drip... drip... drip.... CRASH!!!

half my bathroom ceiling fell in.

- dave 6-11-2015 11:28 pm

at least the other side is still up.
- steve 6-12-2015 1:14 am [add a comment]

  • ill have to dig through my copy of this side of paradise for an apt retort.
    - dave 6-12-2015 2:03 am [add a comment]

How'd your ceiling fall in?

"Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly."
- jim 6-12-2015 1:15 am [add a comment]

  • look whos mr literary?

    but thats about right. it was the slowest leak (like one drip every 30 seconds when it was leaking which was only occasionally for the last 4 or 5 days) but the beams were soaked through and all the 100 years of garbage weighing down upon the patched up sheetrock gave way.

    now i have to deal with mr crankypants landlord who will try to blame me and he is not 100% wrong because i tried to figure out where the leak was coming from with my neighbor before i told him which we couldnt. if i had said there is a very, very slow leak i doubt he would have hurried to fix it but now he can imagine he would have. it wasnt until last night that i realized the ceiling was toast and that went a lot faster than i was expecting. it was such a slow drip!!

    so my neighbor and i decided the best tact was to lie and say i didnt see any leak until after the ceiling collapsed. its pretty close to the truth. it was already drooping from the last leak a few months back which was far more significant.

    or maybe ill just crib from an american classic.

    My old man is a television repairman - he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.

    - dave 6-12-2015 1:51 am [add a comment]

  • sounds about right. they will have to clean out the debris. dry it out (box fans). find the leak (water supply to sink, toilet, tub, toilet? or wate water from same ) and fix it (either from underneath or opening upstairs neighbors walls or work their way up to source apartment. check the light outlet (always good to mix water and electricity) drywall it shut, tape seams and mud it, paint. further clean up aftermath of cave in and repairs. all clear.

    - bill 6-12-2015 8:12 am [add a comment]

ran into the plumber who conveniently lives across the street. that was step one. he is gonna give it a look, perhaps tomorrow? then i made the first landlord foray. i doubt he is coming in today or tomorrow so i knew i could just leave a message on his office phone. before i could start prevaricating wholesale the answering machine thoughtfully cut me. the memory was full.
- dave 6-12-2015 1:14 pm [add a comment]

i think we figured out the leak. we poured about a quart of water out on the floor between the tub and toilet and the seam between ancient toilet and floor is anything but seamless. that leaked onto the floor beams below exactly where it had been otherwise. so now my neighbor is involved in the process which is good. the neighbor was talking about retiling the whole bathroom and getting a new toilet which he was willing to pay for (at least when he considered it in the past) so my ceiling will hopefully seem like a bargain in the process. in the meantime though i have to get a hold of a ladder so i can get some plastic up over the hole as the smell after showering is becoming particularly rank.
- dave 6-13-2015 2:18 pm [add a comment]

plastic it or just don't shower
- steve 6-13-2015 2:59 pm [add a comment]

so no plumbing failure? just a leaky floor. did your neighbor know how all that water got on the floor? I'm not convinced yet.
- bill 6-13-2015 3:10 pm [add a comment]

i know it sounds hard to believe but the volume of water was never more than a light drip. there really doesnt seem to be much left of the sealant between toilet and floor but also i think between the slab the toilet sits on and the edge where the tiling begins. also, there was another leak that was much more significant within a year or so which probably had a more profound effect on the stability of the ceiling. this was maybe just the last straw.

one good thing is that the drywall had mold on it so that will be replaced at least partially.

anything i can suggest putting up between the floor beams and the drywall ceiling, insulation or otherwise?

did my neighbor know? just getting out of the shower and drying off? he thought the curtains were solid but you never know.
- dave 6-13-2015 3:51 pm [add a comment]

didn't thishappen to you before? sounding familar.
- linda 6-13-2015 10:13 pm [add a comment]

if there is sheetrock falling down, thats already replacement material for plaster and lath original building fabric. so...
- bill 6-13-2015 10:36 pm [add a comment]

well, my neighbor let me down, or the landlord wasnt around when he was yesterday, so no cushioning the blow before i had to poke my head out from the rubble. as it was, the landlord was pretty mellow, maybe it was the heat or maybe he got a good night sleep. either way he was neither choleric nor bilious but he still held fast to the reins of stubbornness. my lie held up well enough as he was disinterested in my culpability, but the notion that it was water that came out of the shower, not via some sort of leakage and then was seeping through a gap in the floor by the toilet, was hard for him to accept. he was convinced there must be a leak. i tried to tell him about the battery of tests we ran that supported our conclusion but they fell of deaf ears.

so he called the plumber who i could see across the way at the gallery, where he assists another landlord with the day to day business, as he told my landlord he wouldnt be available until later in the afternoon. that there is no point looking at the hole in my ceiling without access to the upstairs apartment again was not information that could dissuade him from wasting everyones time in the immediate future.

still, progress, right? at least in this game of thrones, despite much bluster, the casualty count will be decidedly low.

- dave 6-15-2015 3:14 pm [add a comment]

so the plumber said one hour and its already nearly three. id be more pissed off if i knew it wasnt a waste of time. still, he could have locked up the gallery for 10 minutes and got it out of the way. he hates working for sam though as he told me over the weekend because he has to twist his arm to get paid. and as he believes this is not a plumbing issue i doubt he sees much in the way of payment coming his way.
- dave 6-15-2015 4:54 pm [add a comment]

still waiting but i saw the plumber vacuuming the uniform store next to the gallery across the street. also, his boss, the landlord was on the street talking up somebody else. and he is the direct line to the asian carpenter we will eventually need so figured it was worth a stroll. as i left the building it was no surprise to see that my landlord had shuttered his "store" for the day.

all in all a worthy venture. the plumber will be by sometime "tonight." still didnt bother to pin him down but maybe my neighbors will be around by then. but more usefully without prompting the neighboring landlord suggested he bring by some plastic sheeting to cover the hole for the time being. so it wont be a wasted trip after all assuming he remembers. though i suppose the plumber could conveniently not find the sheeting, not out of malice just laziness.

and perhaps even better, he mentioned that he had to buy convections ovens for his building while the gas pipes were replaced and he offered to sell me one at a very reduced rate once the pipe issue was squared away. i didnt exactly jump at the chance because i didnt think they had a toaster function and i already have convection capabilities with the unit i have and i rarely use it. but this looks like a pretty nice upgrade (i think its this) so i may have to grab one. my only fear being that it requires more wattage then my apartment can spare.

- dave 6-15-2015 7:21 pm [add a comment]

  • oh, and i did ask about the uniform store. i think ive seen one person in there ever. turns out its run by the landlords mother. she has had the store since 1961. i wanted to ask when they bought the building (and for how much) but decided against it.
    - dave 6-15-2015 7:24 pm [add a comment]

i can hear that someone is home around 730 so i make my way upstairs to find out if they will be home for the duration so the plumber can make his perfunctory examination if and when he should deign to join us. my neighbor answers the door shirtless as per usual. its actually pretty cool today but the humidity is still high so i cant exactly blame him. still, it would not kill him to throw on a wife beater t-shirt as he does later prior to the plumbers arrival.

we spend the next 45 minutes discussing which anime i should watch next after i just blew through attack on titan. the rest of the conversation centered on the price of bulk blu ray discs (he had rigged an internal drive external to his laptop to back up all the anime he downloads) and pricing out cheap small android phones as he was ready to upgrade.

after that 45 minute mark i was starting to get a headache and my annoyance with the plumber was growing exponentially so i broke down and called him. he said hed be over in 10 minutes. 25 minutes later he arrived as i was chopping celery for a tuna salad sandwich. the tension building in my neck quickly abated when i heard the bell ring or maybe it was the aspirin kicking in.

as i suspected, no plastic wrap for the ceiling. i was beyond niceties so i pointed it out immediately in the least snide manner i was capable of and he had some sheepish (not quite the right descriptor) reply. to his credit upon seeing the hole and uttering "not good" a number of times, he plotted out how best to temporarily cover it. it sounded like plywood would be involved as he thought the plastic would rupture if more of the rock and dirt insulation fell. seemed like an unlikely eventuality but i wasnt in the mood to argue for a lesser option.

did i mention he said i had interrupted his dinner? i told him i probably interrupted his lunch, too, the implication being that ive been waiting around all day so i wasnt moved by his great sacrifice of foregoing dessert.

upstairs we go. he pretty quickly decides it is the sealant without making the effort of watching as we offer to repeat our experiment from the weekend. he is probably right. we go back and forth with my neighbor about the possibility that he is going to replace the floor tile and the toilet in the near future but as my neighbor was already pushing back the date until mid july when he could get time off to oversee the proceedings (i offered but he doesnt trust anyone else to do it), i was relieved to hear that everyone was on board for a temporary seal even if it was likely (or not, who knows) that it would be removed a month later. at least with a seal we could convince my landlord to proceed with the ceiling repairs.

so at about this time my neighbors wife pokes her head through the apartment door. she couldnt actually get in because we were blocking the entranceway which was between the front door and the bathroom. disinterested as she was her husband gave her an update on the proceedings. upon hearing it was likely the sealant without guilt or guile she amusedly recounted the time a couple of years ago that she tore out the old, nasty smelling sealant from around the toilet, and she reminded me that i was there to watch her do it! then she shifted the blame to her husband whose responsibility she claimed it was to reseal it or get some else to do it.

so the original sin has been laid bare, although im not wholly convinced that that seal is the entirety of the problem as there are other cracks in the vicinity that are at least as likely to be compromised. but as mysteries go it could not have wrapped up more neatly. even jessica fletcher might think it was too easily resolved.

but as long as i have the famed detective here, maybe she could solve another mystery, that being, where the hell is the plumber off to? its been another hour since he shuffled off for supplies.

oh wait...... bzzzzzzzz.

ask not for whom the bell tolls.
- dave 6-15-2015 10:27 pm [add a comment]

I had a weird leak problem once. The valve that refills the tank of the terlet would spray up against the lid. Water ran across the bottom of the lid, down the outside of the tank, and down to the floor at the base or the terlet. This caused drippage in the apartment below.

The maintenance guy never figured it out. Perhaps he was distracted by the garden in my closet. In fact, I know he was distracted, and that may have been motivation to not figure out the problem.
- mark 7-17-2015 1:24 am [add a comment]

four months later. four fucking months and the douchebag is finally cornered to finish the job. and he puts it off til 9pm to start and has the audacity tells me he hoped i would say it was too late to start. but i would not be deterred again.

i dont have the patience to go into the comedy of errors but suffice it to say it wont be finished tonight. but whats worse is that he snuck off to get more tools which usually requires at least half hour to make his way back from across the street.

in the meantime i decided to get up on the ladder to poke around and spray some bleach, a pyrrhic effort to be sure, in an effort to kill whatever mold might be easy prey. i told myself i was being smart by putting on a respirator type mask and was careful to take my glasses off when i put it on. but when i took it off after 10 minutes of generally useless activity i forgot to take my glasses off and, before i knew it, i had crunched them underfoot, once again proving that i should be nowhere near a work zone.

so, bye bye glasses. theyve served me more than well for 5 plus years. guess ill be heading down to warby parker tomorrow like ive been threatening for the last year and a half.

fuckkity fuck.

- dave 10-10-2015 11:44 pm [add a comment]

ahh, freaking nightmare. he cut a piece of sheetrock and brought it over before he undid the temporary coverage and what he thought was solid sheetrock that he was planning on fitting it into was just garbage. i tried to tell him he needed to cut away more, but now he thinks he can just plaster it up, and unless he is the fucking michaelangelo of plastering, it is bound to look like shit. that it will be absolute shit is beyond question. did i mention i wasnt paying?

this entire time ive been hoping the asian dude who tiled up my bathroom a couple of years ago would become available knowing this guy did not have the skills to pull it off. the asian dude is a pro and would never have cut out that piece before clearing out as much of the ceiling as was required. im positive that it would have been taped and mudded before he left. this guy forgot to buy tape. he also had the wrong screws. i just happen to have some sheetrock screws from god knows when laying around i saw him on the street the other day, the asian dude as he was wrapping an old mattress and boxspring in cellophane, as its the law that they must be wrapped i assume for bed bugging reasons. i tried to see if he was available finally four month later but in his broken english he demurred telling me he was leaving at the end of the month to move back to malaysia. of course i took it personally. i cursed him and the landlord across the street who had left me with his sloppy seconds of a handyman

the last straw was when he marked up the very nearly pristine wall in the other room by grabbing at the sheetrock he had leaned up against it with his grubby grubby grubby mitts. and this wasnt a fingerprint or two. this was a toddler with fingerpaints on a mission sloppy. i may have called him a motherfucker. ok, there was no "may" about it. he was too busy continuing to act like a motherfucker in the bathroom to take offense.

did i mention i broke my glasses moments before? yeah, that happened too just moments before the mets second baseman was stretchered off with a broken leg victim of a terrible slide. adding insult to injury, they ruled the second baseman hadnt touched the base as he was knifed down and the player was safe. the game got away from them right then and there much like my glasses from my head and my temper from my mouth and my soon to be shitty bathroom ceiling from my grasp.

/edit later
- dave 10-11-2015 2:26 am [add a comment]

sorry dude....
- Skinny 10-11-2015 12:26 pm [add a comment]

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