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Will Foam Insulation Stop Neighbor
Amanda Ringler

By: Amanda Ringler on May 8th, 2019

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Will Foam Insulation Stop Neighbor's Smoke Coming into House?

injection foam insulation  |  spray foam insulation  |  exterior wall insulation  |  common wall insulation

You’re sitting in your living room relaxing and there is that old familiar smell – your neighbor’s cigarette smoke.

You’re not a smoker yourself and you don’t want to deal with the smell of someone else’s secondhand smoke in your home. You are left looking at all the options available to you and you might be wondering if foam insulation can help.

RetroFoam of Michigan has insulated more than 10,000 homes across the lower peninsula since we started in 2002. We’ve helped homeowners tackle an array of problems, including high energy bills and comfort issues.

Now let’s get down to the problem at hand, whether foam insulation will stop cigarette smoke from coming through the walls.

Will Foam Insulation Stop Cigarette Smoke Coming Through Walls?

Foam insulation does establish an air seal, and it can help keep things out of the house, like outside odors.

However, there are a lot of factors that come into play with this. For example, airflow, whether it’s from your neighbor’s house, a nearby plant, or any type of outside odor can get into your house through a number of different openings.

Your doors and windows are the biggest culprits.

You open and close the doors in your home to go outside every day. You also open your windows to let a little fresh air in.

Something else to keep in mind is your HVAC system. Most HVAC systems will have a fresh air intake that will draw from the outside. If there is an outdoor odor anywhere around, it’s going to make its way in if it’s near that fresh air intake.

So, long story short, if there is an odor outside and your house is completely foamed, it can help, but when you open up your house or appliance turn on, that odor is going to get inside.

The above is also true for condominiums and apartments. Insulating the common wall won’t stop the cigarette smell from getting into your home. This is because of the shared space and close proximity.

Also, if your windows and doors leak air, they will also allow those odors to get into your home. Foam insulation installed in your home doesn’t provide an air seal around the windows and doors.

Foam insulation will not stop the odor of your neighbor smoking outside, and honestly, nothing will.

Steps to Protect Your Family from Secondhand Smoke

While foam insulation won’t stop the problem completely, there are some ways to combat that secondhand smoke.

The American Lung Association offers several tips to stop your exposure to secondhand smoke.

  • If you live in an apartment or condo, check your lease or rules to see if smoking is allowed or addressed.
  • Check if there are laws in your community regarding secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing.
  • Talk to your neighbor about the secondhand smoke exposure.
  • If the smoke is affecting your health, get a note from your doctor that states it is contributing to your health problems.
  • Talk to your landlord or property manager about the secondhand smoke problem if you live in an apartment.

If you want to learn more about protecting your home and family from cigarette smoke, check out the article “Is Secondhand Smoke Infiltrating Your Apartment or Condominium.”

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About Amanda Ringler

Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from the Detroit Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.