I live in a condo apartment and the owners' of the unit below placed many large mothballs in their laundry room prior to leaving for vacation. Their rationale is unknown.
For the past 7 weeks, the vapors have migrated from their unit up to my home via the common ventilation space. The fumes enter my laundry unit and spread throughout the entire apartment. The mothballs have been removed.
The management and board have hired consultants to clean, ventilate and, chemically remove the molecules. They even drywalled all visible air holes/cracks in the area. There are a few small areas still open and I have been told there are always invisible cracks.
But the strong, intense off gassing from the unit continues to migrate into my apartment. The intensity is increased with temperature and/or humidity increases or a lot of wind outside.
I have also cleaned my laundry room well so I don't think the off gassing is coming from my space. The odor and its characteristics are identical to what it has always been before drywalling.
I have a neurological disorder and am having an increase of symptoms in addition to the symptoms of exposure to the toxins found in mothballs. Any suggestions? Has anyone tried Smelleze which describes "capturing the escaping molecules" on an ongoing basis.
By kmg from Canada
Last week, Dr. Oz had a segment on discouraging snakes. Mothballs can be used to keep snakes away from the house (according to Dr. Oz's guest - a professional exterminator). I hope that is NOT what your neighbor is trying to do. Can you ask them?
Good luck with your problem. It sounds awful to be subjected to the fumes.
If you rent, I would tell your renter. Fumes from motballs can be toxic! I am surprised Dr. Oz suggested using them outside either. They can leech into the soil and contaminate it. Of course he is a dr. and probably does not garden.
I don't know about Smelleze but did the professionals use an ionizing fan in 'both your neighbors and your unit' for at least a couple of days? If not, they should!
I know this is an old post, but I'm answering as I would have at the time.
FIRST -- contact your homeowners/renters insurance company and make them aware that your unit is currently uninhabitable. If they have to pay for alternate accommodations, you can be sure they will be very motivated to resolve the problem.
Washing the area down with water based products can actually make the problem worse.
Use an exhaust fan continuously for the moment until either your insurer or your association can find you alternate lodgings for now.
When you return there may still be some residual odor. Fill some stockings with a mixture of cedar chips (pet store) and activated charcoal (can also get at pet store among other places . Hang/place these in areas where there is still a lingering odor. Someone may need to get some of your furnishings and clothing professionally cleaned also.
The abatement crew should have first used a negative pressure exhaust to completely capture and remove the circulating air. Then they should have taken steps to encapsulate the odor by using an oil based primer and, if necessary, a coat of urethane. (Again all of this is after cleaning with an appropriate cleaner. They should have access to others not available to you.). Only when they have eliminated the problem in your neighbors unit should they have moved onto yours.
I would suggest a few lawsuits to start. Whoever paid that crew needs to sue for return of the money already spent.
YOU need to talk to an attorney and most likely file suit against everyone involved to date.
Good luck. You're an innocent victim in this. Don't take on their baggage, call your ins company immediately.
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