I don't know what it is. It's sticking out of my wall. Does anyone have any ideas? It looks like a piece of metal. And lately, I've seen some dampness and water pooling on it a bit. And the area where it is around the floor looks like there is some dampness.

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  • What is that "frame" made of? The object looks like it might me a pipe... maybe a water shutoff.
    – JACK
    Dec 2, 2019 at 1:51
  • 1
    why don't you clean it up and then take pictures
    – jsotola
    Dec 2, 2019 at 3:12
  • Not sure what the frame is made out of. The walls are just covered in that wood panelling Dec 2, 2019 at 3:39
  • @jsotola the problem is I don't know what I can or can't clean up, or what I should. I guess if it's metal and it has a bunch of mineral deposits, maybe remove those deposits and see what it actually is? Dec 2, 2019 at 3:40
  • 1
    clean off peeling paint and any loose material ... also, the 3rd picture shows a screw holding the panel ... remove any screws and look behind the panel
    – jsotola
    Dec 2, 2019 at 4:45

2 Answers 2


It looks like you have a basement laundry room with cinder block walls. The vertical structure doesn't look like metal to me, more like fiberboard put up to hide a soil stack and other plumbing. With the shampoo and wash cloth hanging on the utility sink... Do you have a shower down there too?

Either the plumbing hidden behind the fiberboard wall may be leaking or the humidity from laundry or a shower may be condensing on the wall or whatever's behind the fiberboard, then soaking through from behind and puddling on the floor.

To figure out what's really happening you'll probably have to unscrew the fiberboard and look behind it. If it's a leak, fix it. If it's condensation, there are several ways to address it depending on how much effort and expense you're willing to go to.

  • I don't have a shower, just laundry. Ok, I guess I'll have to do some digging. Thanks for the thoughts. Dec 2, 2019 at 19:09
  • cheap shampoo is cheaper than hand cleaner :)
    – Jasen
    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:05

Based on all of the foam and sealant around the object and rust on the floor it seems like the previous owner (or current landlord if you are renting) had an issue which they did not want to address properly.

You can start by cleaning up the object a bit by peeling or gently scraping it until it's more obvious as to what it is or start removing the paneling to see what is being hidden.

The fact that there is water in that vicinity is concerning and you should look into it sooner rather than later.

Per your third picture, the screws holding in the paneling appear to be a square drive and these bits can easily be found at your local hardware store.

Before removing the paneling it would be wise to score the outside and inside corners with a utility knife so that you don't get unexpected paint peeling.

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Source: https://www.harborfreight.com/square-bit-assorted-set-6-pc-68461.html

  • Thanks @MonkeyZeus, I will start to remove the panelling to see what I find. Hopefully it's not too bad, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a cover up based on our experience with this house. Dec 2, 2019 at 19:17
  • @ShanPlourde Good luck to you and definitely keep me posted!
    – MonkeyZeus
    Dec 2, 2019 at 19:31
  • Ah, Harbor Freight... my home away from home... :)
    – FreeMan
    Dec 3, 2019 at 20:12

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