A friend of mine recently bought a condo. When the woman two floors below fires up a cigarette (which is pretty much all day), the smoke smell comes into my friend's condo. There are at least four ways it's getting in, based on sniffing when the apartment's windows are open and it's well aired out:
- fireplace - bathroom fan vent (it's worse when the fan is on!) - cabinets in kitchen (probably from the space where the pipes come into kitchen) - fuse box in laundry area (probably from where the wires enter the floor below).
Home inspectors are not the best people to say how much this kind of thing will cost to fix, nor how it should be fixed. Most inspection web sites I've seen only speak of separate issues (wiring, plumbing, structure, etc.).
The contractors that have looked at the problem all suggest a different patch to apply (foam insulation, air filters, etc.), with his own estimate and no guarantees. There has even been one that has proposed repainting with special tobacco-resistant paint!
It's frustrating that nobody has a clue about the real source of the problem that allows the smoke to get in. By the way, the woman has the right to smoke in her condo - no way to make *her* stop. Anyway, if she cooked cabbage all day, it would likely be just as annoying.
What kind of inspection would reveal the weaknesses in the construction of my friend's condo? Clearly it's not normal! Other tenants in the building have complained, too.
I'm hoping the HVAC readers out there can lend a hand in expert advice. What are experts for this kind of problem called? My friend needs to contact an expert. We phoned the city and they have been no help.