Time to build an ark, me thinks

I’ve been in my current apartment just over a year now. In that time I’ve been besieged by water issues. A useful detail to understanding things: I’m in a split level 2 bedroom apartment. My living space is upstairs, and the 2 bedrooms are downstairs in the finished basement. There are two baths, one upstairs and one down. My landlord is the member of the family responsible for this property, so “landlord” is somewhat misleading as it’s not just her that I’m ultimately dealing with. She’s just my specific contact person. Her family owns several properties that they manage.

Now back to the true tale of my water woes.

First it was a leaking pipe from the upstairs bathroom that was dripping into my bedroom right below it. It showed up within 2 weeks of me moving in. Various holes were created either by the water itself or to track the leak. I lived with holes in my ceiling and a bucket (plus a trash can at times) in my bedroom for a good 6 months until they found the source. I didn’t use the upstairs bathroom either because why would I want to make the drip happen?!? So for the first 6 months I lived in this apartment I basically only had one bathroom, despite paying for two. Then I lived with the holes in my ceiling until they *finally* patched the holes over 6 months later.

Then the leak in the kitchen ceiling appeared. It was leaking from the same place it did previously, evidenced by the patch already there, so clearly there’s been a leak in the roof before. For several months I had a bucket to catch the drips. Then the leak spread. So I added a trash can. And another. You can see the set-up here on Flickr. Eventually they fixed the hole in the roof (or I’m assuming they did as the drips stopped), but not before the drywall tape on the patch fell down so I had it dangling from my ceiling. When they finally patched the bedroom ceiling they put the tape back up.

I though things were finally calming down and the water issues had been finally resolved.

I was wrong. So very very wrong.

Now we have a new water problem. The Friday I got back from ALA (July 17th for those keeping track), we had a terrific thunderstorm. The drains outside the house couldn’t handle the deluge. But instead of just sitting outside until it had a chance to drain, the water found someplace to go. It seeped through the foundation (or found a hole), and made a nice puddle on the floor of my bedroom. Specifically it soaked the area under my bed, and spread into the middle of the room. I called my landlord. The next day they brought a wet-vac along with the other supplies to make the final repairs as planned. They vacuumed up the water, and moved my dehumidifier into my bedroom along with an extra fan I have to help finish the drying process.

I lived with the dehumidifier in there for a week. Things seemed to dry out sufficiently.

Then we had another deluge. This morning (Sunday, Aug. 2nd, for those keeping track) we had a fantastic thunderstorm, just like the one a few weeks ago. The skies opened up and it just poured. I watched the water build up outside by the drain. So I went to check my bedroom. And my carpet was wet again. The water was clearly coming in along the base of the wall, so essentially through the brick/stone foundation. I curse and run down the hall to get the rag towels to try and soak up some of the water. I spread them out under my bed, specifically around the bedposts, and along the wall where it’s coming in.

I head back upstairs and call my landlord. She starts making phone calls and sends someone over with the wet-vac. It’s still pouring. I go back downstairs. OMFG I HAVE A SMALL LAKE THAT IS NOW COVERING HALF OF MY BEDROOM. The towels are completely overwhelmed by the amount of water and are useless. It’s coming in all along the wall now, not just in a few small places. What’s worse, when the water came it, it also brought debris, so there’s dirt and crap all over the place.

I go back upstairs. I call my landlord back and let her know the magnitude of the problem. I let her know that this problem clearly needs a professional to come in, clean up the water and fix the foundation. This is way way beyond what a general handyman can fix.

A couple people from my landlord’s family come by with the wet-vac. Since I had last called my landlord I notice that there’s water coming in behind the fridge in the kitchen. I point it out and they pull the fridge out from the wall (partially blocking the doorway). One person goes outside to find out where it’s coming in. The two young dudes head downstairs with the wet-vac and start vacuuming up the water. The rain is still coming down. The guy that went outside to inspect where the water upstairs is coming from finds that it’s coming from next door. He then starts trying to speed up the drains. One is has debris partially blocking it. Debris that ran down the steps from the yard. The other is pretty much completely blocked in the pipe so there’s no speeding it up.

The rain finally lets up. The dudes are still vacuuming. They leave around 2:30ish, saying they’ll be back later to do another pass. I call my landlord to check in and find out what’s going on. She tells me she’s talking to others in the family and they’re going to find someone to come deal with this and she’ll let me know.

It’s now 8:00pm. No one has returned to do another wet-vac pass. My landlord hasn’t called me. So I call her and leave a message letting her know that that’s NOT OK. I need to know what the plan is. And this needs to be fixed by a professional within the next week. One week is a reasonable amount of time given the magnitude of the problem and the amount of water that came in this time. If the water keeps increasing, eventually the entire basement will flood. Not only that, if the water keeps coming in every time we have a major thunderstorm (it is that time of year, mind you), things will never dry out, which will beget mold, which could potentially kill me given my asthma. And I’m really not exaggerating.

So now I wait. I wait for them to respond. I wait to find out the plan. I wait for some kind of action on their part. I #$*@%! hate waiting.

Oh, and to add insult to injury? My kitchen light is not always turning on. Sometimes it works when I flip the switch, other times it comes 1/2 way on, and sometimes nothing happens until I flip the switch off and on a few times. That makes me nervous. There quite possibly could be some sort of electrical issue stemming from the leak in the kitchen roof. Yeah, that’s freaking me out a bit.


About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
This entry was posted in apartment, carpet, leak, weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time to build an ark, me thinks

  1. Laura says:

    Wow! That is terrible. I hope that things get resolved soon. I know that moving sucks a lot but I wonder if that is an option you should start looking at. We moved into our place in February 2009. 2 months later, the landlord decides to put the place up for sale. For sale by owner. There are showings all the time. No offers. Today is a civic holiday where I live. I had dental surgery on Friday. Landlord emails us late Thursday and tells us that she is having a showing today. We email back and say "Laura is recovering from dental surgery so be warned that we will be here." She emails this morning at 10:30 to let us know that the showing has been cancelled. So annoying.We have been seriously thinking about trying to break the lease and get the heck out of here. Had we known that she was going to put the place on the market, we wouldn't have moved in.All of that to say that I feel your pain.

  2. addie says:

    jeezus, what the crap is wrong with these people? i thought we had it bad at our place…

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