Smoke smell from neighbours chimney(12 Posts)
Our neighbour (adjoining chimneys) has recently had her chimney fixed and now and again she has wood fires. The problem is I can smell the smoke and it's really annoying.
Is there anything I can do about this? Is it likely to be something wrong with ours or her chimney? Or is this quite normal?
Do you mean you can smell smoke in the rooms with all the windows closed and when you say the chimney was just fixed do you mean it was relined or had the top part fixed?. If you are unsure you should fit carbonmonoxide/dioxide detectors in any and all effected rooms just incase the smoke/fumes are leaking from the chimney itself, ask your neighbour what work was done to the chimney and ask to see the certificates to prove the work was done properly.
Thank you! The neighbour put a note through our door saying she was having work done to her chimney and we then heard a lot of hammering, also she had workmen around doing something on her roof (they had to get up onto our roof to get to her chimney that's how we know).
Yes, I can smell smoke in our living room now and again in the evenings with windows/doors closed.
carbonmonoxide detectors sounds a good idea, can I buy them in shops or do I have to order online?
also, will a monitor pick up even small amounts of carbonmonoxide or just over a certain level?
We had our chimney smoke tested (passed) then had fireplace fitted. Neighbours complained they could smell smoke, so we had a pressure test - confirmed that smoke was getting into neighbours house but not how and couldn't recommend a definite solution. We haven't used fireplace since.
Not sure what comeback my neighbour would have had if we just carried having fires. But we were mortified when they didn't tell us immediately. And a bit pissed off when they waited several hours to tell us that they could still smell smoke after dh had done some work to try and improve draw. Talk to your neighbours!
You can buy carbon monoxide detectors in any good hardware stores, carbon monxide and dioxide are invisible and odourless so best have some fitted though they are not cheap @ around 30 pounds each. Wood burning would be easy to smell compared to other fuels and it does seem that there is a leak in the flue so you really do need to get it checked out. There are companies that do this though your local council enviromental officer should be able to help at no charge. I do not want to alarm you but please get the flue checked asap and check with your deeds as to who has the responsibility of maintenance of the chimney a you have mentioned that it was shared, hope this helps.
To reply to your detector question, the detectors are very sensitive and operate in a similar fashion to a smoke detector in that they give an audio warning, dioxide is heavier than air and will build from the floor upwards and monoxide is the same weight as air so will mix. Follow the instructions provided with the detector and as already mentioned ask to see the smoke test for the work caried out, all work on chineys must be carried out by qualified people. Contact you local council enviromental officer who will help in finding any leaks and pointing you in the right direction as regards repairs.
We've had the same problem with our crazy neighbour. She has an open fire, and every time she lit it, she used to smoke our house out. We kept asking her to stop and have her chimney looked at, but she wouldn't even contemplate it. We put up with it for long enough, and after our baby was born (and her room was filled with smoke)we contacted Environmental Health at our council. Within 10 minutes of us giving the inspector her phone number, she got a phone call telling her to stop lighting fires until her chimney is safe, or she will be issued with a notice. The neighbour took this aboard, and try to remedy the problem by raising her chimney pot (thinking it was the backdraught that was causing the problem). This didnt' work, as the problem is with the disintegrated mid-feathers. The only reasonable option they had, was to line the chimney. Please DO NOT put up with the smoke. It is their responsibility to make sure the chimney is safe if they are having fires. Our neighbour's smoke used to come into our loft as well, so just imagine if she had a chimney fire one day, and it got into our loft, it would be uncontrollable. We put up with it for a long time, because we didnt' want to fall out with them, but she is putting your health and lives (carbon monoxide)at risk. When we had our woodburner fitted (different chimney from the leaking one), just for peace of mind, we automatically had a liner put in at the same time.
Carbon monoxide, CO, is known as the silent killer. If smoke is getting through into your house then CO could be as well.
To repeat what other posters have said, please contact your local environmental health about it.
These old Victorian back-to-back terraces have chimneys that are in dilapidated conditions. There are several checks that need to be followed through. The mid-feathers is a dividing wall that sits between the two chimneys near the top of the stacks where they join together. The mortar and stonework should be checked over to see if any of it is missing. In the loft-space check to see if the mortar and stonework is sound as it may need re-pointing/repairing. Sometimes the ceiling joists are built into the chimney stacks and if it is leaking through here then you need to get a builder in to see if anything can be done to repair it. Sometimes one or both chimneys warp and crack, over time, and then the fumes could be leaking in from anywhere (as one chimney specialist said to me "It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack"). The only safe and sure way of sealing the fumes out is if there are flue-liners installed in both chimneys. I have a friend who is a Corgi-registered gas engineer and he won't install any appliance without first putting a flue-liner in the chimney because of the risk of killing someone! After the liners are installed, regular checks should be carried out to ensure there are no holes rusted into the liners if they are metal ones; that no mortar has eroded and fallen into the chimney if it is a cast in-situ concrete lined chimney. You should make your neighbour aware of how very, very dangerous it can be for either of you if the safety procedures for these old chimneys are not followed to the letter! If you experience headaches, palpitations (a racing heart), dizziness or being sick and even weird changes in bowel habits it could be down to problems with fumes.
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