Ceiling Tiles Smell

 
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:16 PM   #1
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Ceiling Tiles Smell


I installed Armstrong 1205 suspended ceiling tiles in a basement 2 weeks ago. The customer can't stand the smell. They have aired out the basement for several days and the smell is still strong. They said they may want me to return the panels. I am meeting with them tomorrow. Anyone run into this problem?
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


If I recall correctly, 50/50 odds, these panels are made to combat odor & mildew. You'll need to get air movement through there to alleviate the odor. Not much different than oil paint or some floor finishes.

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Old 07-04-2011, 10:46 PM   #3
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


Thanks for the reply Griz. I am planning to bring some fans with me tomorrow. I will also remove some tiles, and open the 3 tiny windows and bulked door.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:39 AM   #4
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


Either air it out or rent an ozone machine to clear out the odor. Just remember that nobody can be around a room that's being ozoned.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:37 PM   #5
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


I basically took out 3 rows of tile . One on either end, and one towards the middle near the bulked door. I used 6 fans. 3 small ones up in the ceiling, and 3 large ones on the floor pointing up a little. The air is funneling out of the bulked nice. I also sponge mopped the floor to get any dust the vacuum missed.

It might have just been in my mind, but as I opened up the ceiling and got the air flowing, I smelled a strong odor, and after being in the basement for a few hours I left with a headache.

The homeowner will run the fans all day everyday, and I will check back with them at the end of the week to see if this solves the problem.

I'm not familiar with ozone machines. I will do an internet search, and take a look.

Thank you.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:04 PM   #6
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


[B POSSIBLE PROBLEM[/B]

"How many people remember what puke smells like? Well, puke has a distinctive odor, and it’s actually called butyric acid, which comes from the fermentation of starch. Well, butyric acid is emitted from ceiling tiles that are made from cellulose and a starch binder. When the humidity goes above 80 or 85 percent, the butyric acid is emitted, and you have the odor of vomit."
source:
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...cience-podcast

See also the thread at:
How do you get rid of armstrong ceiling tile odors?

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Discuss:Ho...#ixzz1SmYMJsxg

POSSIBLE SOLUTION

We had same problem with newly installed Armstrong ceiling tiles. Here is what followed.

All ceiling tiles were removed from basement, but the odor remained.

Large HEPA/activated charcoal air scrubbers did not work.

Homeowner then hired a professional remediation group to do the following:

1. Clean carpet. [Helped to remove ceiling tile dust, fragments and and residue from the carpet, which reduced the smell and presence butryic acid in the room.]

2. Ozone. [Now in process with all people and pets out of house.]

3. Dry vapor with VaporShark. [To be done after ozone.]

4. Crystal odor counteractants [To be placed on carpet for a period of time after the VaporShark treatment has been completed.]

There is no guarantee this will work, but we are optimistic.

ALTERNATIVE CEILING TILES

Once the odor is gone, we will install new tiles; ones made without starch binder. Any suggestions anyone?
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


Quote:
Originally Posted by oakshadows View Post
Well, butyric acid is emitted from ceiling tiles that are made from cellulose and a starch binder. When the humidity goes above 80 or 85 percent, the butyric acid is emitted, and you have the odor of vomit."
how common is cellulose and starch used in ceiling tile?
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


I've had this problem also.

The only way I was able to solve it was to remove the tiles and sit them outside for a few days on wire rack shelves. I stood them on the end so that I could stack more of them on the shelves while allowing fresh air to flow between them without them touching each other.

As a preventative measure, I also painted the back side of the tiles to seal off the unfinished surface. When everything was reinstalled, the only offensive odor was the smell of new latex paint.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:49 AM   #9
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
I've had this problem also.

The only way I was able to solve it was to remove the tiles and sit them outside for a few days on wire rack shelves. I stood them on the end so that I could stack more of them on the shelves while allowing fresh air to flow between them without them touching each other.

As a preventative measure, I also painted the back side of the tiles to seal off the unfinished surface. When everything was reinstalled, the only offensive odor was the smell of new latex paint.
tell us the brand so the rest of us can avoid the same scenario.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:45 AM   #10
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


I don't remember the brand but I remember that we got these in lieu of the Armstrong tiles because they were much cheaper.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:26 AM   #11
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


UPDATE

1. New Ceiling Tiles Installed

The offensive Armstrong ceiling tiles (with the pervasive butyric acid smell) were replaced with new ceiling tiles made from entirely different materials. http://newceilingtiles.com/ This was a good result.

2. Removal of Butyric Acid Smell from Living Area

Steam Cleaning of Carpet. The most effective step in the removal of the butyric acid smell from the living area was the steam cleaning of the carpet.

Ozone. On the other hand, the use of ozone to remove the butyric acid smell created a whole new set of problems in the treated living area: The creation of caronyls, which can be irritiating and even toxic.

Although ozone disappears quickly, what most people don't consider is that it is HIGHLY reactive with many materials in the home.

Ozone chemically reacts with furniture, fixture, and flooring surfaces to form a wide range of chemical by-products that are “oxidized products” known as carbonyls (mono and di-carbonyls), including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and others.

This problem is magnified further if you use a fragrance in the home that emits terpenes or terpene alcohols (nice smelling chemicals found in plug-in and solid air fresheners), which are highly reactive with ozone and yield a lot of harmful oxidized products.

Hope this update is helpful to those interested.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:24 PM   #12
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Re: Ceiling Tiles Smell


Quote:
Originally Posted by 3bar View Post
how common is cellulose and starch used in ceiling tile?
IMO, it's not the fiber, rather the binder. Fiber is fiber and fiber is filler. Binders are chems (glue here) and they outgass and that's what's usually the problem, especially when airflow is part of their job description. Walk into a new RV/camper and you'll get hit with the outgassing of the binder. Lighter materials mean more and more HD binder. Outgassing does decrease over time, so that can be a way to deal with it, sort of like drying/acclimating wood I'd imagine.

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