Tuesday, April 19, 2022

SOME TROUBLE IN PARADISE: Unexpected Problems Living in a Condo!

 What Is Going On?!

Water Damage on the Master Bedroom Ceiling!
     Let me take you back to the early days in our condo, days when we went from thrilled to be moving to Puerto Vallarta to what have we done?!

     It started the day before the closing on the purchase of our condo unit. We were so excited to do the final walk-through with the realtors—both our realtor and the sellers’ agent. The following day we would sign all of the official documents and receive the keys to our unit. We could move in that very afternoon. What a great birthday gift for me!

     We walked into the two-bedroom, two-bath apartment that would be our new home. In our minds, we already lived there. This was just a formality to approve the final condition of the property. Everything looked and smelled clean and fresh. Well, almost everything.
     When I wandered into the master bedroom, my eyes scanned everything from the gray and tan eighteen-inch ceramic floor tile to the beautiful dark woodwork, from the furniture and wall art to the ceiling. I’m a retired pharmacist and so, naturally, I’m detail-oriented and trained to notice flaws. I caught sight of a narrow, dark spot, maybe three inches long, at the juncture of the wall and ceiling near the minisplit air conditioner. Moisture? Mold?

     I asked the sellers’ realtor what that spot was and he dismissed it with a wave of his hand and said, “Oh, just a little mildew. You have plenty of paint in the laundry room to touch that up.” He walked out of the room as though it wasn’t worth another moment’s notice.

     Was I going to make a fuss about something that indicated water damage? If I did, the whole deal might be delayed, possibly even canceled. We could lose the option to buy the condo unit we had waited patiently to take possession of. I showed Jon the spot. We both shrugged and I thought, Whatever it is, we can deal with it later. Jon’s a retired building contractor—he can fix anything.

     About a month after we moved in, we were lying in bed propped against the headboard with pillows, contentedly reading on our Kindles. It was August, right in the middle of the rainy season when the heat and humidity are at their peak in this tropical area. We had the air conditioner running to cool and dehumidify the air in the master bedroom and all was cozy.

     It was the first summer that we had remained in the area and we’d been warned that it could be miserably hot, but we were pleasantly comfortable with three mini-splits in the 1200-square-foot apartment. We usually only ran one at a time, cooling whichever room we were using.

     I glanced up at the dark “mildew” spot on the ceiling and felt a twinge of fear. Had it grown in size? I pointed to it and said, “Babe, I think that spot is bigger.”

     He didn’t think so, or didn’t want to believe it at the time. I took a photo of it including the corner of the air conditioner for perspective. I would continue to photograph that spot for several weeks as it turned from a little mildew to a definite area of moisture on the drywall.

     One morning we woke up to find moisture had run down the seam between two sheets of drywall leaving a nasty water stain. The drywall tape had pulled loose and a six-inch strip was hanging down. Jon quickly turned off the air conditioner unit and said, “We’d better not use that unit until we have an air conditioning company check out this minisplit. We’ll just use the living room minisplit to cool the bedroom at night.”

     That day, I was in the laundry room filling the washing machine with dirty towels when I heard water running overhead. By that time, I was paranoid about possible water leaks. I looked up and saw a river of water flowing from the ceiling, down the wall, and puddling on the floor. I hadn’t turned the washing machine on yet, so it wasn’t coming from one of our water pipes. Not another water issue in our apartment!

     My next thought was... to read more, watch for my soon-to-be-released book Living in Mexico MORE LESSONS LEARNED. It'll be Chapter 17!

     Have you read Healthy Living in Mexico #3? Now might be a good time to check it out! Download it on Amazon at Living in Mexico LESSONS LEARNED. And please leave a brief review on Amazon to help others find it, too.

     Thank you for reading and reviewing my books. Follow me on my Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Facebook page.

Terry L Turrell, Author

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