Question

Contractor painted basement ceiling joists with black stain and it continues to offgass.

Asked by ralph
Edwardsville, IL

I liked the idea of an exposed ceiling painted a black color. Thus I paid a contractor to do the job. Later I found out they used solid color olympic wood protector which is an exterior stain. (http://www.olympic.com/products/stains/42/olympic-wood-protector). To compound their poor choice of paint, they painted when it was really cold outside and werent able to properly ventilate the basement. I found out they used 7 gallons with a sprayer to cover the roughly 900 sq.ft. basement. I soon realized their mistake and began ventilating the basement like crazy. The outdoor temperatures have been between 30-80 degrees and most of the time I have kept all the windows open with fans running. A month has passed and I am still finding that my lungs become irritated after a few hours everytime I enter the house. Should I continue to wait for the paint to stop offgassing or should I use another product to seal the basement joists? Would I use a sprayer to apply the sealer?

Answer

According to the manufacture literature, it states "for use on exterior wood surfaces." I would begin by contacting the manufacture to discuss proper methods for covering. However do not get discourage if they do not help since it states "for use on exterior wood surfaces". I do not like giving this advise, but you may want to seek assistance from an attorney since the contractor did not use the product as it was intend by the manufacture and has placed you and your family at possible risk. This is not an easy fix and encourage you to seek help from Olympic. Good Luck, Harold J Remlinger, AIA, LEED BD+C, NCARB

Tagged In: low voc paint, paint off gassing

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