Need temporary fix for ceiling rain leak

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On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:11:18 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Probably as good as your IQ.
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Steven L. wrote:

I think that part of the answer will depend on where you live -- meaning what state and what town or area.
I am in New Jersey (South Jersey) and I have a pretty good idea of how the law works in New Jersey regarding residential rental property etc. (but I am not an attorney).
If you have concerns about mold and mildew, and especially with your newly-developed or existing sinus and bronchitis problems, there are some fairly simple things that you and the landlord can do.
I think the easiest thing to do for now would be to let your landlord know about your sinus and bronchitis problems and your concerns about potential mold and mildew, and ask that the maintenance people open up the ceiling now so it can dry out. That should be an easy no-brainer for them, especially since the ceiling already has water damage. And, by opening the ceiling they may even be able to better see where the water leak is coming from. But, regardless, the correct remedy for this type of damage (water in the ceiling) is to first open up the area and dry it out completely. That will help prevent mold and mildew growth, and it will enable the landlord to determine the extent of the water damage. They will have to fix the ceiling anyway, and the only correct way to fix it at this point is to open it up first and dry it out.
Since the big Nor'easter is coming tomorrow and tomorrow night, the time to open up the ceiling is today, or tomorrow AM at the latest. And, assuming you are in the predicted snow area, you can expect some serious water problems from the snow melting on the deck or whatever above.
And, of course, move all of your stuff out of the way so they can throw down some tarps and get to the area easily and open the ceiling without making too much of a mess. If there is insulation up in the ceiling, they will need to remove that to in order to prevent mold and mildew growth and to see the area better.
As far as automatically being able to break your lease and move out, in New Jersey it's not quite that simple. You would have to demonstrate that the proper was not habitable in its present condition and that your landlord has been unwilling to correct the problem within a reasonable time frame. So far, your landlord has been responding but just has not yet been able to come up with a quick fix. The fix is probably going to take some time, but if they open the ceiling up to dry it out and protect it from mold and mildew growth, they will have already done a lot toward temporarily resolving the problem until a permanent solution can be achieved.
Good luck. Let us know how it works out.
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On Wed, 06 Feb 2013 13:41:44 -0500, "Steven L."

Steven- are you an the top loor - roof leak, or lower down - wall or door leak?? Poured concrete construction or wood-framed floors?
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On 2/6/2013 5:31 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I'm on the second floor of a 3 story apartment building.
The ceiling is leaking right near the wall where the left side of my deck is.
I suspect that rainwater is pooling on the deck of the apartment above mine, and then seeping through some crack in the outside wall there down onto my ceiling.
I went out onto the deck to take a look. Sure enough, the mortar between several of the bricks in the outside wall just below the upstairs deck is gone. Completely worn away, leaving some big holes. I tried caulking those as best I could.
One of the maintenance guys promised me he'll try to fix it again tomorrow.
Because we're getting a major blizzard on Friday (1-2 feet of snow). And when THAT snow melts and seeps into the wall, my ceiling is doomed.
--
Steven L.

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I would put what you outlined above in a letter and send it to the landlord. Put dates in it of when you first notified them, when the multiple repair attempts were made and take pictures of the outside missing mortar. If they've made 3 attempts to fix it and you can see obvious missing mortar in the area of the problem, then the repair guys don't know what they are doing. I'd also take pics of the inside ceiling, send that too.
That establishes clear documentation of what has happened and what state it's still in. Tell them that this is unacceptable and it needs to be fixed immediately. That could spur them to action or if not and it later comes to you breaking the lease or damage to stuff in your apartment, you have good documentation
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On 2/6/2013 7:11 PM, Steven L. wrote:

Is there snow/ice buildup on the deck above? If so, it might be a good idea to get with that neighbor to see if you can help clear it and then try to clear after the storm. This is starting to bring back memories of similar problem in the apartment I lived in as a child (Loooong ago) :o)
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wrote:

If you were able to seal it too well, the whole attic would fill with water and eventually collapse the whole structure. That could really suck! However, you'd never seal it that good.
So far no one has mentioned going into the attic when it's raining, and putting a bucket up there where the water is coming in, and while you're at it, take a marker and mark the spot on the underside of the roof where the water is coming in. That might help the maintenance people find the leak. It dont sound like they are too bright anyhow.
You might suggest to the landlord that he find some better maintenance people, or hire some real roofers. And while you're at it, explain that you could find another place to live if this continues, because it's damaging your __xxxxxx__.
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IIRC, Steve mentioned it looks like the problem is the level above him, the window porch collects water, which is coming in the wall. So, going into the attic won't be much help.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
If you were able to seal it too well, the whole attic would fill with water and eventually collapse the whole structure. That could really suck! However, you'd never seal it that good.
So far no one has mentioned going into the attic when it's raining, and putting a bucket up there where the water is coming in, and while you're at it, take a marker and mark the spot on the underside of the roof where the water is coming in. That might help the maintenance people find the leak. It dont sound like they are too bright anyhow.
You might suggest to the landlord that he find some better maintenance people, or hire some real roofers. And while you're at it, explain that you could find another place to live if this continues, because it's damaging your __xxxxxx__.
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On Feb 7, 5:26am, snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

No one has mentioned that because per his description of the leak, it's coming from an exterior wall, not the roof.
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On Thu, 07 Feb 2013 04:26:32 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

This is a SECOND FLOOR apartment in a 3 STORY building. It is NOT a roof problem - and NOT an attic issue.
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On Wednesday, February 6, 2013 11:18:28 AM UTC-5, Steven L. wrote:

Yes, you should.
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On 2/6/2013 11:09 AM, Tegger wrote:

I think that is insane! If the ceiling is saturated, it might come crashing down. I would pester the daylights out of the owner (or management company?!) Is the roof obviously in bad condition? Live in a condo?
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On 2/6/2013 6:12 PM, Norminn wrote:

They're forecasting a major blizzard for Massachusetts.
My ceiling probably has another 48 hours to live.
Unless dry snow doesn't get into that crack as easily as liquid water can. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
--
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Steven L. wrote:

Might be time for a bigger bucket! :-)
But, seriously, if they open the ceiling up now it will help with a number of things. One is that it will help dry things out and prevent or reduce mold and mildew growth. Another is that should prevent a ceiling collapse during or after the coming snow storm. And it may help them see exactly where the water is coming in. And, finally, it actually may mean you'll need "a bigger bucket" -- meaning something larger to collect water from a slightly larger area rather than just from the one drip spot you had before.
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On Wed, 06 Feb 2013 09:27:55 -0500, "Steven L."

I agree with the others. Bucket is the best solution for now.
You might want to pull up the rug (if possible) if underneath is absorbing water to prevent smell and structural problems. And best not to alter anything so the roof guys can see what has taken place over time.
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On Wed, 06 Feb 2013 09:27:55 -0500, "Steven L."

Just a guess on my part based on your post but sometimes there is flashing just above the doorway outside. If so, you might want to caulk around it and see if this helps.
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On 2/6/2013 11:52 AM, Doug wrote:

During a rainstorm, the water drips from a point on the ceiling that is right near the wall where my deck is.
If there's a crack or crevice in the outside wall, it may be right behind the deck of the apartment above me: The water pools on the upstairs deck and then seeps down through the wall into my apartment.
Fixing that is a big job.
--
Steven L.

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On Wednesday, February 6, 2013 1:44:23 PM UTC-5, Steven L. wrote:

Luckily, it's not your problem. It's up to the landlord to fix, and if he doesn't fix it then you call the housing authority, and if he still doesn't fix it you can claim breach of lease and move.
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On Wed, 06 Feb 2013 13:44:23 -0500, "Steven L."

So definitely NOT a roof leak. It will likely be a caulking issue - and possibly a drainage issue on the balcony above as well. Not easy to find at the best of times.
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On Wed, 06 Feb 2013 09:27:55 -0500, "Steven L."

Maintenance should put a tarp on the roof.
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