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Thread: Indoor Air

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    New Mexico
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    Default Indoor Air

    The president of a local condo association called me. The upstairs owner of one of the units has been complaining about cigarette smoke from the lower owner for months. She is hinting that she is going to sue the condo association if they won't do anything about the cigarette smell. I don't know if the HOA will be able to do anything about it or not.

    The question to me was regarding the smoke. Is there any way to test the indoor air quality for smoke, odors, etc. that would give some type of baseline, PPM, etc? Does anyone know of a way to do this? The HOA would like to have some type of measurement to compare to other units to know if it is as bad as the upper owner says, or if she is more sensitive to smoke than most people. BTW, my wife has been to the upper unit because she works with the owner, and she said it was terrible inside. My wife is a smoker, but she also has a very sensitive nose, at least compared to me.

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    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  2. #2
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
    Tim Moreira Guest

    Default Re: Indoor Air

    I'm sure any air can be analyzed with the proper equipment.

    I'd suggest putting a call in to an industrial hygienist and see what they say about it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    25,315

    Default Re: Indoor Air

    First, I'd be curious as to 'where' the smoke is smelled by the upstairs owner.

    Out on the balcony? Sure, we can understand that.

    While inside the condo? Okay, now there is a problem. *Quite possibly* there is some fire blocking missing somewhere, and the smoke and odor are rising up through that/those openings. NOT GOOD.

    What type of floor system? Is it fire rated, and, if so (it should be), *is it* properly fire blocked and sealed? Probably not. NOT GOOD.

    If one is simply concerned with indoor air quality, there are environmental labs (who have industrial hygienists and/or micro biologists on staff) who can do those types of testing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Indoor Air

    Old, cheap condo. I wouldn't bet anything on fire blocking being present. She said she can smell it coming out of the receptacles when the lower owner runs the swamp cooler. Positive pressure, etc. Industrial Hygienist is a good call. I'll see if I can find one in our phone book.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  5. #5
    Greg D. Dames's Avatar
    Greg D. Dames Guest

    Default Re: Indoor Air

    Just as a suggestion for a cheap fix might consider pulling out the recepticals and injecting foam in the wall to seal the space below. It may help out.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Fuquay Varina, NC
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    Default Re: Indoor Air

    What's a Condo? You mean Dwelling...........

    I like to stir the ashes some times.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Indoor Air

    A blast from the past. It turns out they will probably end up going to court over the issue. I think if it bugs her so much she should just bake a lot of cookies and put it up for sale. That was how they covered up the smell when she bought it. It turns out I know the downstairs tenant pretty well, so I'm glad I didn't get too involved in the whole debacle.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  8. #8
    Greg D. Dames's Avatar
    Greg D. Dames Guest

    Default Re: Indoor Air

    Stuff cookies in the walls.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
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    1,741

    Default Re: Indoor Air

    Better yet leave some fresh baked cookies at her downstairs neighbor’s door, poisoned of course.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Fuquay Varina, NC
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    Default Re: Indoor Air

    Ask him to switch to a pipe. The aroma smell is much better.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

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