How [Not] to Meet Your Neighbors

Weekend Water Fun: Our collection of flood-catchers on Sunday morning. The big black plant pot had about 3 or 4 liters of water in it.

So far, over the past few days, I’ve introduced myself to some of the neighbors in our apartment building — the guy upstairs and his young daughter, the young woman who lives next door to him, another woman downstairs, and one of the board members of the building co-op who lives a few doors over. Unfortunately, the circumstances were not completely relaxed.

On Friday afternoon (and yes, I’ve noted it was the 13th, but I think that has nothing to do with it), the pipes broke in an apartment upstairs. It was one of the heating pipes that gave way — the building has steam heat, and thank goodness it’s still summer here, as the weekend manager had to turn off the water to the whole system.

Sadly, he seems not to have done it quickly enough.  On Saturday night, a wave of water came flooding through the ceiling above our livingroom.  Somewhere at around 1:30 am, after I heard the pipe clacking and banging and the beginning of a steady leak, Matt and I had all the buckets, pots, waste baskets and other receptacles in place that we could find to catch the overflow.

The weekend manager/engineer came the next day to see the damage, and turned off the water more successfully.  By the end of Sunday afternoon, the dripping had stopped.

But the damage and the story have not ended yet — the building management may have to rip out the ceiling to remove the wet sand that sits there between the two layers of cement, one our ceiling, one our upstairs neighbors’ floor.

Hence the parade of neighbors and engineers coming through to see what happened here.  The results of the pipeline disaster so far look like modern art, a sculpture in plastic and cement meant to mimic natural forms.  Beautiful, yes, but I’m hoping we get to stay here while they try to make it look more unnatural again!

Ceiling art: still wet and beginning to peel off.

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4 Responses to How [Not] to Meet Your Neighbors

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  2. Lila says:

    Ah, lovely. Sorry you’re having to deal with this. I feel your pain. just before our new tenant moved in to our apt on T Street, we discovered water damage to our floor and had to do repairs on the heat pump (source of the water) and replace the floor in the entire apartment. You can imagine that I didn’t expect to spend my maternity leave doing condo maintenance, but I seem to spend half my time on the phone about it (with insurance, the flooring company, the movers, etc) and the other half running down to T Street to deal with something. The movers come tomorrow to move our tenant’s big furniture out and then the floor guys come Thursday. Hopefully we’ll be done on Friday… for a while! The joys of homeownership…

    Hope you’re settling in otherwise! Will your apartment be unliveable while they do the work on the ceiling? Were your floors spared?

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