Smoke remediation water based primer how do I know?
I hope I am in the correct spot for this because it is a how to or how to know kind of question. Our home burned severely a year ago. A coffee maker cord shorted out and caught other materials in the kitchen on fire, it was completely investigated, by everyone including the arson guy, known as the special investigator. I am also certified in UL explosion proof certification, and in the business for decades and understand what a short circuit is, why it is so possibly serious, and how it happens. What I don't know is once all that is understood, then the rebuilding process starts and once debris removed the cleaning and prep work begins. THe builder we were assigned by the insurance company had some weird ways of doing things, but I and my agent and her office Manager just happened to walk in when the builder was spraying "kilz like product" and sprayed it everywhere, attic, hardwood floors, into new and old electrical boxes, I have photos that are nothing short of shocking. Turns out after a week this massive amount of paint/primer is not drying, more months still tacky, now we suspect a big time problem. MY agent is insisting I fire this preferred service provider of theirs because of this mess and others not so bad prior, which I probably tried to give the benefit of the doubt to,. I just hated the idea of changing builders, not that I really trusted this one, but it is months, now and nothing is being done, samples are sent to the manufacturer they say stop do not install sheetrock over tacky paint for various reasons, so that is held up, and also they bring up the fact there is a possible electrical fire consideration. Which I could also see, if there were thinner in this primer sure there is a bigger chance of an electrical arc starting a fire inside a box and if you have ever been in fire you never want to be in one again. We lost our oldest pet dog, the most serious injury, very sad, but I made it out, and thankfully no on else was home by minutes. When the manufacturer of the primer gets back to us with this electrical warning, which also goes passed the possible solvent in the product, causing it to not cure or dry with months of temperatures in the hundreds, there is the tacky issue that collects particles, of all kinds some paper some easier to ignite than others but they do not dwell on that, they are more concerned with the immediate chance of solvents in the primer because it was smoke remediation they assumed as we all did, that the primer was solvent based. I do fire the builder on the advice of my agent, but no one had a resolution for this tacky primer. Upon hearing of the fire warning from the manufacturer, the fired builder tells me there is no fire potential because he used water based primer, so water no fire hazard, I know stupid but a big ole CYA. So I spend a thousand dollars and send samples to a forensic and criminology lab in Texas. They send a report back, and state Kilz only makes three choices of smoke remediation primer, the primer is tacky, not a big concern, but they were lacking some of the photos of the fuzz all in these electrical boxes. The report also states you have more problems that just the the tacky primer, which they cannot determine why it remains not drying, because they have no sample of the original container it came out of and could not be sure if we got a a container because there is no way to tell if it is or is not the REAL containter. The thousand dollar report goes on to say, your bigger problem is this is water based primer and not one of the recommended products which are oil based. Now comes the big questions, no one had any experience with smoke remediation where a water based primer was used. I am told it is the backbone of any smoke remediation process, passed cleaning and obtaining what the smoke consisted of which never happened. So now we have house with water based primer everywhere, a report from the forensic lab, that says my biggest problem is the water based product and not so much the tackiness. The second builder touches up some areas with oil based spray cans, wipes clean as they could the wires in the switch and outlets boxes and proceed to finish the home. My problem is I am being sued, because I signed the authorization to pay, the first builder, [really against my own opinion of paying anything] my attorney says to sign it, return it to the insurance but he took out the word satisfied, which is in the paragraph. Now the insurance refuses to pay the builder though I really think nothing should be paid, but agreed but because of the satisfied not being removed, no payment and now the first builder is suing me directly. So I have all this advice, but no one can tell me what will happen with this water based primer. The technical literature states it will bleed through, we have the words recommended from the lab, which if you read through the context means no warranty, but my attorney insists there is no proof of damage even though there is proof of damage. Plus I have to disclose all reports in Missouri, before selling if ever, even the lab report, with the wrong primer report. Finally my bottom line question, individually the lab and painters everywhere say and agree it is all wrong, but at the time sand or bead blasting was not a option they thought it would stick to the tacky wrong kilz, I thought of cryo blasting but I know what a mess that can be, and because they soaked the upper level of our walkout home, it is so soaked even cryo blasting could not say how much blasting would have to be done, and if even they could get to all the nooks and crannies.
So my attorney wants me to tell him what happens when water based primer is used for smoke remediation, because all the other painters and lab say it is not the right stuff, it will bleed through, it may not smell now but bet your butt it will someday. By the way this was a year ago, and it is still sticky especially on the romex. How do I tell when or what will happen with the water based primer? Is there a way to tell, measure, test, that is more layman like? I get it, but he says I must prove the damage and how much damage, and I am without a clue. I know only certain accredited people can deem a house safe to inhabit, but I have no way to know if someone with allergies moves in, and or buys this property might not have a problem. I mean I know I have to disclose the fire and have no problem with it, and no problem with disclosing the lab reports, but in the meantime what is going to happen or is there any cure sorry for that, or method to be measured on the water based kilz as far as the amount of damage? We know it is damaged but how much or what? I was told to come here because of all the experience, someone or likely more than one someone can shed some light on this water based smoke remediation that is not smoke remediation. Very tough and long question, but here I am being sued for having a bad contractor. Everyone agrees, but no one can be specific on what to tell to do now. I know I may have to pay another expert, and no problem or collect enough valid opinions or experience may work. Again the question comes up, does it smell in there? Well yes and no, I am a bad one to ask, but my wife asked me the other day if I had used the fireplace downstairs, and no I had not. I think I smell smoke and on days where it more high pressure outside than low pressure, I know to notice this because the house has always been fairly tight, and why it seems I can smell smoky on nice days versus not nice days, I do not understand. Thank you for your patience, we live in Missouri nothing says I have to be satisfied I did pay sign the release to pay but they just insist I will be satisfied, or they won't pay what turns out to be a two man band and the insurance has no idea how they ever got vetted in the first place, I asked but now that this is going on, no one replies to anything, actually no one ever has committed to much of anything, I have never been sued, my Wife is a nervous wreck, just lost her Mother, life is hell and we need guidance or how to if there is a how to in such a convoluted situation.
I guess your not getting any replys because your post is just way to long.
See if you can reduce it down to the real question your trying to ask and leave out all the history.
See if this helps.
It is pretty common knowledge among painters that the only primer that can hold back the smell of smoke with any assuredness is a shellac based primer- usually a brand called BIN.
Anything else is a crap shoot.
yup you should only use the shellac based bin for smoke/fire jobs.
your going to have to somehow get the tacky paint off of there. i've never run into a problem quite like it but the first thing that comes to mind is pressure wash the hell out of it to get most of that tacky paint off. put some drying equipment in then spray it with the proper product.
what a mess! also have u tried tried putting drying equipment and put a bunch of job site heaters in there and bake the place and suck the water out of there?
Original bin or bin 2. I would go original. I have never tried bin 2:laughing:
Ps. Nobody is going to read a post this long.
I did read it all and still do not know exactly what the question is. Sounds more like a lawyer situation to me. Zinnser's Bin should have been used from the get go. Any real remediation company would have known this
I've read the thing, and honestly, I would understand better if certain actors were more well defined, too many vague pronouns.
You say "My" agent. Who is your agent? Someone from the liable insurance co? And who is her office manager? Or, is this a private insurance adjuster that you hired who works for you solely?
Who is the "first builder"? Is he the guy who applied the faulty primer? If he's suing you, you should be counter suing him for negligence, whatever. If your lawyer is worth his salt he should be able to find some grounds. I would also be in touch with whatever state licensing agency issued the builders credentials and have them shake him up a bit. Maybe you need a lawsuit naming the builder, the insurance company, the paint company, and the state licensing agency. Are state licensing laws not there to protect you from know nothing contractors committing fraud?
You said "manufacturer". Of what? I hope it's Masterchem, the maker of Kilz. Though I would think they would be able to definitively identify their product. They can't be held liable for faulty application, or a wrong choice of product by the builder, so they have no reason to not be helpful.
To your problem, and this is where we need Ric. Personally, electrical box issues aside, I don't think you would have a problem if you encapsulated the tacky primer with one or two coats of BIN. Which, by the way, is the only fire damaged remediation coating. It's not so much the brand, but the product, alcohol based shellac. I've never heard of an oil base alternative, but I don't operate in that world. One, or two, good sprayed coats of film forming BIN, which hardens like a shell, would lock down anything under it. And from the pic it doesn't look like you have any exposed areas, it's all rough in surfaces, so no surfaces will be exposed or disturbed after construction. I also doubt mildew would be an issue with the tackiness.
We're a great bunch of knowledgeable guys here (Is there a pat on the back smile), but I think this is above our pay grade other than what you've been offered to date. You can't tell a judge the guys at DIY told me so and so. You need guns, not spitball shooters. You're dealing with a builder here and an insurance company, neither really cares about your plight. You need fangs, and a lawyer with fangs, and facts to back them up. Example: Your lawyer has you seeking out info on why latex sealer is the wrong choice. Poor. That's what you pay him to do.
I would contact Rustoleum to inquire about their product Zinsser BIN Pigmented shellac, and ask them what they can do to help you. Skip most of what you told us and get right to your problem. They can give you the tech advice you need, and they might be eager to p!ss all over Kilz. That's a start. Good luck.
Oh, and use paragraphs, how's that BJ. I now know the hell I put you guys through. :laughing:
You guys are tougher than me. My eyes started spinning after the first 500 words.
I believe that was already stated also:yes:
4 sentences this time
I will be writing a novel in no time.
hmmm...alot to respond to here. Lets start with this - I'd get a new attorney if I were you. Then, with your new attorney, file a counter-suit against the builder, your insurance company and your former attorney - or at least bring 'em all back to the table with threat of a lawsuit.
The question you seem to need answered most is why the product used to prime your home hasn't dried yet. Was it the right product? Good question - that kinda depends on what the product actually was. If it was a Kilz product, and if it were one of their water based products, the manufacturer (MasterChem Industries) would absolutely be able to tell you why their product hasn't yet cured over this period of time. And for whatever reason they couldn't, or wouldn't, tell you, there are many, many independent labs that have experience in architectural and/or coating forensics that would. Since there are lawyers and lawsuits involved, don't expect a whole lot of voluntary information to come to you, though.
Among Fire Restoration Specialists, latex products are seldom their main "go-to" products. Oils/Alkyds far out-perform latexes in sealing stains and smells associated with fire and smoke damage, but BIN Shellac even out-performs oil/alkyds. BIN is a brand name of the Zinsser Company, a subsidiary of Rustoleum Inc...While I would normally not refer to a specific brand name in this type of case, Zinsser is one of the few, if not only, manufacturer of a packaged pigmented white shellac in the nation.
Each product type (latex, oil/alkyd, shellac) that has been mentioned here functions differently in many of their measurable terms. As far as ability to seal fire, water and smoke damage, BIN is generally regarded the most effective. The reason has to do with the way each product forms a film (cures). Latex cures by coalescence, which is a beautiful thing, except for the fact that soooo many things can disrupt that process - temperature, humidity, oils, grease, pollutants, etc. etc. etc. - if disrupted, the result is usually a film that doesn't dry hard (if at all), may never reach an acceptable level of adhesion, or, in the case of a prime coat, provide a stable foundation necessary for subsequent applications of finish products. Oil/alkyds cure by oxidation, and while they may not be quite as temperamental as latex coatings - grease, oil, soot and airborne pollutants may also wreak havoc on it's ability to cure properly. Shellac is unique in the fact that it requires nothing other than solvent evaporation to cure hard and complete. Since the evaporative solvent in shellac is alcohol, the dry time is almost immediate and final cure is not far behind.
The downside of BIN, unfortunately, is it doesn't always do well over soft, pliable, malleable surfaces - sound familiar? ...and personally, I agree with JSheridan that BIN will probably work over what you've got (the solvents in BIN may actually act as a fixative and harden up that existing coating), but nobody is gonna stand behind that recommendation since it's already gone legal.
Having all this information is not the same as saying a water borne product was the wrong product used...That will be determined by how the manufacture responds to their product used in this particular app. If the manufacturer is provided with enough evidence that their product was actually used on your project, they should be able to determine whether their product was at fault due to manufacturer's defect. They will compare the specific product used against standard batch retains to determine if there is any deficiency in their product - If no defect is found, that really kinda lets them off the hook (in terms of liability).
So there are only a few rational explanations as to why a coatings product won't cure properly...(a) Defective product - This is actually extremely rare. As in the above example, manufacturers retain samples of every batch of product made - when a complaint regarding this product comes up, they check it against the retain to determine whether a defect is present. There won't be. Manufacturers make products in 200, 500, 800, 1000, 2500 gallon batches and more - then subjected to a pretty grueling quality control testing. If defects were present, and actually got past the QC guys, the company would have files of registered complaints and a recall would've been issued. If the retain shows no defect, external factors must be considered as the cause of failure....(b) Unauthorized alteration of product - This is fairly common. The end-user (in your case, the builder) has altered the product by thinning, or adding flow agents, driers, retarders, emulsifiers, mildewcides, insecticides, any other of a myriad of available additives, or by mixing with other brands of product, NOT specifically recommended, in writing, by the manufacturer for use in their products, usually results in releasing the manufacturer of liability in a job gone south...(c) Atmospheric conditions at time of application - This happens more than you may want to believe. Most single component coatings are temperature and humidity sensitive. Application in high humid conditions, or in temperature extremes, absolutely will affect the performance of a product....and (d) In-adequate/insufficient surface preparation or improper application - This is by far the most common cause of paint/coatings failures. A coatings ability to cure/adhere/perform is directly dependent on the condition of the surface to be painted. All manufacturers clearly, and explicitly, detail necessary prep for product performance.
The manufacturer has the responsibility to provide product capable of performing "as advertised" and free of defect...Defective products or "bad batches" are extremely rare. As you'll notice though, the other issues b,c and d, are all beyond the control of the manufacturer, but each are within the control of the contractor (while the contractor has no real control of (c) atmospheric conditions at time of app, he does control the "time of app").
Your contractor accepted this job, for profit, as being ready for his services. He applied paint to a surface he deemed as ready for paint. He applied the product of his choice, in a manner he deemed appropriate...this is his responsibility. While you never know for certain how a judge (or arbitrator or jury) will rule on such a case, it's rare (in my experiences, at least) that the ruling will not support the homeowner who is kind of at the mercy of professionals who are supposed to be well versed in their trade. If, by chance, there is any issue with the manufacturer, that is to be resolved between the contractor and manufacturer - not you.
I don't know if this info is helpful but a good attorney will help to alleviate a whole bunch of your anxiety...Good luck and let us know how things shake out.
First, thank you all for the advise, I appreciate constructive criticism and as I look at, and being an expert in a completely different type category, it was indeed a mess of a question.
I would shy away from just the same type of constructed question I wrote myself.
I also appreciate the fact I was guided on how to fix the question to get more answers.
Everyone who replied is perceptive to an amazing degree, and the advice I got to come here as proven to be extremely good advice, I have found what appears to be a collection of the best of the best.
If you have never been sued, it is a nasty thing.
I went through a fire and nearly lost my life, and damn sure don't want it to happen again.
I cannot imagine if my Wife of Kids had found themselves in the situation alone.
Not that I am more able or creative or whatever it takes to get out of burning house.
But I am also aware that this is a not a legal venue, it is a solution based forum, and there is a question, but many other questions tied to it.
I suppose nerves, trying to provide the details, and still come out with a question is part of the mess I wrote.
All who took a lot [a ton] of their personal time, were kind enough to dig through a mess and I apologize for that.
It is probably way more to ask than is fair to anyone. It is also not fair to the site, but I suppose I did what I had to do, and did it poorly.
The entire situation has technical aspects, and legal aspects, I tried to keep the legal out but needed to try and explain why I was asking the question[s].
Thank you all for the kindness and concern, and there was plenty of room for a lot of chastising this jumbled mess, yet not one did that. What I have received shows a lot of things.
True professionals, and I have been a VP of a 20 Million dollar organization so I have supervised the best in a particular trade, rarely get the credit for having the "heart of a Teacher".
The truth is, true professionals in whatever way, be in writing or by actions, see, know, study, care, and give a crap in various ways.
I take nothing away from Teachers, but the responses were teaching, and there is no doubt each and every reply and suggestion came from the "heart of a Teacher".
Not all are writers, but professionals who by choice or whatever reason, might not prefer to communicate in writing, still communicate to a degree above and beyond what just seems to most lay people, just a paint job.
There is no such thing as "just a paint job".
So again thank you all and let me try my question again another way.
If a typical wooden frame house suffers significant fire damage, 1500 sq ft per floor, open staircase to a complete finished basement, most all sheet rock replaced, carpet replaced mostly all over up and down, and even marble window sills replaced up, some rafters in the area above the kitchen where the fire started, and the contractor removes the damaged materials, sprays the entire attic, most of the upper floor, with a water based KILZ product, what are the possible issues?
Samples were sent to a forensic lab and no doubt it was water based primer, but words like recommended are used. There in lies my problem. Recommended does not mean the product will not work.
Is there anywhere to go, anyone to contact, any statistical data, any history, any thing anywhere that is non biased, and has information, past history, data, of what could or does happen when the wrong "not recommended" water based primer is soaked through out a burned out wood construction 20 year old house?
It is a legal based on very technical information. Bottom line so far, is this response, "no one ever uses water based primer for smoke remediation so there is no history of what happens because no one does it"
Thank you all again, I know this was not a lot shorter but I hope more to the point. And I do understand it is my attorneys job to find this stuff out, but he has run into the same answers, no one does it. And although he is one terrific lawyer, maybe I need a different one, and it is consideration believe me.
I have been contacted by all kinds of ambulance chasers, and even a KC Missouri attorney NAME familiar with smoke remediation would be a Godsend.
It is the most incredible go round in circles situation I have ever seen.
And the real bottom line is the only person going to save my butt is me.
Thank you all again, and who knows how many "contractors" are out there doing this, I could not stand and watch and take data off every single item this "contractor" might or might not have used.
I just cannot prove that water based primer is anything but recommended, that is the legal part of this mess, I need a technical answer to what happens when water based kilz no doubt in the world it was water based, is used as primer for smoke remediation and as many pointed out, I cannot simply say the experts over at this site or that said, and a hundred painters I have interviewed said, no one does THAT.
Glad you made paragraphs this time! That way i could skip the first 10 or so..
My Q to you is WHO is saying that Latex Kilz is recommended for fire remediation? I can't think anyone including Kilz would put that on their spec sheet.
And find out why it is recommended- when it so clearly doesn't work.
Not sure you will get much more out of this place than the points already made. As you noticed, we're here to help with paint problems, not legal ones.
Whoa written like a true engineer. is there a question in all that?
brush just answered it and I do not think it needs to go any further
unless ric needs to add a chapter or two:)
Will, thanks for the kind words. I know this is a nightmare because usually when anything goes wrong in the construction business it's the two handed monte, one hand covering the a$$ the other hand pointing fingers. My heart goes out to you. You had it right, the only one who's going to save you is you. That's why I said you need fangs.
I went to Masterchem (Kilz) website and found this quote for one of their latex primers
• Fire Restoration: It is critical to clean smoke
damaged surfaces thoroughly before priming.
Now they have a couple of latex primers, so I'm not sure what was used but the couple that I saw had that notice. Did your guy clean the surfaces? IMO, what they're talking about here is interior walls that have soot damage, not coating structural components like you required.
I also found this on the Kilz Premium Latex primer TDS page;
• Fire Restoration: It is critical to clean smoke
damaged surfaces thoroughly before priming.
Primary Recommendation: KILZ COMPLETE®, KILZ ODORLESS® or KILZ®
Now those products that are their "Primary Recommendation" are oil based primers. So the company is telling you that's what they want you to use. And here I clearly think they're talking the fire damage such as you suffered, and maybe the product is now capable of that application. You need to pin Kilz down on what they recommend specifically for your situation, what they would have told the contractor to use if he had called them for counsel. I said it before and I'll say it again, they have zero liability to you. They have no control over which of their products the contractor uses, what situation he chooses them for, or how he applies them. And those things are spelled out legally. There is no reason they shouldn't be helpful in getting an issue with their product straightened out for you. It's you and them against the contractor. You have a bad image of their product in your mind and it's in their best interest to correct that.
From the Zinsser BIN TDS
Recommended for permanently sealing heavy fire and water stains B-I-N seals in smoke stains and
odors caused by fires.
That language clearly tells me that that's the choice of sealers. The problem is that BIN is twice the cost of Kilz. Have you contacted Zinsser? You're pitting one major competitor against another. I'm sure they will bend over backwards to help you.
As I said, and Ric backed me on, I don't think that encapsulating what you have there now with the wrong primer, tacky or not, with the BIN is going to cause a problem for you. I think Zinsser will tell you the same thing. Once the construction is done, none of the affected surfaces will be visible or touchable so won't be disturbed. I think this whole thing could be boiled down to who is going to pay for the extra time and material to spray the BIN, not the whole fiasco you're contemplating. But until you at least talk to Zinsser, you'll never know. Today, call Zinsser today.
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