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How to fix a TAR odor in attic?


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I just moved into an attic apartment and whenever the temperature outside gets to be hot, 85+ degrees or so, my apartment starts reeking of TAR.

Any ideas about how to fix this problem, or what will be required to fix this problem?

I suspect the TAR odor is coming from the roof tiles. Maybe a can of air between the attic ceiling and roof would do?

I'm also home most of the time and require air conditioning for a medical condition so ventilating this place will get to be expensive. Any suggestions regarding that?

Thanks in advance if you can help!

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It's hard to sleuth such an issue without being onsite. That said, an origin outside of the apartment seems most likely since the interior is air conditioned and kept cool.

I'm not sure what construction is meant by 'attic apartment'. All I can fathom is that contaminated exterior air is entering the conditioned apartment by way of window drafts, idle exhaust vents that don't have a damper or by a leaky air return duct.

Marc

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He's in an attic. The heat is causing outgassing of the bitumen and solvents and the stink is penetrating into his apartment.

Or something like that.

Not sure these are the right descriptions, but I smell this stuff all the time in hot attics. I'm not sure venting, or even power venting, is going to get rid of it.

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He's in an attic. The heat is causing outgassing of the bitumen and solvents and the stink is penetrating into his apartment.

Or something like that.

Not sure these are the right descriptions, but I smell this stuff all the time in hot attics. I'm not sure venting, or even power venting, is going to get rid of it.

What about gently pressurizing the interior of the apartment with fresh air? I'm thinking an HRV with adjustable dampers to yield slight pressurization.

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He's in an attic. The heat is causing outgassing of the bitumen and solvents and the stink is penetrating into his apartment.

Or something like that.

Not sure these are the right descriptions, but I smell this stuff all the time in hot attics. I'm not sure venting, or even power venting, is going to get rid of it.

What about gently pressurizing the interior of the apartment with fresh air? I'm thinking an HRV with adjustable dampers to yield slight pressurization.

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He's in an attic. The heat is causing outgassing of the bitumen and solvents and the stink is penetrating into his apartment.

Or something like that.

Not sure these are the right descriptions, but I smell this stuff all the time in hot attics. I'm not sure venting, or even power venting, is going to get rid of it.

What about gently pressurizing the interior of the apartment with fresh air? I'm thinking an HRV with adjustable dampers to yield slight pressurization.

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We had a similar problem in my office a few years ago.

The roof was replaced before the winter and when we turned-on the A/C the following summer there was a terrible solvent odor.

We are on the second floor of a two-story building. The roof is a low pitched roof. The ceiling joists are the roof rafters. There is fiberglass batt insulation above the ceiling.

After trial and error work we finally determined that there were two A/C ducts that ran through the space above the ceiling and that some of the roofing system chemicals leaked into the ducts. On a hot day the solvents vaporized and were blowing into the office.

Our solution was to abandoned the two ducts and replace them with new ducts in a soffit. That solved the odor problem.

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An HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) might work.

I'd be interested in figuring out exactly how the solvent outgassing is "transferring", then effect the transfer. So, an HRV and pressurization might negate the transfer.

Unpredictable, though. It's a smell. Getting it 100% is unlikely.

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