necessary?

billbwb

06:36AM | 03/05/04
Member Since: 02/08/04
6 lifetime posts
In the face of overwhelming evidence, I'm wondering if Mr. Homebld is ready to admit he was/is wrong.

mattyd

06:55AM | 03/05/04
Member Since: 02/04/04
34 lifetime posts
The truth is it is very possible that the milewcide used in a certain batch was bad . Sherma willaims painted 100 homes paint companies dont paint your home for free because they are nice people they do it out of fear of being sued. they did test realized what it was and helped anybody who complained.

I did investigate more about this most of the homes were newer homes they are built better and have better insolation, less air circulating, the paint is having trouble curing out .

No need to try and convince anybody and i wouldnt expect anyone to change there mind

There house smells they think it is the paint. It is possible... . Prime it paint it if the smell is gone thats all the proof i need.

billbwb

10:51AM | 03/05/04
Member Since: 02/08/04
6 lifetime posts
Truth is you shouldn't use exterior paint on interiors. That is the moral to this story if there is one. The only reason to do so was brought out nicely in an earlier post--that is taking a shortcut since exterior paint tends to cover better.

Some people take delight in proving conventional wisdom wrong. This is fine if there is some advantage, some point to it. As in this case, I fail to see the purpose of thumbing ones nose at the line drawn between interior and exterior paint. The point really isn't whether or not you should check your sewer system to see if it's faulty. Maybe you should. The point is when it comes to interior and extrior paint, just stick to the recommendations unless you can deliver some good reasons not to.

homebild

02:23PM | 03/06/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
If billbwb's swipe was directed at me it was misdirected and uncalled for.

And I have nothing to apologize for or admit any 'wrong' to.

First, based upon the initial 'evidence' presented by the OP, it was NOT clear that there was a 'paint problem' at all. The symptoms clearly could have been caused by something else.

After further clarification and technical info from the OP and others, I can see how the problem might be paint related.

Second, I am NOT now nor ever have advocated the use of exterior paint for interior use or vice versa....Nor am I flaunting 'conventional wisdom' by voicing my objections to other's opinions about the practice. "I" would not and do not use exterior for interior application if for nothing else but 'sheen' reasons, BUT there certainly is no unanimous 'conventional wisdom' or 'consensus' when it comes to the issue of using exterior paint on interior walls as you suggest there is.

I have seen this topic debated for nearly 3 decades now and the jury remains 'out' concerning 'problems' associated with using exterior paint interiorly with devotees on either position claiming the moral high road based only upon the fact that they believe their position is correct and nothing more. So I won't belabor the point...Because there is no consentual point to belabor.

That said, it appears that by further explaining the problem, answering the objections of those who propose alternative possibilities, viewing additional evidence, and considering the opinion from a variety of 'professionals', a rather reasonable and probable conclusion seems to have been drawn.

I still have reservations about the alleged "cause" of the paint odor because it does not seem to address all the facts.

But be that as it may, if paint removal, encapsulation, or simple repainting resolves the OP's issues, who cares what I think or thought anyhow?

Especially since I will have been happy to learn something from those who had offered the correct advice....and even those who offered no advice at, all for that matter....


billbwb

03:58AM | 03/07/04
Member Since: 02/08/04
6 lifetime posts
Methinks he doth protest too much! So many words spent "not belaboring the point."

Anyway, Mr. Homebld had much to say on the topic until the "smoking gun" post was presented. Then he fell silent until flushed out and somewhat forced to admit "After further clarification and technical info from the OP and others, I can see how the problem might be paint related."

Note even in the face of all the evidence presented the desperate clinging to his guns using the word "might."

Finally a note on conventional wisdom. If the world's painting manufacturers's designation "INTERIOR" meaning inside the house and "EXTERIOR" meaning outside is not conventional enough, then the Homeblds of the world be praised!


billbwb

04:02AM | 03/07/04
Member Since: 02/08/04
6 lifetime posts
p.s. If Homebld truly wants to know "who cares what I thought anyhow" why does he go to the trouble of giving us 10 more paragraphs of his thoughts?

Anonymous

07:06AM | 03/07/04
Homebld does a good deal of pontificating, followed by much backpeddling and then a tiny bit of admission (albiet most begrudging) that he was off the mark (Let's not use that nastly lable "wrong".)

Well, you get what you pay for with painting advice from a general contractor who would have you gut your house with electricians, plumbers, sewer and gas companies and who knows whom else before tackling the relatively insane idea that exterior paint used indoors could be a problem.

There is a lot to pick apart with Homebld's logic. For instance his comment that mildewcide in extreior paint just must be the same thing as mildewcide in interior paint. Again a wide gap in logic he throws mightily out there then fails to fill.

It is also absurd to suggest there is no consensus on using exterior paint indoors. I guess if you are mostly polling a bunch of general contractors such a lack of consensus may be the case. I would love to see the documentation otherwise!

Finally he never did say why in the world someone would want to use exterior paint on interior surface. For all the supposed research Homebld has done and the many words he sprayed over this message topic, he never did answer the challenge of presenting a REASON to do it.

I think 5slb6 said it best a few posts back: "I know painters that do this and the reason is that alot of exterior paints cover better than interior paints so in order to cut corners this is what they do."

Anyone else with something specific to say to the contrary. Please, no mind-numbing off-topic rants.

Anonymous

08:31AM | 03/07/04
I have been a painting contractor for 12 years and the only people I'm aware of who advocate or defend using exterior paint on interior surfaces are (some) general contractors, homeowners with a bunch of leftover exterior paint and booze-drenched journeyman painters and people like them who think they know something about painting but really do not.

Why Homebld is ready to call in the calvary of contractors before looking at the paint situation in this homeowner's case is anyone's guess. And there are other gaps in his logic. For instance, I notice Homebld goes out of his way to punctuate his point about mildewcide being used as an additive in interior as well as in exterior paint. From there I assume we are to cross the bridge that mildewcide in one must be mildewcide in another. I offer Homebld not quit his day job anytime soon in favor of work in science.

Also it is absurd to suggest their is no conventional wisdom concerning exterior paint being used on interiors. Of course among the booze-drenched journeyman crowd and their ilk, I assume there is some debate. Otherwise let's hear the specific sources!

For all his supposed fact-based research on the topic, I notice Homebld never does address the question WHY use exterior paint on interiors? He alludes to a supposed great number of people out there who think it's okay. How about some substance to back that up?

I agree with Billbwb that it is kind of lame to weigh in so heavily at one point of a discussion and fail to show up later when the jury is in.

But as far as using exterior paint on interiors, I think 5slb6's post a few back says it best: "I know painters that do this and the reason is that alot of exterior paints cover better than interior paints so in order to cut corners this is what they do."

I would only add that if (for only who knows) whatever reason you decide to use exterior paint indoors and then have an odor relatively soon thereafter, by all means suspect the paint.


cleanedge

08:39AM | 03/07/04
Member Since: 02/03/04
15 lifetime posts
I have been a painting contractor for 12 years and the only people I'm aware of who advocate or defend using exterior paint on interior surfaces are (some) general contractors, homeowners with a bunch of leftover exterior paint and booze-drenched journeyman painters and people like them who think they know something about painting but really do not.

Why Homebld is ready to call in the calvary of contractors before looking at the paint situation in this homeowner's case is anyone's guess. And there are other gaps in his logic. For instance, I notice he goes out of his way to punctuate a point about mildewcide being used as an additive in interior as well as in exterior paint. From there I assume we are to cross the bridge that mildewcide in one must be mildewcide in another. I offer Homebld not quit his day job anytime soon in favor of work in science.

Also it is absurd to suggest there is no conventional wisdom concerning exterior paint being used on interiors. Of course among the booze-drenched journeyman crowd and their ilk, I assume there is some debate. Otherwise let's hear the specific sources!

For all his supposed fact-based research on the topic, I notice Homebld never does address the question WHY use exterior paint on interiors? He alludes to what seems to be a supposed great number of people out there who think it's okay. Ok, that honestly is interesting. Now let's have some names. And let them tell us all WHY they do it.

I think 5slb6's post a few back says it best: "I know painters that do this and the reason is that a lot of exterior paints cover better than interior paints so in order to cut corners this is what they do."

I would only add that if (for only who knows) whatever reason you decide to use exterior paint indoors and then have an odor relatively soon thereafter, by all means suspect the paint.

cleanedge




matotex

09:22AM | 03/07/04
Member Since: 03/01/04
6 lifetime posts
Hello Everyone! I am the original homeowner who posted the original message. I must say that this bantering back and forth is something that I never expected when I posted way back when. I would like everyone to know that yesterday the room and hall were repainted, based on the recommendations of the technical staff at Benjamin Moore. Thanks to the wonderful and more than ethical painter that we had originally hired, and the recommendation that a low sheen interior enamel (100% acrylic), and "acrashield" tinted to the original color be used, the job is now re-done. What my painter told us is very true. He told me that any painter can give out a list of references for the best jobs that he's done, but it's the problem jobs without the "easy answers" and how he handles those that really sets one painter/contractor apart from the other. I suspect based on some of the above posts, that had I used one particular person to do the job, he would have been the one to come back and tell me that it "wasnt his problem." Luckily, I happened to hire someone who without any "proof" was willing to re-do the job and see. I'll let you know how it turns out. What I can say is that both yesterday and today here in TX. the weather was warm and the windows in my home were open. No odor at all other than the new paint odor. We will see what happens over the next few days. I'll let all you professionals "fight it out". I just want the smell gone in my home and this nightmare to finally be over!!

Anonymous

01:47PM | 03/07/04
Thanks for the follow-up.

Really it was not so much a fight as it was an opportunity to set a reluctant someone straight--or at least attempt to limit what questionable information that person may pass on.

Still, I would not be surprised to find Homebld sticking to his guns. I mean, why let the facts get in the way? They never figured much in his point-of-view before.

I'm glad to see the homeowner took the path of least resistance by going for the most obvious thing first. And in any event it's nice to see a problem solved!

One final note on exterior paint and interiors. Exterior paint is unquestionably formulated much differently than interior paint. When you coat a surface, the paint doesn't just sit there like a good dog. Lots of invisible chemicals interact with the surface. Others escape. Exterior paints are formulated to be tougher than their interior counterparts, and thier different, "tougher" chemicals factored to escape into the outside air. Word to the wise.

matotex

12:59PM | 03/11/04
Member Since: 03/01/04
6 lifetime posts
O.K., for all of you that have been waiting for the final outcome of our ordeal, or for those of you just hoping this bickering comes to an end here goes.....the smell has not come back since the acrashield and new paint were used. We have had numerous days this week that were warm and when I was sure that I would have to deal with it again. I cannot begin to tell you how happy we are to know that it was the paint and that we wont have to wake each day, wondering when the odor will come upon us or hoping that noone comes for an unexpected visit! May my nightmare hopefully be a warning to all homeowners and "true professionals" out there that interior paint used indoors has caused atleast one homeowner months of unecessary distress and concern for her families health, along with money spent on numerous troubleshooters in her home who diligently were trying to figure all of this out. I hope that our ordeal might be a wake up call to those "doubters" out there. Thanks again for all of your messages. A happy Texas homeowner...

matotex

01:02PM | 03/11/04
Member Since: 03/01/04
6 lifetime posts
Sorry- after re-reading my message, I meant exterior paint used indoors!! Sorry for the error.

cleanedge

02:41PM | 03/11/04
Member Since: 02/03/04
15 lifetime posts
Thanks for the follow-ups. Much appreciated.

Now...you and others reading this post who might otherwise end up like you should be so lucky as to have people "bickering" on behalf of the facts. Actually it was a few of us setting one particular person straight--or at least attempting to limit the impact of his questionable-at-best information--information that he was just bound and determined to pass on.

And yet I would not be surprised to find Homebld sticking to his guns. I mean, why let the facts get in the way? They never figured into his point-of-view before.

Anyway I'm glad to see the homeowner took the path of least resistance by going for the most obvious solution first. And in any case it's nice to see such a nasty and lingering problem solved!

One final note. Exterior paint is formulated differently than interior paint. When you coat a surface, chemicals interact and some are designed to escape. Exterior paints are formulated to be tougher than their interior counterparts, and thier chemicals designed to escape into the OUTSIDE air.

Word to the wise.

cleanedge




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