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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Water Damage? [Jan. 3rd, 2006|10:36 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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Went into bedroom, dark.

Turned on light.... still dark.

Oh, dimmer's down. Turn up dimmer.... all lights go off.

Go to breaker panel: yup, broken. flip off, flip on, immediate breaks again. Odd.

Go turn off all lights, repeat: when at 50% dim, while dimming up, lights go out.

Repeat, only turn on side bedroom lights, not main one. Look up there for something obvious (hah, yeah right) shorting it. And I find:

WATER

The whole ceiling fixture (an upside down bowl of sorts) is full of water.

(ohfuck)

Gutted an ethernet cable, got a turkey baster, got a bowl.... squeeze, pinch, release... suck suck suck, filled a huge bowl full of water. Brown/copperish water.

Closed door to bedroom, turned on portable heater which dries the air out.

Called the architect to ask him where it's coming from. No answer, left message. The upstairs (two floors above) deck was flooded[1] when we returned from Oregon, which shares a drainage system to lower deck, above which is our bedroom... maybe it's that? But if so, what else is fucked? Is water in the walls, ceilings? etc. (scared.)

Called mortage broker through whom we bought extra 30-day insurance (tomorrow or next day is 30 days, depending on {in,ex}clusivity, 31 day month, etc). No answer, left message.

Put in paper towels to get residual water.

Slowly turned up dimmer on the light over the course of an hour.... it's now fully bright and not shorting. (let it warm up and get rid of moisture....)

Waiting for follow-up calls tomorrow. Hopefully we're not too fucked.

Fun, fun.

[1] San Francisco (and much of the west coast) got a shitload of rain over the past couple of weeks. One day the wind was so bad it blew construction scraps from across the street from Six Apart onto our office's roof and knocked out power .... we came home to garbage cans blown over all down the street, several of which were in our driveway. etc, etc. Bad storms.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: newscane
2006-01-04 06:42 am (UTC)
Did you buy an additional home warranty or anything like that?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-01-04 06:43 am (UTC)
I have normal homeowner's insurance, but we also got some additional thing through the escrow company for 30 days. Not sure all the official terms for it all.
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[User Picture]From: newscane
2006-01-04 07:08 am (UTC)
Ah, gotcha. I'm getting a one-year home warranty paid for by the mortgage company (the developer's preferred lender) for my condo.
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[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2006-01-04 06:43 am (UTC)

We just had to email our landlord today, we've had water damage to our bedroom and office after the storm... The window frames are ancient and started leaking orange water in the bedroom, making black mold grow all over said frames... It's been impossible to sleep comfortably since, because of the spores in the air, and the smell. We spent last night on the couch. Thank you, old San Francisco... A small earthquake and I bet our building would be wood chips. Not the most comforting thought...
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[User Picture]From: grumpy_sysadmin
2006-01-05 12:21 am (UTC)

Mold cleanup.

FEMA published this related to NOLA, but some tips on getting rid of mold:

http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=14352
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[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2006-01-05 12:23 am (UTC)

Re: Mold cleanup.

Thanks ! Good stuff.
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[User Picture]From: eqe
2006-01-04 08:08 am (UTC)
and shit

Alas for folks for whom that's literally true. When a storm floods the septic sewers, the unlucky homeowner who happens to be at the wrong pipe junction can find their basement newly home to a poop fountain.
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[User Picture]From: erik
2006-01-04 06:45 am (UTC)
I sympathize. I just got done dealing with not one but two water incidents here at my new apartment. The first of which was right where all of my DVDs and books were going to be, and the second one was right where my entire entertainment center (receiver, DVD player, cable box, HDTV, Xbox, and PS2 were going to go. Luckily (I guess) both incidents happened before I moved those items into place, but if either one had happened a week later I would've been up shit creek.
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[User Picture]From: dakus
2006-01-04 06:46 am (UTC)
At least it's not a broken pipe!

I'm recalling something Frank Lloyd Wright said to a client when they called about a leaking roof..."Move the chair."
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[User Picture]From: midendian
2006-01-04 07:09 am (UTC)
Wnght

Strange that there would be OCR errors in that...
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[User Picture]From: dakus
2006-01-04 07:33 am (UTC)
Gut catch...huh, it *is* a magazine...I just let my sub lapse last year. You think they OCR that onto the web? Berry strange...

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[User Picture]From: grumpy_sysadmin
2006-01-05 12:23 am (UTC)
Stranger still given that any spellchecker would have caught it.
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[User Picture]From: grumpy_sysadmin
2006-01-05 12:33 am (UTC)
This is reminiscent of a similarly eccentric genius: Cray.

He was confronted by a customer (the US gov't, if memory serves) with the fact that, over many test with a variety of entrance variables, a simple mathematical hardware function (divide, if memory serves) was correct less than 100% of the time. After analyzing the problem (Cray was called in on this kind of trouble with his computers periodically, and was known to show up at a customer's site, see a problem, open the cabinet, and move one wire, identical to the others in the vast circular web inside, from one socketed point to another, correcting the problem), Cray (who, when stuck on an engineering problem, was known to work on tunnels in his backyard, and who would state that "the gnomes in the tunnels told him" when people asked where he came up with something) responded:

"Divide is better fast than right."

(Because making the hardware function right 100% of the time would make it slower than simply performing the calculation twice, comparing and, if they were different, performing it a third time to decide which was correct.)

Other Crayisms include his algorithm for purchasing a car:
  1. Go to nearest automobile dealership.
  2. Select vehicle closest to door.
  3. Purchase that vehicle.
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[User Picture]From: dakus
2006-01-05 01:24 am (UTC)
I'v heard of this calculate twice, third if they don't agree. A show on NASA or JPL maybe...perhaps a NOVA episode on the rovers? Is that a common error ck?

Good story!
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[User Picture]From: grumpy_sysadmin
2006-01-05 04:23 am (UTC)
When your error rate is below something I'm not going to state (because I'm not a statistician), three times is Enough in the same way that SHA1 is Enough (even with its range decreased by recent developments, it's really still Enough for any application where I've seen it used, data warehouses included).
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[User Picture]From: daberna
2006-01-04 07:31 am (UTC)
Welcome to the splendor that was my vacation....
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[User Picture]From: alohawolf
2006-01-04 07:40 am (UTC)
I was up at the Oracle Campus in Pleasanton last saturday, and we had birds flying backwards.
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[User Picture]From: xaosenkosmos
2006-01-04 08:51 am (UTC)
Hopefully the warranty/insurance covers water damage. I know for floods that's not the case (lived near the Mississippi in '93), but i'm not certain about rain damage =\

(Glad the siphoning trick helped, at least.)
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[User Picture]From: scsi
2006-01-04 04:46 pm (UTC)
If I remember right, your bedroom is on the top floor.

Go up into the attic (you have an attic right?) and start from there to find out where the leak is. You'll be able to tell where the insulation is wet, and the wood will look different.

Then work your way downwards.

I have to deal with my front porch leaking (still) after we had it fixed. Ah the joys of home ownership. That storm was pretty bad though.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-01-04 06:12 pm (UTC)
Bedroom is bottom-most floor. No attic... vaulted ceilings upstairs.
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[User Picture]From: bitwise
2006-01-04 05:02 pm (UTC)
Even if the problem appears to go away, you might consider having someone in to look around for more damage. Especially because it's possible to start a nice batch of mold growing in the walls, and you can cause yourself some nasty indoor air quality issues.

Unfortunately, the best way to check for mold is probably for someone to actually start poking holes in the walls/ceiling.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-01-04 06:12 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, the best way to check for mold is probably for someone to actually start poking holes in the walls/ceiling.

That was my fear. :-(
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From: dangerousedge
2006-01-04 08:49 pm (UTC)

Or, you can simply wait until the mold starts growing...

This was my landlord's strategy after I endured several months of roof leaks. The leaks flooded the bathroom and then travelled through a crawlspace in the ceiling which ended by seeping down the length & width of a stairwell wall, which is also the load-bearing plaster & brick exterior wall of the building, and the entrance of my apartment which begins at the bottom of the stairs.

Of course, the ineffective roofer was finally fired after 15 unsuccessful "repairs" when I told the landlord if the roofer was going to spend another half a month living out of my bedroom window to access Tar Beach without results, he could pay half of my rent.

The roofer's failure effectively resulted in mold spores covering a 10' x 20' area on the stairwell wall, which could've killed my friend undergoing chemo at that time, if she had visited.

Even after hiring a new and professional roofer (who repaired the roof) and a mold abatement professional, the wall slowly revealed new blistering under the paint months later - signs that there is mold still growing underneath. Maybe the abatement guy is related to the original roofer?

Good luck!
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From: divelog
2006-01-04 10:55 pm (UTC)

Don't worry

This isn't your responsibility if it's a condo - this should be handled by the HOA as it's an interstital space. It should also be covered by the upstairs owner's homeowner policy which hopefully they have.

A unit's washer hose broke in my building, flooding the unit downstairs, the upstairs unit owner was completely responsible. For once, insurance works.
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From: divelog
2006-01-04 10:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Don't worry

Oh you can also rent an IR camera to check the extent of the damage - the cooler areas show where the water has infiltrated.
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