Thursday, August 30, 2012

The leak is back.

I've avoided this post for a LONG time.  It's been sitting there in my "to do" list for months.  You remember that stupid leak that was plaguing us?  Well, it is back.  For those of you who aren't faithful daily readers, here's the time line:

1.  Moved into apartment.
2.  After 1 month, noticed growing wet spot on the ceiling in our 2nd bathroom.  It quickly turned into peeling paint and then mold.
3.  Talked to almost everyone in the building and at the rental company, and found out this leak has been an issue for well over 1 year.  But they rental company/owner just kindly painted over the problem and were grateful to get some stupid Americans in the place to pay rent.
4.  Ranted.  Raved.   Made threats.  Enlisted help.  Called daily.  But FINALLY got the leak repaired, and the mold/damaged paint removed and entire situation "fixed."  Hooray!  We felt so proud and happy that we had achieved something. 
5.  Two months later, the leak/peeling paint/mold returned. 
6.  Called the rental company.  And they actually came back in a timely matter and began fixing the leak. 
7.  After one month, the ceiling in the bathroom looks as good as new!
8.  After 2 days (Yes!  TWO DAY!!!!), the water returns.  At this point THERE IS NO ONE LIVING ABOVE US.  It is a mystery as to why there is any water running upstairs.  My husband thinks that the owner of the apartment upstairs has come in the middle of the night and dumped water on the floor just to spite us.  I have to concur, because I can't come up with any other logical conclusion.
9.  We call the rental company.  The "fix it guy" is mad.  Maybe he will get things done???
10.  The rental company calls us back 1 week later to ask if the wet spot has dried and the leak has stopped leaking.  My husband said that it was still wet.  They ask us to call back when it's dry.  Wait a it our job to tell the rental company when to do their job?  Oh, I's Brazil....

By this point, I have just given up.  I actually can't believe we got all worked up about the initial problem.  It seems so trivial at this point.  Now, we are ACTIVELY looking for a new apartment.  This is not just due to the leak.  I wish it were so simple.  Here are some of the reasons that we are looking for a new place:

A.  I don't like hearing our neighbors practice their farmer blows, clearing their sinuses, hacking, and coughing up lugies (as I WRITE THIS SOMEONE IS FARMER BLOWING!  Thank you.  I wish all you readers could be here to experience this moment with me). 
B.  Dora has had to put up with a lot of "love" from her little sister, and is begging for her own room.  We are looking for a 4 bedroom.  Plus next year, Dora will start going to school in the morning, and Bea and Sebastian will be studying in the afternoon.  Logistically, it would be helpful to have the girls NOT sharing a room.
C.  We'd like to be on the other side of town to be closer to my work, and the kids school (more on this later).
D.  We have a neighbor who has become a BIG problem.  Not only is she blowing her cigarette smoke into our apartment every day, but her 3 grown children that live with her in her basement apartment without windows (I think her living situation must be a wee little bit challenging) are now calling us uneducated, accusing us of throwing trash into their apartment, trying to take our parking spot, and just generally being very unkind.  Ugh.
E.  Termites
F.   Is it too much to ask that bedroom doors would shut?  Apparently so in this apartment.
G.  Living on the first floor and having a lack of direct sunlight starts to make a person's soul feel a little dark.
H.  Oh, and just to help me remember, another neighbor just threw their juice box out of their window onto the neighbor's roof.  Not only do we get the joy of looking out our window and seeing all this trash, but we also get to pick up the chewed gum, candy wrappers, napkins full of chicken and rice (?) and other yummy trash out of our area privativa (patio).  Ew.

All to say, we are all done with this apartment.  It has been good to stay in the neighborhood, it's been good to save money.  But it's time to have a little better surroundings so that I we don't start to think that our living situation is how all of Brazil is.  I've been very actively looking for apartments on the other side of town.  It is a challenge.  But I keep telling myself that we will find a good place.  Eventually....


  1. Oh Yikes! Sorry to hear that :-(
    Yes, you definitely have to move! I think that your situation is not common, though. It sounds like a really bad one! Things will get better soon, though! Hang in there!
    P.S. Look for apartments in Prado and Barro Preto. I think you said you may have found a good one in Gutierrez? Boa sorte! :-)

  2. I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t fix a water leak until I read your blog post. Having it for a year, I would say leaks are the least of your problems because it could have caused molds and bacteria that can be hazardous to anyone. And the boards would probably be rotten due to water damage, and that may collapse or fall at anytime. If you haven’t moved out of the apartment, I would highly advice you to fix it as soon as possible.

    @Darryl Iorio

    1. Hi there Darryl! We moved out months ago, thank goodness! Mold is a serious problem here. Thankfully the construction is not wood (everything is brick), so there is no rot, but lots of water infiltration.

  3. With what happened to your apartment, it seemed that the leak had been there for a long time, as colonies of mold have already formed in your ceiling. Your landlord must be responsible for all the problems involved in your apartment. When there are leaks on the ceiling, it’s important that you do something about it immediately. If left unattended, things are only bound to get worse.

    Althea Tumlin