Sunday, January 11, 2009

If I can't swim after forty days

When last we spoke, my dishwasher had broken, followed straight away by a mysterious backup in the kitchen sink. Badness.

So for the next couple of days after that, the sink kept filling up with hot, greasy water and food debris at random times, prompting me to call the management office twice and ask for someone to come out and look at it. It had drained and was empty on Thursday morning, but when G and I got home from her school fundraiser on Thursday night, it had not only backed up again, but spilled over and flooded the kitchen.

At that point I threw every towel we own down on the floor and called the maintenance emergency number. About half an hour later, the repair guy arrived, somewhat grudgingly (WTF? Is a flood not an emergency? It was last time I checked.) He discovered that either the upstairs or next-door neighbor's garbage disposal was clogged, and their rinse water and ground-up food was coming up in our sink. Ugh! He then disappeared for about 10 minutes and in his absence, the sink made a horrible sucking, gurgling sound and drained for good, leaving behind a mess that looked exactly like stomach contents -- remnants of shredded chicken and rice and some gooey yellow stuff and a sort of red grease. Double ugh!

I spent the next hour and a half scrubbing this glurge out of the sink and off the counter top, throwing away water-damaged items, sopping up standing water on the floor and in the cupboard under the sink, and mopping the tile, gagging all the time because it was just so gross. My own ground-up leftovers would have been bad enough, but this felt like a stranger had strolled in, puked in the kitchen, and left me to clean up the mess.

Anyway, I finally got everything to an acceptable level of cleanliness, but that wasn't the end of my troubles. I'd noticed that the carpet around the edges of the kitchen felt damp, but it wasn't soaked, so I wasn't too worried. Well, apparently "damp" is just as bad as "soaked," because when G and I got home on Friday evening, I opened the front door and was nearly knocked over by the smell of mold that blasted out. I've spent the last two days airing and drying and cleaning, but it still reeks -- downstairs worse than upstairs, but you can smell it everywhere. In addition to the runoff from the tile, I'm fairly sure that water seeped through the dividing wall between the kitchen and the living room and wet the carpet behind the big armoire that holds our television. I can't move the armoire to find out (last time we moved, it took three or four men to shift it) but it feels pretty clammy back there.

The weird thing is that I've been plagued by water problems in the last two places I've lived. In the triplex where we lived with P, we had to get the pots and pans out to catch drips every time it rained, the bathroom ceiling collapsed on me because of a leak in the standpipe, and two days after G and I moved out, a pipe under the kitchen sink burst and flooded the living room with 40 gallons of boiling water. Since we've lived here, the tub in G's bathroom has developed a leak that poured down the outside wall of the building, the hall ceiling has flooded and sagged from air-conditioner overflow, and now this. I don't really believe in ghosts, but if I did, I'd be wondering whether some poor drowned person was trying to send me a message!


foxychao said...

Oh my God!!! That's horrible. Well, the good news is the cat sand stain issue is almost a non-issue compare to this. Yikes.

Ok, the water thing is super strange.

Shelley said...

Egads Girl ...that is weird. But, that said, hope your management is handling the situation to your satisfaction now. They need to step up.

And eeeeewwwww!

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