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BIG PROBLEM!!!
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BIG PROBLEM!!! - June 13, 2008, 01:48 PM

So Sharon and I are in a bad spot over here at the condo. We are in a ground level unit, which I own. Last night at about 3am Sharon woke up and noticed that our bedroom floor was soaking wet about 4' out from the wall that is adjacent to the porch outside. We went outside and there was about a quarter inch of water on the concrete! My first thought was someone AC was leaking down above us, but after talking to the girl above us, her unit dry as a bone.

I had the property manager come over this morning and after looking around for about 5 mins said he was dumbfounded and couldnt figure out where the water was coming from (no signs of water in the walls or on the ceiling, no water mains running under the building, HVAC unit checks out). He went back to his office and called me shortly after to tell me that it wasnt their problem since there was no explanation as where it was coming from. Well, I pulled the carpet back and there is a FUCKING CRACK IN THE FOUNDATION running clear through my bedroom. I always knew there was a crack on the patio, but figured it was just poorly layed concrete seperate and aside from the foundation of the unit. After pulling the carpet in the bedroom back though, I now see that the crack on the patio runs all the way into my room. Clearly some ground water has come up and settled on the patio and under my carpet. What I need to know is what I can expect moving forward. Clearly some structural engineers need to come out and assess this issue.

Considering I am paying a mortgage on the place, I need to ensure I take all the necessary steps to protect my investment. I mean what happens if they condemn the unit (or entire building)!? What does this mean as far as our living situation/resale? Sure, they are going to send their guys out, but should I seek a third party assessment? I dont want them giving me a cheap, quick fix here. I am protected through my homeowners insurance, but honestly...this is the association's issue considering the problem is structural. I just want to make sure I know all the right questions I need to be asking and pressuring the right people to get out of this one on top. I have a sinking suspicion that we have a LONG road ahead of us.

Here you can see the crack running across the patio:




And into my unit:


Here is the view from the other side of the wall (in the bedroom):




At this point we dont know how far back it runs.

Last edited by JTG40cal; June 13, 2008 at 02:27 PM..
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June 13, 2008, 01:54 PM

Oh my dear LORD!!! Someone please give Justin some good news!!!

This really sucks guys!


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June 13, 2008, 01:58 PM

Sorry to hear man.

First thing, take lots of photos, and re contact the management. he needs to further investigate.

i will call a few people to ask on what to do on this situation...

i hope the crack you saw is just a surface hairline.
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June 13, 2008, 02:06 PM

That sounds like a structural issue that should be covered the the condo insurance's master policy (the same as if the roof caved in). You should have a condo association book that includes a copy of the policy (although it may be outdated) and their information.

1. Call the property manager to come back and show him what you discovered. You are lucky that there is someone that came out to you so fast, and that you know who this someone is and had their number.

2. In a perfect world, he would say, "Oh, ok, let me see if our insurance covers foundational/settlement defects," which it should and he should file a claim immediately to get THEIR investigators out to your place.

3. Since this world is far from perfect, try to call the insurance company yourself to tell them about the problem, ie, file a claim. Since you, in essence, are part owner (of one unit in a sea of many) and not THE condo association, they may not allow this but I believe it's worth a try.

4. You've probably already done this but make sure your own personal property isn't damaged; whatever homeowners insurance you have is likely akin to renter's insurance, which only covers your property--and check to see if it's covered as a result of a flood! Because a lot of people forgo flood insurance or never ask.

Ditto about taking pictures. Good luck. The joys of homeownership.


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June 13, 2008, 02:09 PM

Justin, sorry man. I guess you have to hope that since structural stuff affects everyone in the building and not just you, you might get some help via the association. I have no experience with these matters though. Hope it turns out as well as possible.


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June 13, 2008, 02:15 PM

Good luck sorting this out. It's a total bummer I'm sure. I would certainly reach out to at least one non biased contractor to evaluate the situation.

They will most likely come out and fill it with hydraulic cement.

http://www.unitex-chemicals.com/cata...c_cement.shtml


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June 13, 2008, 02:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude
Justin, sorry man. I guess you have to hope that since structural stuff affects everyone in the building and not just you, you might get some help via the association. I have no experience with these matters though. Hope it turns out as well as possible.
That's a really good point, check with your neighbor in line with the crack and see if he/she has the same problem, it will make a great case, in the chance there are any problems.

As far as resale, when you fill out the Disclosure/Disclaimer form with your agent, your two opens are to, of course, Disclose or Disclaim. If I were you, I would disclose what happened and that it was repaired, keeping proof of the repair/claim from insurance. My clients usually are particular about "only wanting a ground unit" or "wanting anything but a ground unit" so if it's a buyer looking at your unit, I'd still be confident about it, if I were you.


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June 13, 2008, 02:26 PM

It sounds like the polyfilm moisture barrier under the concrete has broken and you are experiencing hydrostatic pressure. If you own the unit you need to see if the slab is still under warranty from the concrete company. If it isnt then you need to repair this as soon as possible because chances are everytime it rains it it going to happen. If you are a renter it falls on the owner of the buiding to correct the slab condition because clearly it is a structural fault.


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Last edited by GUZZ; June 13, 2008 at 02:28 PM..
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June 13, 2008, 02:27 PM

Pics in first post.
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June 13, 2008, 02:39 PM

That sucks, maybe try to get your insurance to fix it or atleast see if they have a contractor they could recommen to come out and look at it. That why if the property manager does have it fixed you can compare it to your guy vs theirs, just to make sure they are not going to do a quick job just to cover it up.
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June 13, 2008, 02:44 PM

Justin,

As a realtor (that's my other job ) and a home owner that has dealt with water in my basement please make sure you have the proper insurance in place that will cover mold damage due to water as well. With the humidity right now and all that water probably getting on the drywall, mold will grow within days and will cost anywhere from $5000-10000 to fix depending on your square footage down there.

I'm going to call some people to find out what can be done about the structural issue. I'll let you know.


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June 13, 2008, 02:47 PM

oh snap

good luck justin!
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June 13, 2008, 02:51 PM

Justin,

I have sent you a PM. call me. There may be ways to fix this using a 2 part polyeurea epoxy. I will talk you to you on the phone. I dont want to invite the regular DCSBN armchair know it all debating club members to argue about this.


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June 13, 2008, 02:51 PM

When it comes to Condo ownership, (typically) they own the building and you own the "insides". If Termites were to infest the walls, it is the managements responsibility.... so, I dont see why this would be any different.
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June 13, 2008, 03:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUZZLER
Justin,

I have sent you a PM. call me. There may be ways to fix this using a 2 part polyeurea epoxy. I will talk you to you on the phone. I dont want to invite the regular DCSBN armchair know it all debating club members to argue about this.

Probably a good idea Guzzler.

Hopefully the vapor barrier is in tact and the problem can be fixed without extreme measures. Good luck man I hope it all works out for you.


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