4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Dougb
Creosote smell from floor joists

We have a house that was built in the 1930s. When the house was built, the floor joists for the first floor (which are accessible from the basement) were impregnated with creosote in order to prevent termites and other pests from destroying them. The problem is that the smell of creosote permeates the house. A contractor has recommended painting the floor joists with shellac-based stain/odor killer (Bulls Eye or equivalent) to block the smell. Has anyone else dealt with this problem, or have any other suggestions? Thanks.

sunshinerancher
Re: Creosote smell from floor joists

Doug:

Please see my post (creosote odor problem sunshine.rancher
08-18-2007 02:18 PM by sunshine.rancher). I have the same problem but received no replies to my post.

Three weeks ago I paid a painter $1000 to spray paint shellac (Sherwin Williams Preprite white pigmented shellac) on all of the floor joists in the crawl space. It was a really messy job. It has lessened the odor but there is still a faint smell. Also, the air temperature has dropped here in Savannah in the last few weeks so I don't know if that is a contributing factor.

The painter I used was an honest guy. He had his Sherwin Williams salesperson contact the manufacturer. They said that they did not believe it would kill the odor but I went ahead with the job anyway. Also, do not use something like Kilz on the floor joists - Kilz has a worse after odor than the creosote.

Let me know what you decide to do.

Peter

Jane Larrabee
Re: Creosote smell from floor joists
Dougb wrote:

We have a house that was built in the 1930s. When the house was built, the floor joists for the first floor (which are accessible from the basement) were impregnated with creosote in order to prevent termites and other pests from destroying them. The problem is that the smell of creosote permeates the house. A contractor has recommended painting the floor joists with shellac-based stain/odor killer (Bulls Eye or equivalent) to block the smell. Has anyone else dealt with this problem, or have any other suggestions? Thanks.

I had a similar problem - worse in a way. Both creosote and charred wood from a fire. From a neighbor I learned about a product called Enviroshield. It's used to stop mold, but my neighbor told me her basement smelled great since using that stuff.

I contacted Enviroshield (use enviroshield-usa.com - seems to be a couple of products with that name) and spoke to Robert something. He discussed my problems and believed his coating would do the job. Well, it wasn't cheap (in my opinion) to have it sprayed on by their applicators, but Robert reluctantly sold me some to spray or brush on myself. He sold it to me with the understanding that their mold warranty was not valid since I was doing my own work. I didn't care.

Soooo, I hired a local handyman who mixed the product and sprayed it out and 'bingo' no odor. Great stuff, but a little pricy - came to about $150/gallon and I used 3 gallons for about 1000 sg ft - of floor and floor joists.

Robert
Re: Creosote smell from floor joists

Hello,

To be clear, I am Robert Arena, the Robert Something mentioned in an old posting.

I sell product used to encapsulate creosote, thus limiting creosote off-gassing to acceptable levels and eliminating the smell that increases with warm and hot temperatures.

Over the years I have read advice from well-meaning professionals and amateurs. Advice that I believe to be incorrect and even dangerous. So, regardless of whose product or services you purchase, I would like to address some of the more harmful statements and misconceptions.

  1. My grandmother lived in this house and she lived to 89 – Creosote can’t be that bad.

    No, it is that bad. It’s naphthalene off-gassing that smells. Naphthalene over time can be harmful to your health. Lots of good reading on the net regarding health risks, including from government agencies. It’s wonderful that grandma made it to 89, but maybe she could have lasted longer.
     

  2. It’s wearing off over time.

    Maybe, a little, but I have sold product and services to customers to encapsulate timber treated with creosote a century ago.
     

  3. Creosote is an oil-based product, it should be covered with another oil-based product.

    No. Again NO!!!!!! Sometimes the oil in the creosote and the oil in coating do not mix. I have seen creosoted beach home piers/pilings coated with an oil-based paint. The coating did not dry/cure. After a few years all that remained of the coating was a pool of guck at the base of the poles.
     

  4. Shellacs and polyurethanes will stop the smell.

    No, they don’t work well. Again, I’m selling a competing product so well, I can understand any reticence to take my advice – caveat emptor!
     

  5. A previous writer spoke of my reluctance to have application performed by untrained/ unexperienced applicators.

    She is correct, contracts in some locations forbid me to sell direct to end users, but more importantly DIY applications are too often applied poorly.

Robert

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for - saboteamos.info and Ask - saboteamos.info in your area.