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Q&A Spotlight

Odor Control Between Floors

How to prevent the smell of marijuana from entering your unit

Third-floor residents in this converted school building in Massachusetts are finding that recreational cannabis can be a problem. Tenants living below enjoy weed legally while upstairs the odor is just plain annoying. Photo courtesy Stuartd.

The steady growth of recreational cannabis use is raising some perplexing problems for people who’d rather not indulge even though their neighbors do so legally.

That’s the predicament for a GBA reader named Stuartd who lives on the third floor of a former school in Massachusetts that has been converted into condos. All of the rooms, except one, have concrete floors. The exception is a bedroom with a circa 1985 plywood subfloor.

“The people who live below engage in fully legal substance use,” Stuartd writes in this recent Q&A post, “and the odor continues to be awful in that room, less so throughout our unit. Although we do not like, and consider the smell a health hazard (not passing any judgments of any sort), we are now used to it infiltrating the air in and around vehicle HVAC systems, public sidewalks and other previously smoke-free atmospheres.”

Years ago, Stuartd pulled up the carpet, removed nails and replaced them with screws to better hold the plywood subflooring. Now, he wonders if adding some tape along the seams of the plywood would help control the heady aroma generated by his neighbors below.

“An easy solution would be to notify the landlord because we amended our bylaws in 2012 to make it smoke free in common areas and in units (grandfathered a few owners who are no longer here).” he writes. “I thought the tape could work, and it would avoid the uncomfortable face to face interaction.”

In this instance, it’s cannabis that’s making life difficult. It could just as easily be an avid cook whose culinary specialty is pan-blackened fish or kimchi. The problem is the same: Odor, like noise, can be a source of friction among neighbors and that’s where we start this Q&A Spotlight. As Stuartd puts it:…

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One Comment

  1. Expert Member

    Sliding off into the weeds a bit... there are other ways to use marijuana which do not produce odors. It can be consumed or vaporized, both of which have far fewer negative health effects than smoking. I would have started by buying my neighbour an Arizer.

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