Not a question but post 2, after this one, is the end of the parking lot
story. You may have already read most of this one, especially the
Did I ever tell you all about my parking lot flooding? My house is
about 37 years old and the oldest houses in the n'hood, the road, and
parking lot is about 38 years old. But there was no flooding until 4
or 5 years ago.
In an intense rain, t=he water backed up at the drain and it got
half-way up my rear wheels and the water entered another n'brs car, and
she said she had to buy a new one.
Our 3 or 4 cars are parked at the lowest point in the parking lot which
gets any water that doesn't get captured by drains on the side of a hill
3'8" of a mile wide and about 30 feet high.
The drain goes through a culvert which opens into a stream bed maybe 40
feet away. Silt etc. maybe 5 inches high was obstructing the end of the
14" culvert. So I dug that out and deepened and widened the channel
from the culvert to the stream itself. Use a pick a lot for the rocks
and a shovel.
I told the prez of the HOA, but she still hired a mini-excavator and he
did the same thing I did but deeper and wider.
Didn't help. Rained and flooded again, though I moved the car before
it got 'wet'. But this means I can't leave my car in the regular spot
when I go out of town, get a ride, go into the hospital, go to sleep, or
even when I'm up and about, I can't tell how hard it is raining, even
with the windows open.
So the HOA hired a vacuum truck, big as a big garbage truck. The hose
was translucent and I could hear lots of gravel (what comes off a
blacktop parking lot) etc. being sucked up the long 10" hose. Also two
little foot-powered scooters were sucked up. I vaguely remember when
the little girls road them, 10 years ago.
HOA prez says she'll have it vacuumed every 6 months. I say, if it
took 37 years to clog, why would it need vacuuming in 6 months. She
probably doesn't like me now.
I notice that the lot has been fully repaved or repaired enough that the
road is 2" higher at the drain than it once was. The opening is 7 feet
wide and 4 to 4.5 inches wide, instead of 6 to 6.5 like it was
originally. I point this out to HOA prez. She says the head of the
management company doesn't think that's the problem. A guy who works 40
miles away and has probably never been here and if he has he probably
didn't get out of the car to look at the drain.
I talk to two paving contractors, one of whom comes out for free,
knowing the job is too small for him, and another on the phone, who both
agree the smaller drain *might* be the problem.
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 14 Oct 2016 20:06:07 -0400, micky
So the contractors I talked to said it was possible that it was the
opening to the drain, but I decided I should catch it in the act of
For two years, it never rains as hard as it can, except maybe once, when
I rush home from 25 miles away, but it's stopped raining before I get
Finally, it's flooding at 10 PM about August 1, and I go out with a crow
bar to remove the manhole cover from the cement top of the catchbasin
that the drain opening drains into.
The water is 10" deep on the parking lot and 7" above the manhole,
cement top, and grass area next to it.
The water is dirty and I keep tapping but I can't even find the hole in
the manhole cover. When the water recedes so it's only 2 or 3 inches
deep I find the hole and lift out the cover.
Although water is pouring in through the side and the manhole, the water
is 3 feet below the top. If the restriction were in the culvert, the
water would be all the way at the top, or it would not be backing up
into the parking lot. So the restriction is at the drain opening.
I email the president of the HOA to let her know I'm sure. She doesn't
Within a month there is a meeting of the HOA and they're hiring a paving
contractor to fix the chuckholes (which they call potholes in the east.)
I write the Prez, Now is the time to fix the drain, when he might charge
just 150 for cutting out 3" by 7' and maybe 100 for sealing it in some
way, or he might even do it for free. And if we don't do it now, we'll
have to pay 2000 or 4000 minimum for just this little job, or hire a
Another email with a few more details. No answer.
I write another shorter, punchier email. No answer.
I call 2 other board memebers whose numbers I know and didn't lose. to
find out who the contractor is and when he's coming. One is no longer
on the board and doesn't seem happy with them. The other calls me back
as soon as she gets out of bible study, before she even goes home, and
says she'll send me the name of the contractor we hired.
She does that two nights later, Thursday night, but Thursday morning.
Sept 1. I see signs up up where they dont' want people to park, so they
can do the repairs Sept. 6 and 7th. I'm going to call them but driving
out of the n'hood I see their truck. I talk to the foreman and tell him
the problem and he's supposed to tell his boss when he gets back at the
end of the day. So I wait until Friday around 1PM.
I call. The guy in charge of paving is one of the principals of the
company. I say I want to add one more task to his job, tell him about
the flooding, and I'm almost certain I refer to cutting 3" off.
I'm about to offer to pay extra when he says, "I don't think there'll be
any extra charge for this." I say, clearly, "If there is, let me know."
I'd given him my name and maybe my phone (and I'm listed) and after he
asks for pictures, he has my email address
He asks for pictures, but that's to make sure we're talking about the
same drain, so I go out take pictures, learn how to get them from 2 megs
down to 150K each and email them to him. He sends back a thank you.
So now I figure the HOA prez won't think about this over the weekend so
she won't interfere, and then I learn that Monday is Labor Day, so she
probably won't think about it until Tueday, when she'll probably go to
work at 8:30.
Tuesday I keep looking out the window and at 10:30 a workman shows up.
By the time I get downstairs he's started the gas circular saw and has
cut a lline 4 feet from the drain!!!! OMG, what happened to 150
dollars? It's not 3 inches anymore, it's 4 feet!!! Somone has made
marks in red paint as big as his cut, but they weren't there Friday
afternoon. He must have just done it. But it's too late to ask because
he's started the cut. He cuts out about 5 square yards, then more men
come and they break up the blacktop and use a little backhoe? with a
scoop to take it to the dump truck. Then they add the blacktop and
pause several times to tamp down or roll what they've poured. All in
all it takes about 7 men 60 or 70 minutes to dig down and slope the
pavement from 4 feet away to the drain, instead of 1 man and less than
But it looks perfect and beautiful.
I get an email at 6PM from the HOA prez:
Although I'm sure you are aware of this, but [the contractor] repaired
the storm drain located near your home. The opening of the drain has
been enlarged to accommodate the large amount of water that flows toward
to drain during extreme weather conditions.
Thank you for alerting the Board and [the management company] of this
important matter. Hopefully, this repair will alleviate some of the
valid concerns many of you have.
So she sounds like she's in favor of all this when she ignored 4 emails
and would have not fixed it at all if she had her way.
A couple days later, I called the paving boss to thank him and he was
friendly and talkative. He said that no one else had talked to him
about this problem, (and he said he appreciated the thanks and we talked
about his Spanish speaking employees, that his brother spoke Spanish and
what he did for a living (Mexico border guard, then sky marshall) So I
know she put no effort into fixing this but she makes it sound like
she's all for it. A natural politician, although she doesn't do that for
a living. I know what she does and afaik, that skill doesn't much
benefit her there.
No one has said a word about an additional charge, and I'm sure there
wasn't one, but she would have left our 3 or 4 cars to flood if I hadn't
You have to hustle or things pass you by.
There's an HOA meeting in 2 weeks. I might tell her that ,"Since you
never got back to any of my 4 emails, I figured you wanted me to handle
it." Not what I figured but it should make her more responsive in the
If it's not fixed, I may know at the next very heavy rain, but if it is
fixed, I won't know for 3 years, because I can't judge how heavy a
rainstorm is. But since the problem started, we never went more than 2
years without a flood. The drain is almost 50% bigger. I'm 99.9% sure
it's fixed, and I'm going away for 10 weeks this spring, and I'll leave
my car where it is.
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 14 Oct 2016 23:01:01 -0400, Ed Pawlowski
That's certainly part of it, but that severaly limits the number of
houses for sale in Maryland or this part of Maryland. The law here is
that every new development, even one with only 8 homes (or less, maybe 3
or 4) has to have an HOA. This has been the law for the last 40 years
or so, so either the house has to be older than 40 so or it has to have
been built to order, or one of the rare single houses built on spec.
I wasn't here when the law was passed but I think the clause that gives
the HOA the power to repair an unrepaired house and put a lien on it was
one of the driving forces. It was meant to keep n'hoods from becoming
run-down because of one, and then more absent or negligent homeowners.
The HOA doesn't have to meet and doesn't have to collect dues, and a
girl I was dating lived on a street with only 5 houses. and her HOA
never met. Her house cost twice as much as my did. It was bigger
than mine with a bigger lot, farther out of town (which I guess lowers
the price), and it was semi-custom built** in that they had their choice
of 3 or 5 floorplans and they could modify it by making the kitchen
bigger and diining room smaller, for example. They made the ceiling in
the basement higher, or the floor lower, so her then-husband could lift
weights there. But looking at the map now, I see there are 16 houses
on this little street, Jonathans Ct. and it probably meets and charges
**The ex told there was a beautifully built model house where the little
road meets the bigger road, but when the same buiders built their house,
they made lots of mistakes. 1) a ceramic tile floor was being put in
the front hall, and the guy putting in the baseboards showed up with the
tile was halfway done. He put the baseboard where it belonged wherever
there was tile, and he put it just above the subfloor where there was no
tile!!! 2) There is a little powder room off the front hall, and they
put the door on so it opened in, so when you went inside,you could only
reach the sink. To reach the toilet you had to shut the door and there
was no room to shut the door because you were in the room!!! He was
certain they used good contractors to build the first house and real
idiots to build his. Fortunately they got divorced so he didn't have
to live there anymore.
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 15 Oct 2016 15:24:55 -0400, Ed Pawlowski
My previous biddy was in her 50's. A very nice girl afaik was prez,
but they bought a bigger house and she moved. The biddy was VP so she
became prez. I told her she'd do a good job but I was wrong. She
stuck around for 20 years, probably getting free snowshoveling and free
lawnmowing for signing contracts for longer than a year, and IMO getting
kickbacks when she signed a contract allowing a towing company to tow
whatever they saw without any complaints first. One time a neighbor
came to an HOA meeting to complain about the way the pres talked to her
and her defense was, "Well that's the way I am."
They finally overthrew her and the new biddy is maybe 35. She was cute
when she moved in 5 or 10 years ago, but she gained 20 pounds or so
lately, on a small frame. OTOH, I live right across the street from her
and her car is rarely there these days, so maybe she has a boyfriend who
likes chubby girls. .
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.