I live in a Lovell-built semi-detached house, which was constructed in
A few months ago some smokers moved in next door. Since then we've
noticed the smell of smoke in the rooms that adjoin next doors house
(our kitchen, dining room and 3rd bedroom). I'm pretty sure that the
smoke isn't coming in through the windows.
Can anyone suggest where the smoke could be entering our property? In
addition is there any way I can confirm the smell we are experiencing
is indeed smoke?
When I was doing some work and had floorboards up etc, I suddenly
realised I could smell the cooking and cigarette smoke from next door.
I noticed where the upstairs floor joists went into the party wall
there was some large gaps and old cement had fallen out etc. I fill
the gaps with expanding foam and the smell went away. There must have
been an air path through the wall !
The downstairs floor joists ran lengthways with the house, so no issue
If 2001 build, I would have thought cavity party walls, but where
joists enter party walls is a likely place.
Also, fireplaces sharing chimneys - but not likely in a modern house.
That's a tricky one.
Invite the neighbours round for dinner and give them a cabbage soup
starter, followed by bean casserole and home-made fig rolls, and see
if the smell changes !
Just inhale some for a few seconds. If it is indeed passive cigarette
smoke, you should develop several life threatening diseases within minutes &
will probably die in a matter of days - according to the statistics used by
the anti-smoking lobby.
I suggest you kill your neighbours - they are the anti christ.
In the days before smoking was banned on airliners, it was usual to find a
pattern of smoke stains on the outside of the hull when it was stripped for
painting. A skilled eye could even use it to judge whether parts of the hull
were showing early signs of undue stress. If it can leach through solid
aluminium, I doubt a party wall in a modern house is going to provide too
much of a barrier.
Thanks for all the sensible replies. I can't blame the neighbours they
are really nice people and are entitled to smoke in their own home if
The break in the partition wall, perhaps by gaps either side of the
joists is the probable answer - excellent suggestion. The smoke smell
is mainly coming from under the skirting on the adjoining wall with
I've got someone from Lovell coming around this week to have a look so
I've got to get my neighbours to smoke like hell that day.
I'm having a similar problem, except i live in a flat... Here's the
long and boring story... I experimented with lots of different things
because the cigarette smoke was driving me nuts (and probably making
me ill) but I have gradually reduced the problem. Eventually, I ended
up just trying to pinpoint problem areas and reduce the airflow
between the downstairs properties (ie the smokers) and mine, by
blocking off (or taping off - silver duck tape is the best but it's a
bit like being in a sci-fi film with silver everywhere) any areas that
might produce draughts. The smoke was seeping through the flat door,
the old chimney/fireplace, floorboards and then into the gaps between
the walls (it is a Victorian property, so the boards have shrunk,
allowing the smoke to permeate). I draught-proofed the door with
rubber sealing strip from a DIY store, filled problem gaps between
skirting and wall with nice and cheap polyfilla (from powder) and
laminate/skirting gaps with polycell flexible/decorator's filler (or
decorator's caulk) to allow movement. It took AGES to do it but it was
worth it. Yes, you are correct that when you block one gap, the smoke
finds another, but the amount of smoke entering your property will be
reduced and after that, the best solution if you want to eradicate it
is to keep going until you have sealed everything that you can!
The only area left that I'm having trouble with is the kitchen because
I can't remove the units to seal behind those but I'm working on it. I
have spent so long agonising over this so I can really sympathise...
Go for the caulk/sealing filler - it works!
Further to my previous post, I just realised the smoke is seeping
through the invisible gaps between the boards of the laminate flooring
in my place. If anyone can give advice on what I can do about that, it
would be great. Maybe I'm hypersensitive to it but it wakens me up in
the morning... and although I didn't install the laminate, ripping it
out and replacing it isn't really an option.
The smoke was seeping through the flat door,
Yes, but should you have to? An older property is bound to leak in
those places. Isn't it incumbent on your neighbours not to cause a
nuisance by filling your property up with smoke? Quiet enjoyment and
Why not burn one of those scented candles instead of trying to
hermetically seal a room?
Or maybe just open a window, or learn to live with it -there are much
greater sources of pollution to deal with :-)
Or is the OP a troll?
Yes, but you'll block the bigger holes so reducing the amount of smoke
You could track the holes by generating a negative pressure in one
house (extractor fans on next door, assuming they'll assist, on in
your house if they won't) and going around the skirting with a thing
called a smoke pencil. In the absence of a smoke pencil, a cigarette
will do. Blower doors are increasingly being used in this manner to
achieve air-tightness compliance with Building Regs (commercial stuff
only, I think).
The unused flues are a prime suspect. The acidic compounds in smoke
residues from coal/wood fires corrodes the mortar & also bricks often
get dislodged unnoticed by peeps nailing on skirting boards. If they
have an air vent into their old flues, that may be the main route.