Mon 12 Dec, 2011 08:41 am
So I am awoken by my daughter at about 3am Saturday night (Sunday morning). Mom/dad – there’s a leak…
Not just a leak – a damn waterfall coming into our living room and dining room from above. Water is just pouring down from the lights and heating vents from above. What the f---! My husband immediately begins throwing towels down and putting bowls beneath the water.
I run out and ring the bell of our neighbor. Fortunately her dog begins to bark – she comes and peaks out the door and sees me all angry – I wave for her to open the door. (the bonehead doesn’t even notice her house is flooded). Umm you have a major leak ---- she looks behind her and starts panicking – I need to tell her what to do. I then go back and call the condo association – they have an emergency connection. They say they will send some one over asap.
The bonehead’s water heater broke. How dumb. I mean she had pouring water and a dog in her house and didn’t notice? Also, as we were cleaning up, our fire alarms starting going off. Wouldn’t hers have gone off earlier considering the amount of water in her unit (now the water heater seems to be up in her attic area as the water came from her top floor down to her bottom floor and then to our unit below)? How come she didn’t notice earlier?
Our maintenance guy shows up – he lives about 20 miles away. We manage to clean up the water from our floors and furniture (fortunately managed to save our wedding album that was also beginning to get wet). Moved our rugs, etc. He set us up with an industrial fan, dehumidifier and air purifier. Besides the ceiling at this point, it seems like the damage may be minimal.
Unfortunately we had a showing the next morning which of course we had to cancel. We also have a couple of different parties that seemed interested in our unit – damn I hope they don’t want to come see it again any time soon.
Question – is there something we should be watching for to ensure there is no other damage? We will need to have our ceilings re-painted – the floors seem ok, but is there a way we can make sure the water damage is not worse?
Depending on how much water came through and how long it was in your ceiling, I would say your ceiling would have to be replaced or repaired, with the drywall being cut out and patched in, plus an electrician would have to take a good look at the wiring since it came through the light fixture.
This will be covered by your condo fees, since it had nothing to do with your unit. She might be assessed for the water heater since that's inside her condo, but no costs will be billed to you.
When I owned my condo in CA the HOA required us to have insurance. The same thing happened to one of my neighbors. Her hot water heater leaked down to the unit below and caused some damage, the insurance covered it all
Good thing your daughter noticed....
Why is the neighbor crazy?
Yeah - the maintenance guy told us - she will need to contact her home owners insurance. Sounds like the condo association will take care of us and then bill her.
The maintenance guy is coming to check on it today. He is a nice guy and knows basic good maintenance stuff, but I worry he may overlook something - not intentionally but because he does basic stuff.
My daughter has been sleeping in the living room pull out bed - her sister snores too loud. Since the water was coming down in the livingroom it woke her (and she is light sleeper). In any case, we would have woken with the fire alarm probably within the next 15 or 20 minutes.
I think this bone head - does not have her smoke detectors on or the battery ran out - because is set ours off.
A couple reasons she is crazy - she this
And I bumped into her this morning - she said is your place dried out (no apology for her error). I asked her was it the water heater - she said yes. I told her you know you are supposed to replace them every 10 ten years - the condo association frequently sends around reminders telling everyone this. She looked at me blankly - I didn't know. Now this woman than me with grown children - she is a former home owner and after the kids grew up - she downsized. Ya think she would know that you need to evidently replace a water heater.
yeah - is there a way for us to determine if this needs to be done?
Insist the condo association (HOA) send an insurance rep to look at the damage. Don't trust the maintenance man to know the extent of the damage in the "common" area.
Her homeowners should cover hers, the HOA all the inbetween the floors damage, and then your insurnace would cover yours. Then all the insurance companies can fight it out about who's paying back who.
That's right. You should have your own insurer in as well as the one from the HOA.
Smoke detector? For a water leak?
Are your smoke detectors hooked into some kind of environmental monitoring system?
The HOA in my condo complex would have nothing to do with any damage inside someone’s condo; they only got involved if damage was done to the common area. I remember each year having to show proof I had insurance. If you didn’t they would get it for you and tack it on to your monthly dues.
Yes we do - but it was her fault - her water heater so from what I understand and what was told to me - she is responsible for the damage. The problem is if we were to go through our insurance then we have a $500 deductible which we should not have to pay seeing her irresponsibility caused the damage.
They are on the ceiling - with the water flowing through - it sets off the smoke detectors.
The damage though would also be between floors - you are responsible for the walls inward - in between is considered common area and the associations responsibility - however, I'd imagine the association will charge her as it is her error. The maintenance guy did tell us - SHE NEEDs to contact her insurance company - not us. And this has happened before - thus why the condo association regularly sends around memos as a reminder.
agree with getting an insurance adjuster in to take a look. A few shingles were blown off the roof of a home we own during a storm, rain leaked in and damaged a ceiling. We figured on some minor repairs to the roof and maybe a few days to fix the ceiling, but the insurance people said the entire house had to be taken down to the studs to guard against mold. Repairs took about 3-1/2 months.
Really? That is scary. I trust the repairs weren't done in drizzle.
I'm not any expert.
We were shocked, but they were insistent. Demolition took about a week and a half, I think. They let us select the contractor. It was almost like building a new house, in a way. You hear horror stories. Ours went fairly smoothly. Glitches were rare. I think we were originally promised 3 months and then they went about 2 weeks over. We were lucky - could have been a nightmare.
Your insurance company will send someone out to take a look - they won't take your handyman's word for it. Your floors might have been ruined, etc. You've contacted them? You should. The insurance companies will duke it out. I used to be a condo strata agent. The condo handyman shouldn't be involved - he's not going to do the fixing. The condo assoc. should hire a restoration company and when they get their report, they go from there. The handyman is or should be out of it. He rakes leaves and fixes doorbells etc. This is a job for the pro's, especially since you're selling. This is why you pay your fees. Her insurance will cover all but it goes through the insurance companies and condo association, not you.
You don't have to pay your $500 deductible because it wasn't your fault. If your water heater failed, then you'd pay. She has to pay her deductible and her insurance company will deal with her and your insurance agent.
Point of information for you and any other condo owners - always insure your condo with the same insurance company the condo association uses - that way there's never a fight about who's responsibility it is - you also often get better rates that way.
Yes - I did call my insurance company. Actually it was quite helpful as they gave me a list of things to gather - including the most recent memo stating how owners should be replacing their heaters every 10 years.
The HOA's adjuster is coming on Wed.