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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Here is the quick version of this winter's installation of the Leak Saga, in bullets!

  • Wednesday night (12/22), having attended an ill-advised but nonetheless enjoyable showing of Billy Elliot The Musical with a friend, and having found walking home from downtown to be quicker than waiting for a bus, I was beginning, at approximately midnight, to pack for the next morning's 6:30 flight when I noticed that the leak in my closet had gotten worse, soaking a section of clothing--including ones I'd wanted to take.
  • It had started earlier in the afternoon, at which point I had called my landlord, who is used to me--and presumably every other tenant of his older properties--calling about this at least twice a year, generally around the time the precipitation changes forms (rain to snow to rain, etc.). I put down buckets and he said he'd send someone over.
  • I flew to Seattle Thursday morning, with the unexpected drama of the terrifyingly long security line and attendant close call on making my flight erasing any thoughts of flooding.
  • David flew in the next morning, Christmas Eve, and we had a fantastic holiday weekend with my family!
  • David flew back on the red-eye Sunday night/Monday morning, and as he tells it, made it to the far corner of the bed, about to turn on the light (a pull-cord model in the middle of the room) when he felt the water through his socks.
  • Apparently, the leak had worsened, overflowed the receptacles, and flooded the bedroom floor.
  • He had planned to go into work that day, but instead found himself calling in, mopping up the mess, and moving all of the furniture except the bed frame (but including the mattress) into the next rooms.
  • The leak had spread from the closet threshold and was apparently dripping into nearly the middle of the room.
  • Thankfully, it didn't get the mattress at all. It also barely touched my books, thanks mostly to a watercolor pad sitting atop the bookshelf in that room, which acted as a sponge. We'd already moved a lot of the stuff in the closet out, and since the floor is so uneven, the under-bed storage was also spared.
  • The floor, sadly, was pretty warped; each board now bows in the center, so although it's not visible except to close inspection, you can clearly feel the ridges when you walk on it.
  • David camped out in the living room for the next few days, sleeping on the couch.
  • At one point while I was in Walla Walla, the neighbor whose apartment is directly below mine texted me to mention that the flooding in his apartment had gotten worse, wondering about ours.
  • When I called David, he was already at the apartment cleaning up again, having received the same message.
  • The renewed flooding was apparently due to a thaw that swept the city, warming it up to a balmy 36 and causing a plague of ice dams.
  • The flooding stopped due to a combination of the workmen clearing the ~2' of snow off the roof, breaking up the ice dams, putting down some tarps, and the weather cooling off again.
  • When I got home a few days later, the mattress was propped against the living room windows, the bookshelf and two dressers were in the middle room, and my clothes were hanging all over the apartment.
  • I spent the next week cleaning, organizing, moving the furniture back in, doing massive loads of laundry at the laundromat, and sorting through piles of papers that had either gotten wet or just turned up in the shuffle.
  • Now everything feels pretty good!
  • I saw my landlord today (we're on the third day of a new, and relatively very minor, saga of him replacing the light fixture in the bathroom [yet another pull-cord model, but this one mounted on a vertical surface, and the cord of which pulls out every 1.5 years and requires complete replacement]), and he assured me that hot tar in the spring would fix the problem for at least another year.
  • I hope so, because even though David was sending me renters' applications to the complex down the street, I'd really rather not move before I leave town.*
  • Here's hoping!
*Though it would be soooo nice to have more than three square feet of kitchen counter space... on-site laundry... a nice, reliable management company...


Leah said...

Ugh. I hate dealing with landlords and repairs. And on holiday weekends!

You seem pretty calm about it, though. I'm sure I'd be angry and stomping around for days about this.

I totally get the allure of living in older neighborhoods/houses, but on-site laundry is nothing to sneeze at.

strovska said...

that looks and sounds awful. i also find the juxtaposition of the sodden wall and the cord plugged into the nearby outlet rather alarming--but the little detail about the watercolor pad is both fortuitous and amusing.

CëRïSë said...

Leah, since I'm in my fifth year in this apartment (which I still find difficult to believe!), I think I'm achieving a level of peace with its (and my landlord's) quirks and flakes. The "complex" down the street is actually about the same age as my current place, which I love, although they were built as "luxury apartments" and have been far better maintained (and have the aforementioned laundry!).

And Strovska, my wiring situation is distinctly sketchy! I counted just now, and am pretty sure I only have 10 outlets in the whole place--one more delightful charm of the centenarian building! Thankfully, that wall doesn't seem to have been affected by the water--although as it abuts one that does, I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

Ellen said...

Disaster Living! Bedroom!...definitely not...Disaster Apartment!!!

CëRïSë said...

Ellen: YES.

Teri said...

I'm having visions of mold and mildew growing in the walls, ceilings and floors. Any plans for all the sogginess to be ripped out? Fungal spores can be hazardous.