I recently got a telephone call from an Adams Homes owner concerned that he noticed a dark, almost black looking residue on his carpet near the corners of the furniture and along the edges of the baseboards.
Have you ever seen this in your home? What could it be? I wanted to share the results of what I found when I visited their home home and how to prevent it so you too can avoid this problem.
Any guesses? You may be surprised to learn the black residue the owner noticed was the result of soot settlement from burning candles inside his home. Most of us at one time or another have probably burned candles in our home. Seasonal scents like a clean, crisp linen in the summer or a pumpkin spice smell in the fall are a nice way to set the mood in your home, but without precautions burning these candles can cause havoc that could result in costly repairs.
The damages that can be caused from burning candles in your home is easily preventable once you know the facts: air borne soot particles will eventually collect through out the entire home and are not picked up by normal air filtration, meaning they keep recycling until they settle into furnishings. Normal sized soot particles are generally .06 – .1 microns in size, even electrostatic air cleaners will become damaged. These particles eventually end up attaching to walls, drapes, furniture and carpets. Cleaning these areas will be difficult at best once the problem has been noticed.
Aside from overall air pollution, another area of concern is your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (A/C) system. In addition to furnishings, carpet and walls, the soot particles also attach to the cooling and heating coils of your home’s HVAC system and will slowly decrease the efficiency until coil replacement is needed (which would not be covered under your new home warranty).
Now that you know how easily soot can damage your home and decor, here are a few more tips from the National Candle Association to ensure you get maximum enjoyment and safety when burning candles inside:
1. Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.
2. Trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks cause uneven burning and dripping.
3. Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame where they could catch fire.
More home improvement resources can be found here.
Written by: Mark Serre
Adams Homes is one of the largest privately-held new home builders. Adams Homes has built more than 35,000 new homes since 1991 and builds in seven states throughout the southeast including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
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