Problem with cigarette smoke

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I write in hope of some serious answers. I know this general issue has come up before, and wading through the incredulous and the trolls doing a search yields nothing that seems likely to work. Maybe there is nothing; if not, so be it. We just moved into our new home after over 7 months of renovations. The problem is cigarette smoke from one of our neighbors. This is an attached house, with a party wall (concrete). (attached on the other side too, separate construction, not a problem. When the walls were open, I was not aware of any plumbing coming directly from the smoking neighbor. There are cabinets mounted in our kitchen on the party wall. Holes were cut in the cabinet backs to accommodate some drainage and steam pipes (ours), and there is an opening around our plumbing which we will seal off. We don't know what might be the best way to do this, and I have no idea if it will work (though the cigarette smoke is strongest in these cabinets. This does appear to be coming through the walls--somehow, and not through vents to the outside. This is old construction (c. 1940). There is no question that there is cigarette smoke. It's not nearly as big a problem for me (my sense of smell was never the same since organic chemistry), but my wife is very upset. I'm quite sure I have no legal recourse, and in any case wouldn't expect my neighbor to modify his smoking on my behalf. Really just interested to know if anyone has dealt with some mechanical means of dealing with this problem that was effective.
TIA, Steve
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Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
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On 3/6/2012 9:08 AM, Steven Bornfeld wrote:

attic. And if so, is the common wall also closing off your attic from the neighbor's attic? Do you have a vent fan that only vents to the attic?
Use cans of spray foam to seal up the pipes.
Does your neighbor's kitchen share your wall?
IS the "concrete" wall actually concrete block? Is the concrete wall painted? A heavy coat of paint will seal any cracks and voids in the concrete. A poured wall in the 1940's may well have voids where the concrete was hand mixed and then poured into the forms. The interface between pours was not well mixed. We had a house built in 1948 with a hand mixed and poured concrete basement. Walls clearly showed lack of mixing and let water leak in.
Paul
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On 3/6/2012 1:00 PM, Paul Drahn wrote:

    There is no attic. It's a flat rubber roof. All vents are through the roof, except the laundry which vents to the back brick wall.

    We plan to do that (though our contractor seems to think it will take too many cans--I think he suggested fiberglass insulation, though I'm sure foam (is it polystyrene?) would seal far better.

    I don't know. A few weeks ago my wife complained of a fishy smell, so we may--and cooking odors may be a problem too. But the primary problem is the cigarette smoke.

I have no idea. When the wall was open, I saw no indication that it was concrete block, so I'm guessing it was poured concrete. Wow, I didn't know they were still hand mixing concrete by the 1940s. We don't seem to have any problems with external leaks (some of the internal plumbing leaked and had to be changed.
Thanks, Steve
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Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
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Since your problem is with vapors, you may get results with vapor barrier foam board, or sheet fiberglass. But, the vapor barrier is what's needed.
I've done a bunch of sheet metal work, so I'd be thinking sheet metal cut to shape, and stuck on with silicone caulk. You may be able to get the same result with sheet plastic, and easier to cut.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
We plan to do that (though our contractor seems to think it will take too many cans--I think he suggested fiberglass insulation, though I'm sure foam (is it polystyrene?) would seal far better.
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On 3/6/2012 3:01 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

    I'm hoping not to have to re-open the wall, but I may have to. Have to check the bank account. :-(
Steve
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Before doing anythign major, like a dermal abrasion on your wall. Please have a HVAC guy (or do it yourself) have a look at the ducts. You may have arterial or venous shunt, which is mixing air with the othe side.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I'm hoping not to have to re-open the wall, but I may have to. Have to check the bank account. :-(
Steve
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wrote:

febreze to get rid of existing smell we have successfully used bleach wiped on the non-porous surfaces and gently sprayed on the porous ones.
positive air pressure electronic air cleaner seal between buildings
prognosis is not good. we live in rural area with a density of 1 hm per several acres. 650 feet sw of us is obviously a heavy smoker. when the wind shifts, swear it smells like being in a pool hall. no mitigation for that at all. olfactory is sensitive to parts per billion. found that inhaling a bit of antihistamine helps.
As with any allergy [like smelling cigarette smoke]; once triggered stays for a long time, must then get exposure way down below level for a long time to 'reset' sensitivity.
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On 3/6/2012 4:33 PM, Robert Macy wrote:

    Maybe it's true for my wife. My sense of smell fatigues rather quickly, and if it were just me I could live with it. But I don't think I can live with the wife...and the smell at the same time.
Thanks, Steve
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Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
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May be an allergy, on her part. I know it is, for me.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Maybe it's true for my wife. My sense of smell fatigues rather quickly, and if it were just me I could live with it. But I don't think I can live with the wife...and the smell at the same time.
Thanks, Steve
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Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
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On 3/6/2012 3:33 PM, Robert Macy wrote:

I'm deathly allergic to tobacco smoke and most people refuse to believe that I can tell if the car in front of me on the freeway contains a smoker. That poison is like pepper spray to me. What kind of an idiot purposely inhales the byproducts of combustion? o_O
TDD
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You start em young, and use a high pressure advertising campaign before their brains harden and set in their ways.
My favorite irony is a fireman, coming out of a smoky burning building. Takes off the air pack and lights one.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I'm deathly allergic to tobacco smoke and most people refuse to believe that I can tell if the car in front of me on the freeway contains a smoker. That poison is like pepper spray to me. What kind of an idiot purposely inhales the byproducts of combustion? o_O
TDD
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On 3/6/2012 9:50 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

very interesting article on how habits are formed
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?_r=1
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On 3/6/2012 10:54 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

You do, if you drive a car ;o)
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I find it more essential to travel, than to use tobacco.
Me, well, I'd like to see tobacco outlawed. I'm sure it will never happen, but I'd like to. Then, of course, people will have to buy cigs off the street corner like MJ and crack and such. And cellars of buildings will turn into "smoke easys".
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 3/6/2012 10:54 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

You do, if you drive a car ;o)
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On 3/7/2012 6:30 AM, Norminn wrote:

Sorry pal, I've never sucked on a tailpipe and never intend to. ^_^
TDD
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On 3/7/2012 10:00 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

If you drive a car you are putting poison into the air ;o)
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On 3/8/2012 6:55 AM, Norminn wrote:

If I eat beans, I always wind up emitting greenhouse gasses. o_O
TDD
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Wrong tail pipe.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

If I eat beans, I always wind up emitting greenhouse gasses. o_O
TDD
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I am allegic to tobacco smoke and even people who have been around smokers stink.
best to open all the adjacent spaces and closed cell foam everything
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wrote:

exhaust is actually CLEANER than the intake air.
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