Stains On Carpet Around Heat Vents and Baseboards - July 10th 2014
Q: How do I get rid of the grey stains on the carpet around the edges of the heat vents and baseboards? We have a gas fired furnace – what causes this?
Stains around the heat registers and outside walls as well as inside walls and stair cases are caused from air infiltration and exfiltration.
1. Homes with forced air furnaces will have stains around the heat registers as well as outside walls. Stains on the carpet on inside walls and stair cases are caused from positive air being pushed out under the outside walls and your carpet becomes a filter, picking up all the impurities in the air as it passes under the wall (this shows up more on light coloured carpet).
2. Some houses with forced air furnaces will have stains on carpet around heat register floor vents caused from air being pushed around the register when register is closed (keep in mind a register louver is for directing the air flow, not to shut off or turn on). Also, stains found in areas of stair cases or stair wells and inside walls indicate the cold return to the furnace is short, cutting ways to get the furnace blower, thus pulling air under the walls and around stair treads to cold air duct running under the floor joist in the basement.
3. Electric, hot water, radiant or convection heated homes can have similar stains show up but always on the outside walls. This is caused by air leakage from the home (windows and doors etc). Range hood fans, bathroom fans exhausting air out of the home and make up air of infiltration air coming in under the outside walls, thus staining light coloured flooring.
HOW TO REPAIR:
Outside, Inside walls and stair cases...
Remove carpet from carpet strip (Smooth strip) and caulk with an Acrylic Latex Caulking compound between the bottom plate of the wall and the sub-floor (MAKE SURE AREA IS CLEAN FIRST).
Heat Register Vents...
Remove register from the floor and mask sub-floor and carpet together using insulation Tuck Tape keeping the tape back so not to show when you replace the register. Apply a foam self stick weather-strip on the underside of the register before replacing back on the top of the flooring.
Note: This should be done on light coloured vinyl floors as well to stop from staining.
How To Clean...
The residue left behind from air infiltration and exfiltration can best be cleaned with a product called PINK SOLUTION. Available at many retailers, including at Shell Busey's HouseSmart Home Services office in South Surrey (White Rock) at Unit #7-2320 King George BLVD. Call 604.542.2236 or toll free 1.888.266.8806 to order.