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Home COFSAB Forum Repairs and Maintenance Interior Building Smoke from Cigs/Pipe – Air Monitoring Testing

  • Interior Building Smoke from Cigs/Pipe – Air Monitoring Testing

    Posted by Lily on June 4, 2023 at 9:46 am

    Does anyone know of tool or company that can provide air monitoring data to prove there is “smoke” coming into our condo suite?


    We have been working with the condo board to mitigate cig/pipe smoke coming into our suite. We have identified where we think the smoke is coming from, but the board will not proceed to enter those suites without “proof” from testing in a written report that the smoke is real. We have supplied the board with witness testimonies, we have taken 2.5 particulate readings from our handheld monitor… nope, they will not accept this. They want “legal evidence” before they will act. The quote I got to run a 3 day 24 hour test, was $2100… craziness.

    We have sealed our suite (filled all air holes, installed door sweeps, we have 2 large hepa filters running, we have cleaned the furnance and air ducts)… it has all helped a bit… but not enough. It is not coming from outside, as we have had no wildfire smoke come into our unit. We are not anti-smokers, we just don’t want to enjoy their smoke too… our goal is to identify the suite, and seal it to prevent smoke coming our way. I am a breast cancer survior, and never ever want to get cancer again. We have also tried to change the bylaw to non-smoking building, it did not pass.

    Ideas for how I can capture this myself ie. rent a tool to capture and take it to for testing (where). Or some other monitoring device that can identify/show smoke… or a company that will do this for a more reasonable price.

    Many thanks, soooo appreciate the help.

    Michelle J Lucente replied 8 months, 3 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
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  • Mark Hambridge

    June 5, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Sorry, Lily, I can’t help with the testing.

    My wife (also a cancer survivor) and I had a similar problem – twice – once from tobacco smoke entering our bedroom from the neighbour’s bathroom/bedroom, and the second time from (we believe – no proof) a cannabis smoker below us. Our building is concrete, with steel studs and double gyprock between units; the heating system is hot water with perimeter radiators between the vertical rise and return piping. Since the building is a conversion, we have a riser in our bedroom which serves the adjoining apartment and was the entry point for smoke. I dealt with the problem with copious amounts of canned spray foam in the oversized hole between units, which resolved the issue. We now have new non-smoking neighbours. The other problem was also related to perforations between the units. The hot water risers and returns have gaps in the floor and a party wall; the latter is needed because of the location of shut-off valves. If the corporation had not dealt with the cannabis smell, I would have put spray foam barriers in the gap in the floor. Since the floor is supposed to be a fire stop, the gap should not have been there.

    in a previous apartment in a different country, our neighbours had two unspayed tomcats. Their odour penetrated our apartment from a common void for utilities (water, sewer, electrical services and telephone wires) between the apartments. The owner sealed the voids and evicted the tenants (pets were not permitted anyway).

    I can only suggest you look further at the possibility of infiltration from the neighbour’s unit, perhaps at the top and bottom of walls (behind baseboards or crown moulding), or putting insulation pads on electrical outlets under the plastic cover. Are there gaps in the bathrooms where pipes pass through walls? Perhaps they need to be better sealed.

    Please let us know if you find a solution.

    Please spread the word!
  • Michelle J Lucente

    June 9, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Lily,

    I suggest calling Gasonic Group at 403 276 2201 to see if they can help with the testing, etc.

    It’s very frustrating having to deal with odor ingress and iffy indoor air quality.

    I hope they’re able to help.


    Please spread the word!

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