Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

December, 2004

Traveling Cigarette Smoke

Q. I am a building manager in NYC and we recently completed our building and have a problem of smoke traveling from one apartment to another. Is there a sealer or insulation type of paint for sheetrock that I can apply to stop the smoke from traveling? Will blown in insulation work? Will a plastic covering applied to the studs work? This problem is driving a lot of people crazy, please be our hero.

Unfortunately it sounds as if your situation is more related to the air ventilation system than the sealing off any of the apartment units. I would expect that the tenants can smell the wonderful aroma from the good cooks in the building. The aroma of a gourmet meal is more appealing than that of tobacco smoke.

You might consider investigating the quality of the air ventilation system, and the installation process. Have the heating and air ventilation company that performed the installation work follow through and assist with the investigation, also check the design of the system be certain that it measures up to State and local building codes, and your expectations.

If you create an air tight seal in each of the apartment units, you will open your self up for greater health problems.


Jim Burke

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