Skip to main content

Is Wall Ghosting Dangerous?

By March 31, 2023Home maintenance
Burning candles can cause ghosting to your walls.

Owning a home requires you to understand a variety of terms. In some cases, some terms are not typically mentioned daily. Getting to know what these terms mean can ensure that you are properly maintaining your home. One term that is not often mentioned is called “wall ghosting” or “ghosting on walls.” The term ghosting is not often mentioned. Is wall ghosting dangerous? It is not dangerous, however, it is a nuisance and needs to be immediately fixed.

Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding ghosting.

A wood burning fireplace can cause ghosting of the walls in your home.

What Causes Wall Ghosting?

When the home is warm, mildly damp, or even sooty, the air condenses on the areas of the walls and ceiling that are coldest. These will be the exposed areas of the wood frame in your home that are uninsulated. In some cases, stains will reveal nails from the wall as the metal condenses. All of these scenarios cause a nuisance of ghost marks like streaks on the wall, or circles on your walls and ceilings. Let’s take a look at some other reasons for wall ghosting.

Burning Candles and Combustible Oils, Wood Stoves, or a Fireplace

As these items burn, they release soot into the air. The soot will find an area of the home where it is coldest. As it flows through the air and finds the cold spots, it will affix itself.

Remove The Welcome Mats

Dirty welcome mats collect dirt soot and dust soot. As you walk from the mat into the home you bring dirt and dust that can be mixed into the air. Removing the welcome mat ensures that additional particles do not collect in the airflow of the home.

Seal the Windows and Doors

Ensuring the seals are complete around the windows and doors, you ensure that no drafts and cold air are getting into the home.

Replace the Furnace Filters Often

Replacing the air filter or furnace filter every 90 days ensures that dirt and debris are not circulating throughout the home. Additionally, the HVAC system can work efficiently and keep the home’s humidity levels in check. Checking your ventilation system for proper indoor ventilation is key.

Monitor the Interior Humidity Levels

Use exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to suck out excess air from the home. Make sure to use a humidity monitor to keep the indoor humidity levels in your air below 55%. Consider using a humidifier to assist with this process. Also, do not try your clothes by placing them on indoor drying racks. Use a ventilated clothes dryer.

Check the Attic Insulation

Ensure that the insulation in your attic covers all joists/rafter ties. This keeps the humidity levels as required in your home and reduces the potential for wall ghosting. Consider using thermal tracking to check for any air leaks in the attic space.

How Can I Get Rid Of It?

Properly clean the markings on the ceiling or wall first. Allow the cleaned area time to dry. You will not want to paint the walls or ceilings before cleaning all marks from the area. Additionally, removing the markings before painting over them will ensure that mold does not grow in those locations. If this happens, you will have a much bigger and more costly issue.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you are aware of what causes the ghosting of walls, you can take the necessary steps to remove those items from your home. Additionally, if your wall ghosting is a result of mold growth, you will want to learn about how to stop mold from growing in your home.

Next, you might have to start cleaning the ghosting of your walls before a professional can get to it. Knowing the type of paint that is on your walls or ceiling is important to complete this task. Reading up on how to clean matte paint walls allows you to gain knowledge on the best ways to get it done.

Lastly, as mentioned above, sealing your doors and windows is important to keep your walls from ghosting. Be sure that you don’t forget the basement windows. A lot of times it is out of sight and out of mind. Learning how to seal your basement windows will go a long way toward controlling the humidity in your home.

A dirty door mat can cause ghosting to the walls.

When Do I Call A Professional?

Dealing with wall ghosting is not a fun project. You will want to call on a professional to assist with removing the soot buildup on the walls and ceiling. Additionally, a professional can verify if the black marks are mold or just soot buildup. Also, call on your local home inspection team to inspect the home inside and out for any potential contributors to the wall ghosting.


Ghosting of walls is not ideal for any homeowner. Luckily, it is a fixable situation. Consider the recommendations from above to ensure that you no longer experience ghosting of the walls. If you still are unsure how to handle the situation, call on your local home inspection team. They can inspect your home for all of the potential issues that are causing the wall ghosting. Reach out to All Coast Home Inspections for a full home inspection in Houston, TX.

Leave a Reply