What all to I need to do to repair a room with a leaking roof?
Hello, I live in the pacific northwest. The roof was leaking in my rental house for over a year before my landlords decided to fix it. They always try to do repairs themselves in order to save money (fine) but they live on the other side of the state and never have time or money to make repairs on their house. Tons of water got into the living room over the course of the year and there is significant water damage and mold. Six months ago, they came out and ripped out the insulation and drywall in half of the room and disconnected the electricity to the ceiling lights. Now they are asking me if I would be willing to put the room back together. I’m sort of handy but not that experienced. I think I’m going to have to take out the rest of the drywall and insulation, probably the carpet and carpet pad, and try to sand the mold out of the wall studs. Any advice, helpful books, or pitfalls to watch out for would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Sand the mold-that'll spread spores and that's not a good thing.
Move somewhere else is my suggestion.
That was certainly my first thougt.
If the wood has gone punk it needs to be replaced. If it's only superficial mold, apply an antifungal and then seal with primer or shelac. Don't scrape or sand.
Is it legal?
Given that you are livng in commercial property (its a rental) is it even legal for them to hire a non-licensed person to do this work?
Who will pull permits?
Who will insure you against injury and liability for this work?
What will you be paid for this work?
Who will purchase your materials?
I haven't seen so many red flags since Mao's funeral.
I too suggest moving.
The landlords are in over their head - in more ways than one.
Them asking YOU for help could be nice - if you were into that sort of thing... it could also mean they are short on cash and haven't set aside enough of your rent to cover the upkeep of their property. If they are that poor of business people, your rental might also be in the process of being forclosed upon. Now, imagine you did all the work and expected to have them reimburse you for the time and materials through your rent payments - only to find their bank in possesion of the place... and they aren't interested in you renewing your lease. You are now out the cost of repairs to someone elses property.
At this point, with open moldy walls and no ceiling light you should be paying pretty close to $0 in rent. If you are paying more they are taking advantage of YOU.
You have to make a good case here why you want to stay and do the work. We'll help you do the work, and do it right... but no one wants you to get screwed.
What about your health?
You are living in a dwelling contaminated with mold, which brings the risk of serious illness(es). Why are you still there? How can you be paying rent for the priveledge to risk your health and safety?
Re: lots of water through the roof. How can you be sure that the structure is still sound after all this water damage?
Minor point: The hazards of mold are vastly overstated. A very small number of people are highly sensitive to molds (just as a small number of people are sensitive to certain solvents), and there are a few types of mold that represent a hazard to young people (for reasons I've never dug into), but most people are not seriously threatened by most types of mold.
I agree with you - mold isn't going to kill anyone in this situation. Given the lack of basic construction knowledge I'm guessing the biggest physical threat is cutting themselves with one of those machines with the spinning blade or electricution. Well, honestly if I were the landlord I'd worry mostly about fire buring the place down - novice electricans shouldn't even pull cover plates, let alone any renter using a halogen work light.
Thanks for all of the warnings folks. I'm deffinietely reconsidering my options. The problem is that we're sort of tied to this location and there are VERY few rental options here and we're not ready to buy a home. I would deffinietely rather have a professional take care of this but our landlords won't do that and may never get around to doing it themselves. We also don't have any other place to go to (believe me, that was my first option). Thanks again for all of the concern. I'm not quite sure what to do now.
our landlords won't do that and may never get around to doing it
Landlords are legally obligated to provide dwellings that meet acceptable standards for habitation. Failure to adhere to this standard can be the source of substantial fines and other penalties.
This is not optional, nor does it qualify for "when I get around to it". Your landlord seems to be laughably ignorant of such responsisbilities.
I would consider dropping a dime to the local municipality. Your landlord's attitude is a problem, if not an injury, waiting to happen.
You may also wish to speak to a lawyer, as you may have cause for damages from their mistreatment of you.
Rest assured that if you do nothing, it will get worse.
Of course, doing that risks having the structure declared uninhabitable, the OP tossed out on his keister, and no damage deposit back.
Fine, they own the scarce resource... but like others said, you do have rights.
You need to put together a solution package for them to agree to, because how you are living now is really untennable. Remember, you could always buy a used RV. Put together a way out of this for all of you. You should not be paying rent for the privaledge of keeping someone from stealing the copper from that hole you are renting. If rental property is scarce - so are renters.