Last week, I rode the elevator in our building with two other tenants, who live on the floor above my girlfriend and me. Their apartment had recently suffered some severe damage because the person in the apartment above theirs left his tub running, meaning the water overflowed and rushed into their unit. Walls were ruined, switches and outlets had shorted out, and at least one mouse was flushed out of their walls (resulting in a high-pitched scream to the super, “Manny, help! A mouse!”). I felt bad for these guys, but I was equally glad it wasn’t me. Well, not equally, but I really did feel bad for them.
Of course, karma being what it is, we experienced our own gravity- and water-related issue last night. Around seven, the cat bolted from the living room to the bathroom at precisely the same moment we heard a strange trickling sound. When we got to the bathroom, we noticed a steady stream of water dripping from the middle of our bathroom ceiling. I immediately called the super while girlfriend went to grab our mop bucket. Our super, who is actually really helpful, was up almost immediately. He took one look at the stream, shook his head, and excused himself to check something out.
I should mention at this point that there is some extensive renovation going on in the apartment above ours. I haven’t seen it, but based on noise at 8am, I’m guessing they’re installing a heavy manufacturing plant. During this installation, they apparently did some damage to the old water pipes as they were laying new plumbing for the remodeled industrial bathroom, and the result was a small crack at a junction with some possible damage to a main line. The super turned off the water to the apartment and told us it should be fine.
We thanked him and returned to watching Bones on Netflix. At about 9, we heard what sounded like the same trickle. There was water coming from the same spot on the ceiling, but the stream had amped itself up like A-Rod after a trip to Miami. Not only was there more volume, but there were more spots leaking water, coming from the corners of the ceiling, down the wall with the light switch, and pouring down the outside of the radiator pipe. Manny appeared again after another call, and decided to shut off the cold water main to our entire section of the building. Eventually the water did stop, although not before we emptied around 10 gallons into the bathtub. The upshot? The water would have to remain off until the pipe got fixed when the reno crew got back to work in the morning.
Manny did tell us that their first order of business after fixing the plumbing was repairing our bathroom. As of this writing, our water is back on, but the crew has not been down to fix the bathroom. It’s not necessarily a huge deal, especially since we can once again flush our toilet, but it does smell kind of funky, and we have several spots where the drywall looks like it melted, plus one big, uncomfortably anatomically-shaped hole from the main leak. All in all, it could have been worse—much worse. We moved all our belongings that could have been damaged, including an emergency disassembly of our hutch over the toilet. We had enough towels to stop the flow from seeping into the rest of the apartment. Best of all, we didn’t flush out mice or any other vermin. I’m not sure girlfriend would have been able to look at me the same after hearing me scream “Manny, help! A mouse!”