Unexpected Problems

14 04 2017

These last several days have been very busy for my spouse. We had a considerable problem that had to be tended to quickly, which it was. Last week half the roof on the building we’re living in literally lifted up and folded back on itself during the afternoon which wasn’t really all that windy. It sounded like someone fell down the interior stairwell, except no one did – I looked all around the building to see what caused the noise, found nothing. I did tell my spouse about it. There was another search and again nothing to see. Later in the day we had rain, not as much thunder and lightning as forecast but plenty of rain, steady, soaking rain. Around 1700 hrs. we heard a steady drip which was quickly located in the bathroom and a trip up to see the upstairs neighbor by my spouse. We found it odd that it was dripping on the second floor but not the third which is right under the roof, accompanied by a comment that it was probably a pipe and would be a pain to fix because it would mean tearing out a wall or ceiling. About 1815 hrs. the other neighbor on the same floor came over to say they were getting water dripping in their apartment which information I relayed to my spouse, and which elicited another groan. There was a visit to the neighbor and my spouse again went up to see the third floor neighbor who was not home at that point. A knock on the door at 1900 hrs. was the third floor neighbor asking me to come up and see the drips, I went up and it was more than drips, it was a stream of water coming out of the living room ceiling. Spouse came up only minutes later and the mops, buckets and long night of emptying buckets, pots and plastic garbage cans was started, on all three floors on one side of the building.

The next day my spouse got the ladder up to the third floor porch and opened the scuttle to the roof. We had talked about it and figured the patch that had recently been put on a small leak had failed. I was told a short while later that it was far more than a failed patch. The northeast corner of the roof had just pulled up, folded back on itself and basically left about a quarter of the building with no protection from the rain. Spouse and helper were off to get the necessary materials to fix the problem. It did stop raining before they were up there to see the damage, at least the easily visible damage. The third floor neighbor had gone out around noon and I was working on the computer when there was a loud WHUMP!!! and the building shook. I called my spouse who called the building owner and third floor neighbor, both on their way here. Most of the ceiling had come down in the bedroom and some in the living room. So the clean-up was started.

Materials came and the roof was fixed over the following couple days. I was told the contractor who did the job about 4-5 years ago had chintzed on materials, used nails far too short, not overlapped the roofing material properly and the whole works was like someone had only used thumbtacks instead of nails to hold the roofing material down. There was a lot of upset for the owner, who is very good about seeing to maintenance and repairs.

Yesterday there was the removal of the remaining ceiling in that apartment and I was told the insulation was still just sodden. The mess cleared up and the replacement of the ceiling and upper part of two walls taken in hand, they will probably have the drywall up and ready for primer by the end of the day today.

This last week or so was one of lots of extra work, unexpected expense and some aggravation for both the owner and upstairs neighbor. Both, however, are aware of the fact that no matter how well you take care of sometimes unexpected problems can occur. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow things will be back to a more normal footing around here.

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