Thanks to the remnants of hurricane Ike we got our first real heavy rains here in Ann Arbor since we moved into the townhouse. Our landlady had warned us not to stack too much stuff along the walls in the basement until after the first heavy rain because some of them do leak, but we hadn’t seen any signs of water on the walls or floor when we moved in so we put our computers down here and stored some boxes only to find out that, yes, we do have a leak. With that discovery came some good news and some bad news. The good news is we didn’t really have anything near where the leak is occurring, our computers are on the other side of the room and the boxes are far enough away that it wasn’t a problem and the leak itself was more a trickle than a torrent. The bad news is that it’s coming through the wall via the circuit breaker box which is just scary as hell and its fair enough away from the drain in the floor that it leaves quite the meandering puddle of water before it gets to the drain.
So we called to have the building maintenance guys make an emergency stop by the apartment to check it out and see if we were in any danger of shorting out the circuit breakers and starting a fire. We also noted that it appears part of the problem has to do with the gutters on that corner of the building (we’re in the last unit on the end) as they appear to be overflowing and making for a small lake at that corner which is undoubtedly contributing to the flow of water through the wall. Chuck, one of our friendly maintenance men, showed up in no time and took a look after taking the cover off the breaker box. Fortunately the rate of seepage is slow enough and the point of origin low enough that we’re not in any danger of having it short out the circuit breakers so we put a bucket underneath the box to catch the water and a towel down to catch anything the bucket misses. Once the rain stopped yesterday the water stopped coming through the wall almost immediately, but we’re expecting another round of heavy rain tonight (some 2 to 4 inches we’re told) so we’ll have to keep an eye on it. Once things dry up in a couple of days they’ll see what they can do to fix things up including repairing the gutters, improving flow away from the building, and possibly jack hammering the wall out where it’s leaking and patching it up properly. Something they’ve done more than once it seems, which is understandable as these buildings are over 30 years old.
I have to give the staff here at Mill Creek Townhouses a lot of credit. We’ve called them at least a dozen times with various small issues we’ve discovered since moving in and they’ve been quick to respond without complaint. One of the other issues they’re working on for us involves the dishwasher in the kitchen. Putting some dishes in the other night we accidentally broke off one of the tines that sticks up holding the dishes in place. It was rusted through at the base as are several of the other tines so we called to see if they could replace the bottom basket. Turns out they have to buy both the bottom and top baskets as a set and the cost is almost as much as a new dishwasher and the one we have is quite old already so they decided to just put a new dishwasher in. Can’t really complain about that. So if you’re moving to Ann Arbor some time soon for some reason I can’t fathom (not because Ann Arbor is a bad place, but because the economy in Michigan is so bad right now) then you may want to check these folks out.