Usually if I scratch my head long enough—but long before it actually bleeds—I am able to figure out how something in a home got to be the way it is. This picture represents such an opportunity—and it took me quite a while to come up with the answer.
So take a look at the picture below.
Can you figure out how the wall got marked like this?
Now imagine a couch under the window covering up the stains so that you can’t see the stains.
Next picture the curtains being drawn together behind that couch for 25 years.
Next, turn on the TV, sit on the couch and smoke cigarettes continuously for that 25 years.
As the air circulates under the couch and up behind the curtain—-each fold acting like a little chimney—-the cigarette smoke collects on the wall between the folds of the curtain. The only requirement for this to happen (with the cigarette smoke as a given)—–don’t move the curtains!
While this house wasn’t quite as bad as some “smoked” houses that I have seen—-it was still bad enough for me to ask one of my favorite questions: Cigarette anyone?
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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