Mystery solved

8:27 PM

A few weeks ago I was writing about some weird water seepage problem in my living room and my trying hard to track the source of the leak in vain.

Well since that post, the wall started growing more crystals, a second wet patch appeared on the bottom of the wall, the ceiling on the balcony started dripping filling about 3 glasses of water in 24 hours, green fungus appeared in some of the wet spot, and 2 weeks ago it was totally unexplained wet patches right smack in the middle of my living room’s ceiling that made their debut, a few days of observing them made me think that my first thought of the whole issue being related to the use of an AC came back to the top of my mind because said wet patches would start spreading in the evening and disappear during the morning to only re-appear the next evening.
To summarize the saga, DH did go to our upstairs neighbours when the whole problem started to be told that they hardly ever used the AC and that we should just bear with the water seepage since the building is plagued with these in the bathroom…never mind that our leak is in a wall that has no pipes in the living room. Since DH found no evidence of any leak upstairs he asked the society manager to do his bit and check things, which he whined about saying that he was fed up hearing the same story about all the residents. At this point we of course resigned ourselves to the fact our living room wall would look like a science experiment, but wanted to make sure that our landlord at least was kept in the loop and sent pictures of the damage to him, with him replying he would escalate it with the society manager. Weeks passed, and the ceiling blotches appeared, which I documented again in pictures, and today I got a visit from the society manager and the plumber to check the extent of the damage. They both agreed that it had to come from upstairs so they asked me to accompany them to the flat above mine. I had a odd vibe that it would not go to well, so I stayed behind them letting them take the blow, and I was right, an old auntie barked in their face to please come the next morning as she didn’t want us in, the manager fortunately seemed used to that kind of resistance and informed her that he was just investigating a leak issue and wanted to check if they were having signs of seepage in their living room in an effort to properly trace the source of the leak, it seemed to have worked, they inspected the kitchen and living room in peace, until the younger lady, probably the daughter or daughter in law of the auntie in question started lecturing me aggressively on how it was a perpetual issue in the building and to stop bothering about it and not disturb them…at this point I had been staying silently in the background, wishing I was not there while the two men carried their inspection and asked to have access to the “flower bed” outside the balcony to check their split AC connection as they seemed to have found something suspicious with it, at first the lady tried to refuse to give them the key that shuts their window, but gave up quickly.
By then I had time to have a very good look at the flat: completely redone, clad in expensive marble, plaster of Paris moulding everywhere to make it look like a palace, balcony taken inside the flat, new non standard sliding windows…and ta-da the infamous split AC unit that they swore to DH’s face was never used on at full blast in a living room nobody was using until we arrived. The plumber came back inside informing the auntie that their split AC had no condensation draining pipe peaking outside the external wall as it should. She dismissed it saying that it could not be an AC damaging the walls and asked them to leave and do their job fixing the rooftop, they insisted she bring it up with her son, and she agreed, though seriously it sounded like a fake agreement to me. Now while I do not doubt the roof might need a check up, the building has 7 floors, and I live on the 3rd, and I am the only one with any water seepage in the living room in that row, a seepage so bad that water drips in a bucket in such substantial amount I can empty it daily, something that if the damage was on the roof would have affected all the other residents but has affected only me.
seeing that the lady was going to bite the manager and the plumber left with me and offered to give me a better explanation out of earshot from the bullies in my own flat.
So it seems that when my lovely upstairs neighbour installed their split AC they didn’t install a draining pipe to carry the typical condensation water out, while all people usually have a green pipe following the power line to carry such water in the storm water drain, theirs have no sign of it even existing, meaning that their AC has been draining water directly in the wall against which the unit is fixed to the point of soaking the whole wall wet and finding it’s way through the concrete natural cracks all the way to my place where the water found an escape considering I am the proud owner of typical rental flat cheap painted flats that let moisture seep out, while they clad theirs in mouldings, and vinyl paint.
At this point the society manager told me that as a tenant I don’t have much weight against them so he advised me to bring the result of the investigation with my landlord so he could in turn lodge a formal complaint with the cooperative and that we will have to see where it goes from there.
Frankly I have no hope at all of the problem getting solved, the neighbours are in aggressive denial mode, and unless someone forces their way in and break their wall and force them to install their AC properly, my flat will continue dripping away during the hot season as it seems they need the AC in there almost 24/7 even on a day like today which was a cool one as the monsoon seems to have arrived.
I took recent pictures today, and we sent them to the landlord along with the update on the situation, at least we are documenting the issue and saving our asses on the security deposit front, since now we all know who is responsible for the damage in our living room.
So the Mystery of the leak is indeed solved, the resolution of the issue is still pending, and probably will pend for a very long time judging the attitude of the neighbours in question.

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  1. Beatrix4:55 PM

    We had a friend who bought a beautiful & expensive new flat in Kathmandu who had the same problem. All the units in the new 5 story building had AC's with no drainage for condensation. (The flats were sold fully furnished with AC's, fridges, mattresses, even bedding.) So when the hot humid summer hit & everyone cranked their AC's, water streamed down the walls & puddled on the floor in all the units. The gorgeous teak floors & built in mahogany cabinetry were ruined in all the units.
    How dumb.
    By the way, the swanky new flat we bought in a posh suburb of Delhi that was supposed to be ready in November 2012?
    Well, we just received word that it 'MIGHT' be ready in September 2013.
    No excuse was given.
    Makes me wonder how much interest the builder is making on the $100K USD downpayment we put down on the place in January 1012?

  2. Beatrix4:57 PM

    Oops that was supposed to be 'January 2012'

  3. UGH! that's a huge delay in delivery of the flat! Is there a way to lodge a complaint against the builder for late delivery?
    Sadly the AC issue in our case is owner problem, they or had no idea the installer didn't put a pipe (which somehow I doubt was the case), or they decided to do without a pie for a reason or another, ranging from them being too good to pay the extra back for the draining hose, to their not wanting a hose to be bothered about because well you know...they are ugly! Anything is possible, but both hubby and I tend to think our neighbours are the type that think they are above the rest and can do whatever they want, so we are leaving it all in the hand of our landlord at this point, we found the origin of the leak, we made sure it was mentionned on the reccords, documented the thing, so that at least the damage cost will not be pushed on us. Now if the leak continue expanding and end up damaging any of my furnitures...well we'll know where to present the bill and if they still deny the problem comes from them, it's going to turn ugly. But let's knock on wood that no damage comes to my stuff.

  4. Beatrix3:06 PM

    Part of the contract for the flat states the builder must pay us $300 for every month the completion is delayed.
    We have yet to see a penny of that money.
    Dear husband says they better pay out the full amount when we take possession of the flat, OR Else!!!!

  5. Shanti1:48 PM

    Lol..I cant believe they wont fix it If it continues to happen their own wall might get weaker and weaker and collapse some day. Why dont you have a say in it? I mean they too are tenants right?

  6. No they own the flat they are living in and they dis spend a significant amount of money to throw the right kind of show in their common areas (and the bedrooms which I got a glimps off are old and plain looking). They started by breaking the exterior wall to take the balcony in their living room, put mouldings absolutely everwhere in a Maharaja palace way. And yes they are stupid because by not wanting to fix their AC snafu the wall is going to grow weaker and affect the whole structure of the building, so I don't get why they are fussing, or even why the society manager is not putting pressure on them. The laughable bit we found out this weekend, is that while the monsoon finally hit is bringing a blast of cold air that had pretty much every normal people open their windows and switch off their AC units rejoicing at thought of lower electricity bill, they kept their living room AC on full blast which in about 95% humidity resulted in a creation of brand new blotches in our ceiling! At this point DH and I are starting to think that maybe our upstairs neighbours aren't human and would disolve if exposed to any kind of humidity :)
    I myself hope that their using the AC still without fixing it is going to start eating through their paint job and mouldings soon, at whcih point they will inevitably complain to the manager and be reminded that the damage is one of their own making.

  7. Leakages are a major bone of contention between people living in multi storey apartment. In our society the managing committee made a rule that the expenditure has to be shared between both the flats i.e. the one which is the orginator and the one which is getting affected. Sometimes, more than one flat is affected, so they all have to pool their money together. However, it is easier said than done. These problems compound when your own flat starts leaking while you are facing leakages from some other flat.

  8. The problem in this case is that that neighbour installed a split ac in a room where doing so mean compromising and having a pipe pass somewhere were it would be visible. but for some reason chose not to have a drainage pipe without any regards forwhat it would do to the rest of the building. so yes makes sense to split the cost in case of a building pipe problem. but here they are the sole responsible party. the problem is they also refuse to accept it and do anything about it.


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