It Finally Happened

Well, after 10+ years of knowing it could happen, after telling management last year that I was concerned it might happen- with them telling me “don’t worry about”… Today it finally happened. The ceiling above my shower / tub install fell. It was a bad patch job to begin with.
Luckily, I habitually keep the shower curtain closed. So, all of the debris was contained in the tub. Sadly, I now have a gaping hole in my ceiling- and I can see the plumbing of the tub upstairs.
The debris is soaked. It came apart in my hands as I moved it into a trash bag. Perhaps there was a leak upstairs. If so, it’s either a big one or has been collecting for some time. One good thing is that I do not see any signs of mold.
The new management is going to love me. It hasn’t been long since the end of more than 2 months of hassles over the broken dishwasher- now this. It leaves me wondering if I should tell them about the short in the ceiling fan. Lovely, ain’t it?
This apartment complex is old, tired, and falling apart from the inside out.
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6 thoughts on “It Finally Happened

  1. Management may not like it, I’m sure they won’t, but that’s not really your problem. It’s their complex that’s coming apart and their obligation to keep plumbing up to snuff. I truly don’t know what the legal beagles would say but I have to think that there must be some rule or law on the books that say “all landlords must keep properties safe from structural hazards.” The weight of a wet ceiling, I’m betting the AMA would say it’d be a big booboo if it fell on you from above, plus the risk of stuff getting in your eyes, scratching them.

    Not to put ideas in your head, because I would not dare do that… if you file it and nothing is done, or little is done, there’s a phenomenon known as “trial by media”. At the worst, it gets your ceiling fixed. At the best, it may get you into a whole different space that’s not relying on the grip strength of termites to stay together. I’m not sure where you are but there’s usually at least one TV channel in every city that will jump on the story like a jaguar on a jackrabbit.

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    • I did look at the wood and there’s no termite damage- thankfully. I”m cutting a break for the current management because they’re new to the property. The owner is still the same and I”m willing to bet he was not apprised of the situation because – as I mentioned- the old manager had told me not to worry about it. As for the media- I don’t trust them to accurately report the news. I do have a friend who works for the housing authority. You can believe that I’m telling her about this.

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  2. I am seriously glad you weren’t taking a shower when it all came down. That weight coming down, even if it isn’t a substantial amount, paired with the slippery tub… it’s a recipe for an ER trip and possible hospital stay.

    When I got on this morning I reread your post again and something jumped out at me. The ceiling fan, about how far is it from the bathroom? I’m wondering if the two could be related? On the other side of the ceiling especially between floors, a leak can “travel” a lot further than you might think. The two instances may be linked. For simple safety, you might want to mention the two and ask if there is a way they could be connected. I’ve got a little experience with plumbing and a little with electricity… Water lives in pipes and hates to climb hills. Electricity lives in walls and has the temperament of a car alarm. The two do not like being together. 😉 Might be best to ask the contractor that’s sent out, then gauge his facial response. Few people have a good poker face if the question comes unexpectedly.

    I hope they treat you right on this and don’t try to “punish” you for their mistakes, or for expecting to live in a space that’s safe and trustworthy. There are enough threats in the world without you having to worry about something like this.

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  3. That makes two of us TJ. The spot that fell is directly over the shower-head. The chunk that fell, I measured the hole at 27 inches by 16 inches. I’m not sure if it’s drywall or sheet-rock. If I had been taking a shower, it would have come down on my head. Wishing I had film for my camera so I could take pictures. I would send them with a letter to Mike Holmes. The distance between the tub and the fan is more than 10 feet.

    I don’t want to get the new management in trouble mind you but I am concerned about the conditions, especially since they keep jacking the rent.

    This image is a rough approximation of my apartment, minus the furniture in the front half.

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  4. It’s a little fuzzy and many will disagree in the industry but originally “Sheetrock” was a brand of drywall. In my experience, the two are essentially identical and when it comes down it’ll be a white crumbly texture like compressed chalk. That’s dry, when it’s wet it’s just a mess. Sort of like the difference between Kleenex and facial tissue; they’re basically the same but one might be a little better, much like Kleenex is somewhat better than off-name brand facial tissue. Typically the weight of the paper is the biggest difference. Off-name drywall, if you stumble against it lightly between supports (studs, joists) you go through. With name brand Sheetrock, you have to stumble just a bit harder to flex it to breaking. Neither like getting wet and neither are incredibly strong.

    I follow your feelings about not wanting to get management in trouble, after all you do live there and a rift could cause trouble, but there’s still a problem for me. You’re paying for a service, and the cost has been escalating while the apparent quality of that service has been diminishing. If you hire me to keep your checkbook balanced for $50 per month and the first three months you are overdraft free but then I bump the charge to $75 and you start getting overdrafts, that’s not good for you and we may need to have a talk. You know the kind, you talk, I listen. 😉

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    • I’m glad that someone understands. I’m working towards saving money in order to move. There are more reasons than this as to why I want to move, however, this is a huge motivator.

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