How Do You Stop Cigarette Smoke Coming Through Walls? - General DIY Discussions - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 01-14-2009, 07:56 AM   #1
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How do you stop cigarette smoke coming through walls?

We've just bought a terrace house (built 1966), with a chain smoker next door. We can't stop her cigarette smoke from coming in, both in the lounge room (has gas fire in fireplace) and the main bedroom (no fireplace, but is above the lounge, so has chimney inside a built in wardrobe). The smoke is so bad that we can see it around the light fittings - and all of our clothes smell too. The smoke is definately not coming in the windows or via the loft.

I have to assume that there is a brick wall between the two houses (otherwise it is totally not safe from a fire perspective, but we can only see plasterboard and wallpaper on our side. (There is a lined built-in wardrobe in the bedroom, which is why the clothes are so affected, I suppose).

Is there some product we can use to stop the smoke from entering? A sealant? Some special sort of plasterboard or insulation? I don't think that the neighbour is interested in stopping smoking. We have to do something, as my asthma is getting worse, unfortunately, and our eyes sting all of the time now. It has to be coming in either the walls or the chimney.

Advice please!


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Old 01-14-2009, 12:49 PM   #2
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add foam insulation pads to all electrical devices on the shared wall. Caulk along the floor and ceiling and any other wall penetrations. It is possible that the attic is shared. Look into this. It should be completely sealed to conform to fire codes. If it is not, get someone to fix it. Write letters, so when your place burns down from the idiot next store, you know who to sue. If they do not fix this area, you will also need to apply the same treatment to any ceiling penetrations.


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Old 01-15-2009, 04:55 AM   #3
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Air filters

I would suggest air cleaners such as the ones from Oreck. I suffer from allergies and have two units in my house in Southern California. In the wild fires we have experienced the past years the outside air was thick with smoke - my neighbors homes reaked of the smoke smell afterwards - but mine did not. I was cleaning my air cleaners several times a day vs. normal of every few days - further evidence they were clearing the air.

Do not get HEPA filters with replacable elements - they do not do as good a job and require frequent replacement of costly filter elements.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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The separation is a "fire separation wall" by code. That doesn't mean it is or that it was built properly. I know from personal experience that keeping the builder honest is difficult even if he is honest and impossible if he isn't. You bought a lemon and it will always stink. Sorry.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
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A pretty good solution to the smoke problem

I'm not one to confront people, complain to management, or take legal action. I like to find solutions that I can implement without drama and I think I've found it. What I have done, is take advantage of the way air flows. I read somewhere that the only way to stop the smoke from coming through the wall was to plug up every last crack, hole, and gap because the air will find and flow to even one remaining opening.
After reading that, I decided to exploit that property instead of fighting it and I put a small, electric air filter under my kitchen sink. The air filter pulls air from the large gaps where the plumbing comes in through the wall. Because of the way air flows, it no longer wanders around to random holes and gaps, it flows to where it's being pulled...right into the air filter.
My neighbor only occasionally smokes inside his condo and the wall we share is the kitchen wall. The smell of cigarette smoke in my kitchen used to be unbearable, but I haven't smelled it at all since I started using the air filter, which was about six months ago.
I consider myself lucky that I don't have a smoker on the other side of my bedroom wall, but I kind of wish I did now so that I could test this solution out in that scenario as well.
I really want to hear from everyone who tries this. I don't know if it works under every circumstance and if it doesn't work somewhere, I'd like to put some thought into how to get it to work (or hear from you how you got it to work).
I look forward to hearing from you!
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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There should be a way Admin. can stop noobies from resurrecting 2 year old threads.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tizzer
There should be a way Admin. can stop noobies from resurrecting 2 year old threads.
Et tu, brute?


If I could only remember to THINK about what I was doing before I did it.
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cigarette smoke

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