The Leak Continues

Those who were reading this blog weeks ago a couple of months ago will remember the leak in our previous apartment, which culminated in our moving upstairs. I still have a key — I haven’t gotten around to moving the air-conditioner upstairs, though I surely will by the time holidays come — and I ended up going downstairs to search for the humidifier, which I figure will help with my cold.

Guess what still hasn’t been fixed — not in nearly two months!?!?

Yup, it’s been leaking, unaddressed, since we moved out. What method of maintenance is that? The, “Let it collapse, for all I care, I don’t have to live in there,” method? This is somewhat disturbing as I live upstairs from that apartment. I don’t know whether there’s a risk of foundation-cracking in winter, but I do know that come spring, that apartment is going to be a fungal spore-farm.

(Which is something I really don’t want to have festering right below my own apartment.)

I’m not sure whether calling the Housing Office to point out that the maintenance guys are utter morons will help. But I think I might call over to point out that half the bedroom floor, part of the kitchen, and a segment of the office are slick from the drip, and that the closet looks pretty much ruined. You know, say, “Were you guys ever planning on fixing that leak? Because we’re moved out, and all… and it’s still leaking, and the floor is completely wet…”

At least now I know we made the right decision in moving: it’s pretty obvious how important Maintenance felt it was to get that leak fixed. To which I can only say that now it’s clear to me why there are so many signs of the building falling apart, like cracks in the foundation and walls and so on.

Now, I am glad that we’re not living in there… but I do worry about the building in general. Anyone know what kind of effect prolonged water seepage has on (presumably cheap) concrete? I’m guessing it’s not good.

2 thoughts on “The Leak Continues

  1. I know continuous exposure to damp and air together is a sure recipe for mold contamination, at least where wood is concerned. I don’t know if the water will do much to the concrete, but if it’s absorbed deeply enough, it might accelerate rust and corrosion of the reinforcing wire mesh.

    But the bottom of the wall framing, which is presumably wood and drywall (if they use the same construction methods as in the USA), is a serious and immediate concern, and could threaten the building structure and/or contaminate that whole area of the building with various species of mold, some possibly quite toxic.

    A leak that serious should definitely be fixed, or the water to that apartment shut off, as soon as possible, and at this point they may want to set up some forced air circulation to reduce the humidity in there, and possibly tear out the bottom 12″ or so of drywall and let the framing dry out as well, to keep the existing damage from getting worse. :(

  2. Bruce,

    Thanks for the information. I was thinking that there would be some possibility of a mold problem. There’s also an issue with water in the concrete freezing — couldn’t that do some kind of structural damage, too, from the expansion of water into ice when it’s soaked into the concrete? — but the structural issue and the mention of toxic mold have no galvanized me.

    By the the way, I think the construction method differs a little — I think there’s a thin layer of drywall but underneath it is concrete.

    Unfortunately, the water cannot be shut off because the Housing Office fixit guys claim it’s not coming from any specific water pipe. Rather, it’s coming from the old roof drainage pipes, but they’re not sure where those connect since the 3rd floor, where I now live, was built on top of the roof that those pipes supposedly drained.

    Sadly, I anticipate that the action on fixing this leak will be basically zero — they’ve shown no interest or initiative in fixing it so far, and it’s been three months since they assumed we’d moved out — and two since we have. I’m guessing nobody will do anything until they’re shamed into it by, oh, say, the collapse of an outer wall or something. I will be making a clall this afternoon, but I don’t think it will do any good.


    So now I’m starting to think the whole building is probably in for some structural problems in the next few years…

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