Flooding into garage

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Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:21 am

My apologies for the length of this post; I don't have time to write a short one, and it's a very long and unpleasant story. I'm at my wits' end, and my temper is also becoming a bit frayed. So if any of you have any suggestions or have had the same problem, I'm all ears.

Several years ago, I had a water intrusion into my garage. It turned out that the "waterproofing" (a plastic membrane lining the planter) had come away from the wall. My garage is unfortunately on the other side of that wall. The "repair" was to put the membrane back into place. In the meantime, the inside wall of my garage was covered with mold and mildew, and my storage cabinets were ruined. The then Board of Directors at first declined to replace the cabinets because I had been known to store things in my garage <gasp!> and they felt that replacing the cabinets would only encourage my antisocial tendencies. I pointed out that the storage cabinets in question were on a raised platform; I couldn't have parked my car there if I'd wanted to. And the damage was due to a problem for which they were responsible. They finally had ATD clean up the mold and mildew, prime and paint the wall, and replace the cabinets. It took FIVE MONTHS.

Fast forward to June 7, 2010, when I discovered another water intrusion in exactly the same area. I reported it immediately to Peachtree and was told by Veronica that they'd consulted an attorney. The attorney told them that, if there is an exterior problem and they repair it in a timely manner (for some definition of "timely", I suppose), they don't have any obligation to repair any resulting damage to the homeowner's property. If they do, it's just a matter of good will and up to the Board.

The present Board decided not to repair my damages this time. At my cost, I had a man come and move the storage cabinets out from the wall and dry up the water. And I waited. Finally, Peachtree sent Mr. Roy Fisk of Cal Bay to look into the problem. He took a look and reported to Peachtree. A few days later, he called to say Peachtree wanted to do a water test; they wanted him to turn on the sprinklers in the planter box and see if water came into my garage. I said, "Hell, no!" and a few other things. I waited some more. Nothing. Finally, I called Peachtree and spoke to Veronica, who told me that, without the water test, they could (or would) do nothing. After all, she said, "There *could* be a pipe in the wall." I caved in and agreed, and Mr. Fisk returned on July 7 (a month to the day after I'd reported the problem) and performed the test on the lower of the two planter boxes. He determined that the leak did not come from there. He tested in the lower corner of the upper planter box; no problem there. It was not possible to test further up because I have a big storage cabinet in the far end of the garage that I didn't want ruined; it had to be moved first.

Mr. Fisk and I discussed other possible sources of the water intrusion, which seemed to be intermittent. There'd be a lot of water one day, then it would dry up for a few days. Then there'd be a little more, which would then dry up. The sewer pipes and the water pipes are in the front of the building and are in daily use. So if they were the source, the leak would be elsewhere and daily. All the appliances and drains are in other areas. The lines to and from the hot water heater are in that wall, but they are under continuous positive pressure and are in daily use; if the leak were in those lines, there'd be water all the time. Mr. Fisk thought the upper planter was the source of the leak. But Peachtree insisted this be verified before anything was done. They were willing to have the big cabinet moved but insisted that I must first empty it and clear a place for it.

I talked to Mr. Fisk this morning. He told me that, when the problem came up, Peachtree wanted to do the water test because they did not believe the lower planter could be the source of the intrusion on account of they had done a repair on it five years ago. Unfortunately, their information was incorrect; the "repair" was done on the upper planter and wasn't really a repair; they merely tacked the plastic membrane back into place. He told me that the water test was not his recommendation but was something required by Peachtree.

And I am to bear the entire burden of preparing for the test and cleaning up afterward, and too bad if my property is damaged in the process.

This afternoon, I went downstairs to do the work of preparing for the water test. And found a flood. Water was everywhere. I climbed up into the planter and noted that the "waterproofing" membrane had pulled away from the wall all the way around the planter. But the soil was dry to the touch. Then I noticed the fountain, which was running. This could be the source of the problem, I thought. I called the emergency maintenance number and set to work hauling things out of the water. Finally, I got a return call. From Veronica. I told her the situation, that water was pouring into my garage. She asked me four times if water was actually pouring into the garage and (once she was satisfied that it really was) informed me that if it was because of something in my property, I'd be responsible. Well and good. But I told her I didn't think I should have to bear the burden of preparing for and cleaning up after the water test they wanted. She said, "Well, if we do it, we'd be moving your things; and you're not supposed to store things in your garage."

I counted to ten.

I told her I could jolly well store things in my garage if I wanted to; there's no rule against that as long as I don't convert it to a use that prevents its use as a parking space and then use the courtyard for parking. And right now, my car's in the shop until next week, so I can do whatever I like in my own garage as long as I'm not parking in the courtyard. She said I couldn't, it was against the rules to store things in the garage.

Finally, she agreed to send someone out to see about it. The young man who came was very nice, but he told me it looked like my big storage cabinet is ruined and that the sheet rock behind it may be ruined as well. In the meantime, I've hauled everything I can out of the water. I don't doubt I'll get a letter from Veronica complaining about my stuff in front of the garage, but that's where it is for the moment.

So I've been subjected to a flooding problem twice now. This time it's gone on for 38 days, and the only thing that's been done is to attempt to replicate it, at my expense. It's obvious that the structure wasn't sealed properly and that the drainage is faulty. But all this woman wants to talk about is that there *could* be something else causing the problem and that my garage shouldn't really have anything in it but my car and they don't have to do anything until I prepare for a test they demand.

I am getting ready to put my place on the market, and I don't even want to think about what this is going to do to the value of the property.

So - is she right? Do I have to bear the burden of the damage to my property *and* the test they insist on before commencing repairs? And am I allowed to store things in my garage, or not? I've gotten letters complaining that "you are storing things in your garage". What about the hot water heater? It's down there. Is that allowed? Does the HOA have any right to tell me what I can and cannot do on my property, or are they limited to telling me where I can park? And can anyone recommend a good lawyer? Because I think I need one.

I've been here for almost fourteen years; and as far as I can see, Peachtree is pretty useless. They're Johnny-on-the-spot to write a letter if you park in the courtyard, but if there's an actual problem? I've never seen such foot-dragging and effort to avoid responsibility. Can we get someone else?

Helen Woodson

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  Ionescu on Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:35 pm

There are always two sides to every story.

As far as I know, you cannot use the garage for storage. That being said I could see why you are frustrated. Best of luck in getting it resolved.

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  Carolyn on Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:45 pm

Can someone from BOD help with Helen's issue? It seems to me that Peachtree didn't handle this in a professional way. Just imagine how you would feel if your own garage gets flooded and you have no clue of what causing it but was told the storage rule in garage. This is neither helpful nor constructive at all.

The focus should be on how to solve the problem and to find out the cause but not to avoid any responsibility. I understand we might have tight budgets but if we can pay over $50k on "management" and $10k on "office", I believe we should get some responses on this kind of issue in a more professional/proper way.

And I'll appreciate if someone or Veronica can give me some hint, like page number on CC&R or any other documents, regarding the rule for the garage.

Carolyn @ Building 470

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  nardin on Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:34 pm

Carolyn wrote:Can someone from BOD help with Helen's issue? It seems to me that Peachtree didn't handle this in a professional way. Just imagine how you would feel if your own garage gets flooded and you have no clue of what causing it but was told the storage rule in garage. This is neither helpful nor constructive at all.

The focus should be on how to solve the problem and to find out the cause but not to avoid any responsibility. I understand we might have tight budgets but if we can pay over $50k on "management" and $10k on "office", I believe we should get some responses on this kind of issue in a more professional/proper way.

And I'll appreciate if someone or Veronica can give me some hint, like page number on CC&R or any other documents, regarding the rule for the garage.

Carolyn @ Building 470

Carolyn,

This women has been a problem in the community for years. There were issues on the old forum and on this one previously. She will act all innocent and pull all sorts of passive aggressive stunts. I believe the post below from Ivan is in regards to her.

She has so much junk in her garage that she can't just move it and keep it in the garage. It's blocking half the courtyard. The fact of the matter is that you are not allowed to use the garage for storage. I can bet that Peachtree is handling this by the book because they know this will probably end up with a lawsuit.


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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:22 am

This message edited to remove personal information


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Defamation of character is a crime

Post  Italia on Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:17 pm


Fair Warning: Posting a false accusation on a public forum is dangerous as it creates documentation for the accused of defamation of character. If I were inclined to waste one minute of time on someone like Helen, I would sue. She's simply not worth it. I've dealt with that particular personality type before and if I enjoyed talking to a wall I might indulge, but I have better things to do.

Per Helen's latest long-winded novel of a ranting, a false accusation has been made.
There is always one tenant in every complex that makes life miserable for the rest of us who actually abide by the rules.

THRILLED to hear Helen's unit will be going on the market. Nothing would make many of the immediate neighbors, the board and SJ police dept. happier, after enduring sleepless nights of noise between midnite and 4 am while obsessive futsing around/hoarding behavior goes on and on in the garage for years now. Not to mention the exhibitionism in front of windows with all coverings removed, Don't even ask.

Yes officers came out here when several of us concerned with damage to the arch, told a huge moving truck they should park outside the arch to avoid bashing it on the way out, after the truck was unloaded and would raise up. As Helen ran out in her nightie to challenge what we were discussing, she actually grabbed me by both arms and shoved me. I have 2 witnesses, but SHE called the police (which she so loves to do) and lied that I "assulted" her. They know her by now and just told us both to stay away from each other and not say a word to each other. Happy to oblige.

As she is hopefully moving soon I see no reason to indulge any further in her dillusions and will wait happily for her to finally move away forever and celebrate our good fortune when she finally does.

The proper channel per our CC & R's for any complaint or grievance IS to report it, not to confront the other homeowner. This makes sense and avoids confrontations that potentially could escalate to
something worse. As if talking it over would, or ever has done any good in this case, has been proven time and again to be a total waste of time and breath.

Onward on upward to a more peaceful piazza in the future.

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:16 pm

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:45 am

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:27 pm

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:07 pm

I just had a visit from a very nice lady, Mary Anne, who lives in Building 435 as a renter. She told me she was having water intrusions awhile back for about three years. The water was coming in from the planters, and Peachtree just dragged their feet about fixing it for years. She said she couldn't get them to leave the sprinklers off; they kept turning them back on - and in would come the water. She also said that three other residents in that building had the same problem, one after the other.

I've also heard of several other cases where people have had water intrusions, and Peachtree took an unreasonably long time to fix it. I'm interested in hearing from anyone else who's had the same problem.

It looks to me like the structures were not sealed properly when the buildings went up, and also it appears that the drainage from the planters is not right. Any excess water in the planters *should* drain out harmlessly and not end up in someone's home.

In the meantime, I've had garage-sale afficionados coming from time to time. So I've managed to reduce my footprint a little bit. Hooray! Check out my ad on craigslist and maybe you'll find something you want; the heading is:
"********** 7/18 9:00 - 5:00 MOVING SALE, near 880/Montague *********** (san jose north)"

Helen

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  Admin on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:25 pm

Hi Helen,

I've been on sabbatical and not part of any discussions that you may have had with the board or Peachtree but I came home today and my wife pointed out the junk sitting out in front of your garage. Is there honestly no room in your garage to put that away?

I cant imagine that what you are doing is legal by the CC&Rs. I'll call Peachtree tomorrow and get the details but we need to find some solution to this and leaving all of your stuff in the courtyard doesn't seem right.

One quick question. Can you clarify whether it's dehumidifiers that are leaking and are they yours or do you suspect the planter boxes?

Thanks,
Tom

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Flooding into garage

Post  mavelard on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:58 pm

Just a note Helen, I may have misled you into thinking others in my courtyard were affected by the water leak, sorry for the confusion. To my knowledge I was the only one affected in my courtyard. The leak did get repaired correctly after they finally figured out the problem. It took a lot of trial and error if I recall (it was over 2 years ago now) before the issue was resolved, but it did get done. I had no damage to my garage, other than a bit of water stain on the drywall. Hopefully they will resolve yours as well.

-MaryAnne

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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:20 pm

Admin wrote:Hi Helen,

I've been on sabbatical and not part of any discussions that you may have had with the board or Peachtree but I came home today and my wife pointed out the junk sitting out in front of your garage. Is there honestly no room in your garage to put that away?

I cant imagine that what you are doing is legal by the CC&Rs. I'll call Peachtree tomorrow and get the details but we need to find some solution to this and leaving all of your stuff in the courtyard doesn't seem right.

One quick question. Can you clarify whether it's dehumidifiers that are leaking and are they yours or do you suspect the planter boxes?

Thanks,
Tom

Tom,

I've been documenting the entire story in this space, but here's the short version.

The water intrusion was initially reported on June 7; I think the damage was minimal at that time. Nothing was done about it until Thursday night when it became a flood. Veronica finally sent White Magic out then. By this time, there is quite a lot of damage.

Initially, Thursday night, I dragged things out in front of the garage to get them out of the water. The men from White Magic came the next day and dragged a lot of things out into the landscaping; I had left the garage-door opener where they could find it and gave them permission to come in and do whatever they needed to do. They also moved everything else over against the other wall so it would not get wet.

The White Magic dehumidifiers were both leaking water onto the floor last night, but Dustin of White Magic came today and took care of that. So they are busily pumping water out of the garage and seem to be working properly at this time, judging by the water draining out the hoses. The White Magic people are due back tomorrow to continue their work.

Veronica insisted on a water test to prove that the water was, in fact, coming from the upper planter as Roy Fisk of Cal Bay stated he believed was the case. He stated that this planter was in very bad shape, and I can verify that the plastic has completely pulled away from the wall most of the way around that planter and that the flashing along the building is all broken up. She wanted to do this test and wanted me to bear the burden of preparation and cleanup. I objected but was doing the preparation anyway because she said they would do nothing until the water test was done. The water test was her requirement and not a recommendation by Cal Bay.

This upper planter is the same one that caused an intrusion into my garage several years ago. The only repair that was done to it at that time was to tack the plastic membrane back into place above the soil.

After the flooding Thursday night (the water had been coming in intermittently since I reported it on June 7), I spoke to her again on Friday morning about the water test. She said: "We're past the water test. We're having a water test now. We had the sprinklers turned back on two weeks ago to save the plants."

I believe that the sprinklers are off now, but I cannot say for sure.

Since everything had been hauled outside to get it out of the water and I didn't have the use of the garage, I decided to have a garage sale and get rid of some things I didn't need or want. At the same time, where the White Magic people moved things against the far wall to get them out of the water, I am working to clear some space so that I can put as much back into the garage as possible while leaving room for the men to do their work.

I can't find my copy of the CC&Rs, so I don't know what they say. I expect they do not authorize Peachtree to deliberately flood a homeowner's property, doing thousands of dollars worth of damage, for any reason at all. The CC&Rs govern on damages resulting from an exterior problem, but if the exterior problem is not repaired promptly and properly, then that's a different situation. If an expert has advised that the problem is most probably sourced in a particular planter, and then the sprinklers are turned back on in that planter, it is probable that there is liability for damages resulting from this action. I can almost guarantee that the CC&Rs do not forbid storing personal property in a garage, and I know that the rules posted on Peachtree's site do not forbid it (although Veronica has stated repeatedly that we are not allowed to store things in our garages and I have received a letter complaining that I am storing things in my garage).

Several residents have come by while I've been trying to clean up the mess and move things around. Most have been very nice; others have not. Two different people have advised me to get a dump truck and have all my personal property hauled to the dump; one told me she would do it if I did not. Another objected to my working down there after 9:00 p.m. and I was ordered inside by the police. This sort of thing is making a difficult situation much worse and hampering my ability to mitigate the situation. Ordinarily, I'd be good for a few more hours of work, but I've had a migraine for the last two days and I'm going to have to lie down.

The White Magic men are going to have to have the use of the space to do whatever they have to do, so I can't very well put my stuff back in there; they'd just have to move it again. If the HOA wants to provide some temporary storage until I again have the use of my garage, that would be agreeable to me as long as they are willing to do the transport.

If you or any other Board member wishes to inspect the area, then certainly that will be fine with me.

H.


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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:08 am

Bob came by with Watson The Dog this afternoon. He complained the stuff had been out there for four days, told me I should get a dump truck and haul all my stuff off and that I was a bad neighbor. He said he wouldn't talk to me any more and didn't want me to talk to him.

It left me shaken.

H.


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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:48 am

Update:

The men from White Magic have moved everything movable from the entire outside wall of my garage and have dehumidifiers running there. They are still removing quite a lot of moisture, judging by the water running through their drain hoses.

I emptied the big storage cabinet per Veronica's request. That storage cabinet and its contents are now sitting on the other side of the garage, along with the three smaller storage cabinets that normally sit along that wall and their contents. This is all taking up approximately one-fourth to one-third of the length of the garage, front to back, except for the things that were already stored along the wall opposite from the problem. It wouldn't take up as much space except that the cabinets were soaked and had to be emptied. I've put some things back into the smaller cabinets; they are damaged but appear to be dry now.

I've left the area near the raised platform where the dehumidifiers are working as clear as possible; the platform plus this area is about one-half of the garage from front almost to the back where there are some file cabinets. These do not appear to be in the way. As a precaution, I have emptied the two nearest the problem wall in case they need to be moved. I will empty others if needed, but I do not think that will be necessary.

There is still some lumber and such in the landscaping where the men put it. I've moved it as near the driveway as I could. There are some things left in front of the garage; I cannot put them back inside without obstructing the area needed by the workmen. I do not know how much space they need, so I've left them that half of the garage.

Until Thursday's flood, which was apparently deliberately caused by Veronica's order to turn the sprinklers back on, I managed to keep everything inside. If the HOA wants to provide some temporary storage for the remaining items and is willing to ship them there and return them to me later, that is agreeable to me. If the workmen can do with less space for their activities, those items could be put back inside, and that would be agreeable to me although I will not be available until Thursday to do anything myself.

I've done about all I can do to mitigate this situation, and I've endured quite a lot of harassment and verbal abuse while I was out there working. Some people seem to think they're in a position to demand that I simply discard all my out-of season clothing, tools, camping equipment, and the other sorts of things people keep in their garages. I wonder how they'd like it if someone deliberately flooded their garage and ruined a lot of their things - and then people got mad at them because of the resulting mess and demanded they just throw away all their personal property. I've hardly done anything since Thursday night except work on this, and I think that's about enough. I'm in school and will not be available at all Monday - Wednesday except by telephone and email. I have left the garage-door remote where the White Magic people can find it; they know where it is.

Many thanks to the people who have been kind and supportive during this ordeal. You've saved the ragged remnant of my last nerve.

It is my hope that we can find a replacement for Peachtree; they have mismanaged this situation (and many others) from start to finish - Veronica in particular has demonstrated extreme incompetence and apparently believes she can simply make up new rules on the fly. And she's hostile. If I hear her say, "You know, you're not supposed to store things in your garage" one more time, I think I will spit or say something quite unladylike. I'm a patient woman, but I think I've gone as far as I can go with this nonsense. Those people need to realize they are supposed to be serving our needs.

This appears to be a recurrence of the intrusion that happened several years ago when nothing was done to repair the cause of the problem - they simply tacked the plastic back in place and cleaned up the mess in my garage. It took five months and was an unbelievable hassle.

It's Day 41 since this water intrusion was reported. How long will it take this time? Will the problem be resolved properly? When will I have the use of my garage? Will I be subject to periodic flooding as long as I remain here?

H.


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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  H. on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:10 am

mavelard wrote:Just a note Helen, I may have misled you into thinking others in my courtyard were affected by the water leak, sorry for the confusion. To my knowledge I was the only one affected in my courtyard. The leak did get repaired correctly after they finally figured out the problem. It took a lot of trial and error if I recall (it was over 2 years ago now) before the issue was resolved, but it did get done. I had no damage to my garage, other than a bit of water stain on the drywall. Hopefully they will resolve yours as well.

-MaryAnne

Hi, MaryAnne,

Thanks for the correction. I guess it was something else that was affecting one resident after another.

And thanks for coming by and for being so nice to me. Quite a few people have been very supportive, and my sweet neighbor Trudy even brought me a sandwich, chips, and soda. Jean Marlowe came by and was super nice and very helpful with suggestions.

There's a silver cloud for every lining. :-) I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff I didn't need and identified more to get rid of.

H.


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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  Admin on Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:29 pm

This must be one of the longest threads in Villagio history. Laughing

Anyway, I spoke to Veronica just a couple of minutes ago and she brought me up to speed. It appears that someone will be doing the water test for the second planter box today (now that a large cabinet in the garage has been moved). This water test could have been done at the same time as the first one if the large cabinet wasn't blocking access. Hopefully todays test will identify where the leak is coming from. The first planter where the leak occurred previously passed.

Now we have the separate issue of the belongings in the courtyard. We are going to take some action on this also but it's not appropriate for me to post that here. Helen, if you can, I urge you to please put the items you have outside either into your apartment or rent a storage unit somewhere.


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Day 6 of Junk in driveway at 475 Milan....please get it removed - I don't live on Junk Ally but rather Milan Drive! I've notified again Peachtree!

Post  LaDonn on Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:23 am

Here we are at day 6 nearing day 7 of having Milan Drive driveway look like junk alley. I've notified Peachtree today again, but this has to be removed. Things are getting broken and so dogs and tires are at risk not to mention it is very close to being in the fire lane. Since the garage sale is over and obviously this is just junk now, since it has been outside since last Thursday, it needs to be hauled away asap, no excuses.




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Water in Garage

Post  teddy on Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:37 pm

We are seeing the same problem with water coming in from the back of the garage.
We have a finished garage and the drywall along the back of the garage is badly stained/damaged.

We have reported the problem to Peachtree.

Hope we hear back soon.


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Re: Flooding into garage

Post  Admin on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:31 am

My guess is that Peachtree will bring up the issue to the next board meeting to get approval from the board to send a contractor over to assess where the leak is coming from.
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Water in Garage

Post  teddy on Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:42 pm

Admin wrote:My guess is that Peachtree will bring up the issue to the next board meeting to get approval from the board to send a contractor over to assess where the leak is coming from.


Peachtree sent a contractor to assess the leak last week. He felt that the vapor barrier on the outside was leaking.
He had seen the problem before. He was going to report his finding do Peachtree. We have not heard anything from Peachtree.


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