|New shower knobs|
A few weeks ago, I noticed a piece of tile right outside my bathtub starting to peel off the wall. A few days later, I could feel some moisture on the wall but not knowing where the water was coming from, I finally called the plumber who’s been helping me for at least 15 years now. I was afraid that whatever leak was occurring may affect the neighbors on my right side and the two below me. Walter the plumber came and checked it out on a Thursday and said the water may be leaking from the corrosion around the shower knobs and getting into the wall. I was planning on having the washers replaced on those knobs anyway because the bottom faucet was dripping after the knob was tightened. We made arrangements for him to do the repairs the following Monday since our condominium association required us to give 24 to 48 notice to other residents whenever the water has to be turned off. In my case, the water didn’t have to be turned off to the whole complex, but just at the valve on the roof supplying mine and my three neighbors units. And we had to wait until Monday because we didn’t want to inconvenience everybody on a weekend when most people are at home and not at work.
I asked Walter later that since we are turning off the water anyway, if he can also replace the shut off valve to my toilet tank and replace my bathroom sink faucet due to corrosion. I left a note on the doors of my three neighbors to let them know about the water shut off and included my phone number in case they had any questions or concerns. I didn’t hear anything from them so come Monday, Walter came to replace the shower knobs, toilet tank shut off valve, and sink faucet. After a couple hours, he was done and I paid him $265. I brought an electric fan to the bathroom and aimed it towards the wall with moisture and ran the fan for several hours. The next day, the wall was dry and remained so after I took a shower. After subsequent showers, the wall remained dry so Walter’s diagnosis was confirmed and he took care of the problem.
|New sink faucet|
Two days later, I received a text message from Vickey, a board member of the condominium association and who was also managing unit #73 downstairs from me. She was managing it for an out of state owner. The text message said “Good Morning Noel, my tenant in #73 below you, has water coming into her bathroom from the ceiling & behind the Toilet Wall. This needs attention immediately being that it is still dripping from the Bathroom Ceiling”. It included a photo of the letter I left with my neighbors and 4 photos of the water leaking downstairs with bubbling from the paint on the walls and ceiling. So I assumed that the water was caused by the leak I had from my shower.
I started looking for a contractor or handyman who knew how to fix water damage and I got suggestions from some of my neighbors and an internet buddy. I also researched on the internet what this kind of repair entailed. Last year, a handyman replaced my underpowered wall air conditioner and I kept his number. I called him and asked if he did this kind of repair and he said he did. We made an appointment for Friday but unfortunately he got held up at another job so he didn’t make it till Saturday morning. Of course we also had to make arrangements with the tenant in Unit 73 so someone can be present while the handyman was there. I also tried to get in touch with Unit 74 right below me to find out if he had any damage on his side, but I never got a response even after I contacted his landlady.
|Water from ceiling vent|
Luis the handyman assessed the situation on Saturday, told me what he was going to do and how long it would take and gave me a cost estimate. I told him please give me an estimate, not a heart attack, LOL! The cost was reasonable and asked him when he could do the job, he said he could do it right there and then. I notified the tenant and left Luis to do the work while I tried to get some sleep after having had to work the night before. But I was too anxious so I didn’t get any sleep. Incidentally during the time that Luis was doing his job, the owner and tenant of Unit 74 finally contacted me and we looked at their bathroom and it appeared not to have been affected.
Approximately four hours later, Luis called me and said everything was done. I went downstairs to look at his work and to my untrained eye it looked like a job well done. He told the tenant that it would take a couple of hours for the paint to dry. I paid Luis, notified the tenant and Vickey in a group text, and included photos of the finished product. I thought that was the end of it. I took responsibility for what I thought was water damage caused by the shower knob leak from my bathroom, and paid hard earned money for it.
|Bubbling fixed, spackled, and repainted|
But wait there’s more! A couple of hours later, I received a message from the tenant in Unit 73 in the group text saying that water was coming out of her bathroom vent and almost filled a trash container. I immediately went downstairs to look at it and indeed water was coming out of the vent, but not quite as much as the tenant said. This happened at 7:00 p.m. and I hadn’t used the shower since 2:00 p.m. so the water wasn’t coming from my bathroom. I went back upstairs and knocked on the door of Unit 107 to ask them if anybody just took a shower. Not surprisingly, somebody did and it was water from their side that was pouring downstairs to Unit 73. But hold on, the tenants in Unit 107 were gone for a few days so even after the plumber fixed my shower, no water was leaking downstairs. Right after the tenants in Unit 107 returned and took a shower, it started leaking downstairs again. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the water damage downstairs wasn’t caused by me after all. I offered the phone numbers of my plumber and handyman to the owner of Unit 107 in case she wanted to hire them, and I hope that’s the last I’m going to hear of that one. The next expense will be on them. I’ve done more than my part for something that was not my fault and it cost me $160!