Wood enclosed porch + water + subzero temps = ??
December 17, 2016 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Tenant issue, convencing landlord and her "handy" cousin to do the right thing whatever that is.

As far as we can tell, "handy" cousin on first floor repairing bathroom things caused pressure overload on 2nd floor water heater. (Mr. Handy does not think this) Lots of water was dispelled on second floor porch and first floor porch, soaking basic wood flooring on both stories of the building. (Mr handy has decided to take a 'wait and see approach' to the water heater, as no obvious source of leak was discovered) Stepping on porch produces little puddles. The porch is technically enclosed, but more like enclosed with dry wall because the porch doesn't meet code, than actually a nice little area. There is no heating on this porch.

So , the temps are dropping in Chicago with the low of -10 F tomorrow night, with wind chills approaching - 30.

As far as my knowledge ice expands, this wood is old and not treated (in the last 20 years or so) = no good.

There aren't even blowers out there.

So, my landlord is open for suggestions, but I'm not sure what to say aside from your a cheap idiot and this is going to bite you in the ass.

What should I say? How much should I worry?
posted by AlexiaSky to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
New water heater obtained, nothing on floors.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:24 PM on December 17, 2016

So, from what I can understand, no ongoing leakage inside, just a bunch of water, now frozen, out there on the porches? I agree with Mr. Handy, just wait and see. Nothing you can do about it until it thaws, anyway.
posted by beagle at 6:04 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hasn't frozen yet.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:28 PM on December 17, 2016

Stay off the porch. It's unstable and likely to collapse after this winter if the wood is that saturated.

Take pics and video.

In the spring, report this to the building department. You need an inspector.

Alternative is to hire an engineer. Give the engineer report + the pics and video to your landlord.

For now, get a rent decrease for the space you can't use. Make your landlord come do an inspection in person with you ASAP. Def send them pics and video.

While it's not fixable in the short term, the structure sounds massively unsafe and you can't use it, so you should not pay rent on that space. And I'm not kidding, stay off of it.
posted by jbenben at 6:38 PM on December 17, 2016

Stay off the porch. It's unstable and likely to collapse after this winter if the wood is that saturated.

No. Water does not immediately destroy wooden structures. If there isn't an ongoing leak then chances are that the water will simply evaporate as weather and ventilation permit, and it'll be much like it was before. The flooring might be a little more uneven, and if the drywall got soaked then it might be soft in spots. Worst case scenario is there'll be a bit of mold, if the drywall stays wet for long enough. If it's not your house then your biggest concern is probably that you won't want to use the porch for a while.
posted by jon1270 at 7:11 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

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