Inspector Who? Inspector What?
August 7, 2017 3:34 PM   Subscribe

My 4th floor walk-up co-op apartment in NYC has sprouted a number of cracks in the sheet rock. I'm looking for the right kind of expert to help me figure out what is causing this problem before I go fixing it.

My 4th floor walk-up co-op apartment in NYC has sprouted a number of cracks in the sheet rock. This is sheet rock that covers the brick wall. This has been an ongoing problem for several years and bubbling in the paint makes me think water is involved in some way.

Before I go through the process of fixing the sheet rock and repainting, I would like to get to the bottom of what's causing these cracks in the first place. The property managers just want to send over the super and that's fine, but I don't expect that he'll have quite enough expertise to figure this all out. I want to get more of an expert in to look at things.

So what kind of expert am I looking for exactly? It's not obvious is this is a plumbing issue (with radiators), masonry problem (bricks need pointing), something else.

I would love to hear from some construction experts here with what kind of person I should call. And if you have particular recommendations in the NYC area, I would appreciate those too.
posted by brookeb to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
If you are the top floor, and the bubbling is on the ceiling you would want the roof checked.... However it also depends on how old your building is... Old buildings settle particularly when there is other new construction around and it can wreak havoc on walls; my landlord is generally much less concerned about wall cracks than ceiling stuff.

I rent, and my landlord usually sends around the Super within a day, then if needed, he and a general contractor he uses come through to figure out if anything needs to be done.

I try to be home for both visits, and sometimes there's really not much they can do.

not a landlord, just have lived in a top floor apt with cracked walls
posted by larthegreat at 5:32 AM on August 8, 2017

Not a construction expert but I am a NYC coop owner. . . I think you DO want the building management to send the super over, even if you don't necessarily trust her/his expertise. Whether you ultimately want a second opinion or not, you are going to need the building management on board with whatever remediation plan you end up going with AND most importantly, if it is originating from the other side of your interior paint you may not be solely financially responsible for fixing it. I am not a real estate lawyer and have never seen your coop bylaws or proprietary lease, but if your building is like ours, then this would be a building problem, not an owner/unit problem.

It sounds like you live in a smaller building, so YMMV but do know that this stuff gets very expensive very quickly, and unless it presents a bigger threat to the buildings structural integrity or other owners' units, you may not get a huge response from the building.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:42 AM on August 8, 2017

« Older Talk me down from buying all the things   |   Help when will Delicious let me export my... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.