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Smell seeping in from attic

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  • Aug 8th, 2021 4:11 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
12 posts
3 upvotes

Smell seeping in from attic

I noticed that I can smell my neighbour barbequing from inside the house with all our windows closed and managed to track the smell down to a walk-in closet that has the entry to the attic.

How should we go about fixing this? I figure that there's an air leakage issue, but who should I be hiring for this? I'm not exactly ecstatic about walking around smelling like my clothes came fresh off the grill.
6 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 27, 2006
5086 posts
1960 upvotes
Not so easy there Ma…
ideation wrote: I noticed that I can smell my neighbour barbequing from inside the house with all our windows closed and managed to track the smell down to a walk-in closet that has the entry to the attic.

How should we go about fixing this? I figure that there's an air leakage issue, but who should I be hiring for this? I'm not exactly ecstatic about walking around smelling like my clothes came fresh off the grill.
If you want a quick and easy, get a plastic heat shrink window kit and put that around the attic hatch.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
2320 posts
1386 upvotes
GTA
The bigger issue is why is the attic drawing IN outside air vs venting it outwards? But yeah, you should get the attic hatch sealed as well, can't imagine the amount of cooling and heating loss from the attic hatch if you can smell your neighbour's bbq. Attic insulation companies can help you seal the hatch if you're not handy.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 19, 2008
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Whitby
exrcoupe wrote: The bigger issue is why is the attic drawing IN outside air vs venting it outwards?
Attics draw air in through soffits, the bbq smoke must be flowing up that wall into the soffit. Its odd the smoky air is being drawn down through the attic hatch, even if the hatch isn't well sealed.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
12 posts
3 upvotes
exrcoupe wrote: But yeah, you should get the attic hatch sealed as well, can't imagine the amount of cooling and heating loss from the attic hatch if you can smell your neighbour's bbq.
It doesn't help that we're in a detached and their BBQ grill is at least 5 metres away from our house. Now that you mention it, it does take awhile to cool down the house when we turn the AC on and it rarely stops running.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 26, 2020
12 posts
3 upvotes
Zamboni wrote: Attics draw air in through soffits, the bbq smoke must be flowing up that wall into the soffit. Its odd the smoky air is being drawn down through the attic hatch, even if the hatch isn't well sealed.
Yeah, that is very odd. There's no visible gaps around the attic hatch and there is weatherstripping done though it may be getting old.
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1852 posts
875 upvotes
Toronto
Sounds like the home is under negative pressure. Common during summer when A/C is cranking and the air handler is sucking in air. Humidity plays a role here too. Things you can probably do to help this:

-open a window somewhere a crack to allow makeup air
-keep any fans (bathroom, stove hood) on low
-seal your attic hatch properly, which will make the makeup air be drawn in from another location. Path of least resistance :)

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