How to prevent gasoline fumes from seeping into my house/garage from a neightbours garage?

Hi all,

Back again with another issue regarding the money pit. I live in a townhouse and my neighbours have two motorcycles in their garage. They leak gas and I am guessing pretty badly because I cam smell it in my home. When their garage hasn't been opened in awhile it's fine, but when it opens, I am supposing the pressure builds up and BLAMO It comes through the vents in the house or around the vents in the house. My garage even smells strong of gasoline and I have nothing in it that uses gas. Is there anything I can do? Besides to obvious and talk to the neighbours, and the condo corp, two things I have already done. It wasn't bad in the summer because they were in and out and the windows were open so there was less pressure, however, when I arrived home last night it smelled like a flippin gas station in there! I am waiting to hear from the condo corp, trying to be proactive because clearly this issue isn't one they are tending to with immediacy

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onrust6 years ago
Before you get anyone else involved or spend money on a fan, go up in the attic and check the firewall. It may be as simple as a few pipes, wires, air duct ect that is not sealed correctly.... if at all. (It also may have not been built correctly and there may be no partition between the units.) There is also a smoke test you can do to to see exactly where the leaks are at, but that would have to involve a contractor and your neighbors help.
iceng6 years ago
Add a fan to pressurize the garage, use outside air as high above ground
as you can. Use a hose lead fresh air to the fan inlet.
This works because as Burf said Gasoline vapors are heavier than air.
The extra pressure in your garage will not let fumes seep in.
I would use a Squirrel-Cage-Fan they move a lot of air quietly. . . . . . A
sqCageFan.JPG
lemonie6 years ago

It's hazardous and should be covered by local legislation.
Contact your local area authority's environmental health dept. (or equivalent) and your local fire-service.

L
Burf6 years ago
Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and tend to accumulate low, near the floor. Check the common wall carefully and seal any cracks or penetrations. Lay a heavy bead of acrylic-latex caulking along and under the bottom plate.
Check the garage door seal and make sure there are no gaps and if so repair as needed. Close the doors and windows during daylight trying to make the garage as dark as possible. Look for any places you can find where light enters and make whatever corrections you can to seal those areas.
if you notice the gas smell, put a large box fan on the floor in the garage near the living area, open the garage door and blow the vapors out through the open door.
If the problem persists, complain to the condo association, your neighbors and the local fire department.

And if talking to the above mentioned parties nets no action, talk to the local Code Enforcement Officer. I know that in my area, adjacent connected dwellings are supposed to be separated by firewalls. Garages, where many flammables are stored, are prime spots for fires to start, and should have some sort of barrier. These firewalls are supposed to keep the building areas safe for up to an hour from possible fires. The seepage of gasoline odors could constitute a building code violation for the builder/condo association if they have been repeatedly informed of the problem, and they surely don't want that.

In order for you to come out on top, document everything. If you can, get sigantures from people when you talk to them. If you call on the phone, document it and use you phone bill (if possible) as proof you did call. Also, you have the right to record any conversation you are a part of. Copy all paper correspondance and save and print all emails. Make sure you have a good paper trail/electronic trail of everything.

Gasoline (and it's vapor) is not something you want to mess with or have hang around for very long. The vapor is a know toxin in large enough quantity and it is also a fire/explosion risk.

Good luck,
Qa

+1
Re-design6 years ago
If you've talked to the neighbor and the condo corp. then my next call would be the fire department then next time you smell it strong. Tell them you have an intense smell of gas and they will come out and check it with instruments that detect hydrocarbons. Then they will find the source of the gas leak and put an end to it.

DO NOT PUT THIS OFF.  IF YOU CAN SMELL GASOLINE IN YOUR APARTMENT THEN THE AMOUNT OF GAS SPILLING IN THEIR GARAGE PROBABLY IS AT A DANGEROUS LEVEL.  ANY SMALL SPARK COULD SET IF OFF.  DO YOU WANT YOUR HOME TO BURN DOWN JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE CRAPPY VEHICLES?