Advice Needed

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Advice Needed

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Kelly Conrad
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(as of 3/25/07)
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Posts: 4
Posted: Nov 7, 2005 12:44 PM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
First of all,this is my first post!!

I've been trying to get in touch with David Hetzel, who ran the Home Inspection Institute in Wallingford, CT, but all of the phone numbers I have for him are out of service.

Anyway. I need some advice regarding my basement. I live in an apartment in New Haven, CT. A few weeks before my roommate and I moved in, in August, our neighbor had a clog in his kitchen sink and plunged it to unclog it. This caused pressure to build up and burst the faucet on my side, sending water everywhere. As no one lived in the apartment at the time, it went unnoticed for weeks, letting enough time pass to cause the floor to rot and MAJOR water damage in the basement. The super pulled down the sheetrock covering the cement in the basement, but didn't fix the walls, didn't clean up the sheetrock pieces on the floor, and ignored the mold covering the walls. Since moving in, both my roommate and I have left multiple messages for the landlord and for the super, to no avail. They do not even acknowledge our messages. Finally, last week, I left a message saying that I would be notifying the Health Department. That got a quick reaction, of course. My super came over to inspect the place and said he'd come back on Tuesday(tomorrow) to work on the basement-- and to fix the leaky shower. Now, as he's going through my apartment, he starts telling me he's going to write me up for things. First is the railing on the stairs to the basement. As you can see in the attached pictures, the railing is only secured by a post at the very top and very bottom. It offers zero support, and actually FELL OFF as we were moving furniture into the basement. So we are being written up because of a faulty railing. Second is the smoke detector at the top of the stairs to the 2nd floor. We take it down every morning before our showers, and put it back up after, because the steam from our 5 minute showers sets off the alarm EVERY SINGLE DAY. The super happened to come over between showers (my roommate was waiting for him to leave so she could shower) and is writing us up for not having the detector up. However, even with the bathroom window open and the bathroom door open, the steam sets off the detector-- which is sort of funny, because the hot water only lasts for about 5 minutes, but thats all it takes.

I was trying to get in touch with Mr Hetzel to get his professional opinion on the situation, but since I can't, I am turning to you. If you inspected a place under these conditions, would it pass inspection? Would there be some sort of fine for a faulty railing, or for mold?

Please let me know what you think!

Kelly


[ Image: Down The Stairs ]
[ Image: Another View Of The Stairs ]
[ Image: Mold 1 ]
[ Image: Mold 2 ]
[ Image: Mold 3 ]
[ Image: Sheetrock Floors and Bad Walls ]
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Jae Williams

Home Sweet Home Inspections
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(as of 3/25/07)
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User: jwilliams4
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 1:11 PM       Post Subject:
Your neighbor had a clog in his sink, and when he plunged the

clog in his sink drain the pressure build up burst the faucet on

your sink?? icon_question.gif icon_question.gif icon_question.gif

I'm missin' something here.

--
"not just an inspection, but an education"

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Kelly Conrad
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(as of 3/25/07)
Inactive Poster
Posts: 4
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 1:13 PM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
Thats what I was told. Our sinks share a pipe-- we're only separated by a wall, and what my landlord told me was that the neighbor's sink was clogged, and they plunged it, and it built up pressure and caused the faucet or the pipe on my side to explode, and it flooded the kitchen floor, rotting through to the basement, and causing extensive water damage in the basement.
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Jae Williams

Home Sweet Home Inspections
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User: jwilliams4
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 1:19 PM       Post Subject:
I'm assuming the clog was in a drain. The faucet is on the water

supply. There is no relation between the two. They are not connected.

Plunging cannot build up nearly the pressure that the water supply

can. If the water pressure did not burst the faucet, then neither will

the plunger.

All this happened before you moved in and was kept hidden from

you and your roomie. Methinks and attorney is in order.

--
"not just an inspection, but an education"

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Jae Williams

Home Sweet Home Inspections
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(as of 3/25/07)
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User: jwilliams4
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 1:20 PM       Post Subject:
I'm assuming the clog was in a drain. The faucet is on the water

supply. There is no relation between the two. They are not connected.

Plunging cannot build up nearly the pressure that the water supply

can. If the water pressure did not burst the faucet, then neither will

the plunger.

All this happened before you moved in and was kept hidden from

you and your roomie. Methinks and attorney is in order.

--
"not just an inspection, but an education"

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Jae Williams

Home Sweet Home Inspections
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(as of 3/25/07)
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User: jwilliams4
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 1:22 PM       Post Subject:
Say, is there a good law school in New Haven? icon_wink.gif icon_wink.gif

You might consult a law student there.

--
"not just an inspection, but an education"

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Kelly Conrad
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(as of 3/25/07)
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Posts: 4
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 1:25 PM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
It wasn't hidden from us, per se. They told us a few days before we were to move in, and we had the option of moving to a different apartment, but we liked this one. We were told they would be cleaning up the mold and the basement, but it wasn't until 4 months later and under the threat of calling the Health Department that they actually took any action.

And, yes, New Haven has a little school called Yale, which has a law school... maybe I should make some new friends there, too! icon_wink.gif
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Justo Mickey Rivera

Shield Home Inspections
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Posts: 318
User: jrivera
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 1:31 PM       Post Subject:
You might want to try some type of housing authority in the county or city where you live, as far as tenants rights go. Seek out a real estate atty. (ouch).

Get a dehumidifier thats for sure.

Doesn't sound like good ventilation, got a picture of the bath and kitchen area.

How about windows?
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Kelly Conrad
NACHI Member: No
(as of 3/25/07)
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Posts: 4
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 1:37 PM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
I've attached pictures of the kitchen, it has one window and a door to the outside, and there's an opening into the dining room (last picture). The ventilation is ok-- if we're using the stove top usually have to have the window open and a mini fan going, because the smoke detectors are so sensitive, but as we don't cook much it's not a big deal for us. The bathroom is really the room with the ventilation problem, I'll attach pictures of that once the workers leave (I have people in the basement right now taking out the moldy walls!)

[ Image: Kitchen Windows ]
[ Image: Kitchen Sink ]
[ Image: Dining Room ]
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David Valley

Certified Massachusetts Home Inspections
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User: dvalley
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 4:28 PM       Post Subject:
If the smoke detectors are that sensitive...Replace them with better quality.

--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

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Jay Moge
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Posts: 694
Posted: Nov 9, 2005 10:11 PM       Post Subject:

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sounds like you've got some serious issues. just becarefull and mindfull of the fact that you guys have to live there and pay rent to these people. don't piss 'em off to much, but make them take care of the issues. i am a maintenace superviser at a large complex in N.H. with 360 units. i see every issue immaginable, and yours is no different but no less important either. use some people skills and kill 'em with kindness, but don't let up. they'll end up fixing everything just to shut you up. good luck icon_cool.gif icon_wink.gif
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A. Dan Leleika

A-Team Home Inspections
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User: aleleika
Posted: Nov 11, 2005 12:22 PM       Post Subject:
Kelly,

Sounds like you opened a can of worms when you threatened the landlord about the water damage. He needs to keep his promise to you in regards to this.

You say the railing broke when you were moving furniture down the stairs? Sounds like you broke it and this is what the landlord is saying to you...Probably your responsibility.

In most towns and cities across the country it is against the law to remove or disable a smoke detector in a residence. Sounds like your landlord knows this...this is also on you. If you want to find out about this, get in touch with your city's building and codes department and talk with a city inspector.

My suggestion is to keep pushing the issue on the water clean-up, but make sure you yourself aren't doing anything wrong for the landlord to get back at you.
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