Smoke through walls

I live in a Victorian semi and the house next door has been split into flats. The upper flat has a new tenant who - although I've never met them - I'm convinced smokes numerous cigars. The reason I know this is that every evening my son's bedroom - one wall of which is the party-wall between us and next door - stinks of cigar smoke. I believe the only way this could happen is via the chimney, and that the smoke, or at the least the smell of it, is travelling up next doors chimney and being sucked down the chimney in my son's room. The chimney breasts in both houses are built onto the party wall and the chimney stacks are very close together. Any suggestions how to cure this one - what's the best way of blocking a chimney ?
Ta
Peter
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The chimney sounds probable - unless your son has discovered a secret love of King Edwards! :o)
The expanding foam commonly available from DIY stores would work - but could be a bugger to remove at a later date. What I'd suggest as an experiment would be to fill a dustbin bag with small soft cloths (old rages etc) and push it up the chimney - there should be a 'ledge' a little way up. The bag should fill the gap and form a reasonable seal - at least it may help you prove if it or isn't the source.
Also worth thinking about is the loftspace - is it open between the two properties? The smell could be coming through the ceiling? You could check that out by going up into the loftspace and seeing if the smell is up there too. If so you could probably reduce the problem by better insulation between the rafters.
Good luck - I hope you resolve the problem for your son.
Steve
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On Wed, 14 Jan 2004 22:37:11 +0000 (UTC), "Steve H"

The thought crosses my mind here that a substantially built plastic bag shoved up the orifice and then filled with expanding foam might help with this. At least then you've got a plastic interface between the brickwork and the foam, rather than the foam biting into the brick surface.
Haven't tried this approach though, so use at your own risk - others might suggest it's a no-goer.
PoP
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PoP wrote:

Judging now the expanding foam I used once (and never again!!!) melted our laminate flooring - I'd expect it to melt the plastic bag....
D
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David Hearn wrote:

Odd. it doesn't AFAICR. Used such to wipe the foam 'gun' tip.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Must be a different type of plastic used in bags. All I know is that when it dripped on our laminate, it melted the top surface. *mutters about stupid valve that broke and wouldn't turn off*
Thinking about it - I must have put it in a bag when it kept leaking and leaking.
D
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If it did it would be a bit pointless them supply polythene gloves with it (as the one I bought did). IIRC it needs moisture to cure so if you put it into a plastic bag I wonder if it would cure?
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wrote:

I don't use polythene gloves - never seen a pair that didn't tear on the seams as soon as the glue got a scent of you. I prefer the blue vinyl sort - much less likely to tear.
I've packed poly bags with squirty foam to make bungs many times, and I know at least one that has survived 8 years of daylight so far.

It doesn't need much moisture. It's a foam, so there's very little mass of glue in there. I've had problems with PU glue failing to cure through lack of moisture before, but never the foam.
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them -

every
of
in
party
For smells to percolate through from a neighbouring property, especially through a thick party wall with chimneys, is not possible and will probably mean you have gaps in the brickwork under the floors or vents in the outside walls, and they're allowing air to circulate passed the lath and plaster and under the skirting boards. I'd check for cigar/cigarette stubs in your sons room first.
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BigWallop wrote on 15/01/2004 :-

I disagree.....
There are very many ways for air to percolate between two adjoining buildings. We have a cavity wall separating us from next door, but we can often tell what they are cooking. It depends upon the wind direction at the time and I would suggest it would be next to impossible to completely seal an house from an adjoining property.
A better idea would be to go round, ask if someone smokes cigars and in which room they smoke their cigars.
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Peter Davis wrote:

Srach this group for the last time we discussed this. Turned out to be holes behind bath and under the flolor I think. Expanding foam is your friend.
99% sure not chimney. I have tow back to back fires - no smoke comes down the other when the one is in ise.
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them -

every
of
in
party
What's in the loft?
Some Victorian terraces and semis are completely separated between buildings, others are not. Might depend upon the local fire bylaws for your location at the time of building.
If you have an open loft or one with bricks missing, etc, then this might be a path between the dwellings.
Google search this group - there was a discussion about this before (tho you will have to ignore a lot of political chaff about the rights and wrongs of smoking/smokers/non-smokers, etc). The situation was not identical because the dwelling in question was a modern built house, but there may be useful pointers in that.
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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On Wed, 14 Jan 2004 21:25:14 -0000, a particular chimpanzee named
produced:

It may not have to travel all that way. It's more likely that the 'mid-feathers' of the chimney are loose. In many older properties, the flues were separated by half-brick thick masonry, and the mortar can fail forming gaps between one flue and the next.
You could get a sweep to check that there are no blockages in the flue, which would indicate that a brick has come loose. If so, you could line the chimney with a metal flue-liner.
--
Hugo Nebula
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Thanks for all the advice - will try the expanding foam thing and let you all know how it goes. BTW - my son's only five and he doesn't get enough pocket money to buy cigars ;)
Peter
randomly hit the keyboard and

of
in
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