That time my apartment flooded…

It’s 6:00AM…which is a perfectly normal time for someone to be awake. It is a terrible time to be awake if you are a night person…or if you were awakened at 3:00AM by the sound of thunder and lightening, followed swiftly by panic at the sound of water trickling into your apartment. Ugh.

By 4:00AM there was at least an inch of dirty, reddish water standing above the carpet, in the main living area, of my studio apartment. Unfortunately, the floor in my apartment has a slight slant (I don’t know the grade) which meant water made it’s way about six feet in, and trickled into my kitchen where there was about a half an inch of standing water on the vinyl floor. Ugh.

But wait, it gets at bit worse. I generally wear rubber house slippers around my apartment. It’s good for my feet, and I have always been suspicious as to the maintenance of carpets in apartments. However, as I was climbing onto my bed to write this post, I “accidentally” stepped on the rug in front of my bed to discover that even though the carpet looked dry, it was squishy and wet. I assume it is the padding underneath. Ugh.

So here I am, sitting on my bed, worried about how quickly my apartment complex will fix this and whether or not they are going to try and make me liable for anything. Also, they don’t do a great job of “fixing” anything so should I rent my own carpet fan/dehumidifier? Wet/dry vac? Pay for a carpet cleaner? Move? And how to pay for any of this? Should I try to pull it out of my meager miscellaneous budget for February? My emergency fund? Why didn’t I get renters insurance? None of my personal property was damaged, would this have been a good investment? Is this what being an adult is?

Yea, okay, so my thoughts spiraled there a bit. Ugh. Well, I am grateful to have the ability to post here. I can’t call my parents because their concern, thoughts about what I should do, and constant need to be updated would create anxiety for me as I try to think through things rationally. To be fair, my father is a pretty stoic and unflappable but my mother is…not. They have been married for more than forty years, and they tell each other everything, so if one knows, the other knows almost immediately. As a non-twenty something adult, I have learned that it is often better to tell them somewhat serious, but non-life threatening, things after the situation has passed.

As I finish writing this, I hear the sound of distant police and ambulance sirens. I am grateful all I have to worry about is a bit of water.

Update – Pictures since my early morning explanation wasn’t great…

My patio is enclosed and the water inside was about eight inches. The water that made it’s way into my apartment (the side where my poor succulent sits) was about half an inch high.
This photo was taken from the foot bridge that crosses to the right of my patio; the bridge is ground level with the front of the building and connects it to the courtyard in the back. Leaves and mud from the courtyard prevented the water from draining and water pouring down from the side of the foot bridge added to the flood.

7 thoughts on “That time my apartment flooded…

  1. I saw your new post while eating my oatmeal and slowly waking up just now. First of all, I had to laugh at the description of your parents/mother, because that’s probably what my child says about me and their dad. But secondly, due to being similar to your mother, I was immediately compelled to jump into advice-giving mode. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Depending on your state, and on your lease, your landlord may be required to pay for expenses relating to the flood (other than your personal belongings, which I know you said are fine anyway), including a hotel or a different apartment to stay in while repairs are taking place. I’m remembering that when Budget Girl on YouTube had rats in her apartment, she negotiated a new, bigger apartment at the same rate, in a different complex, owned by the same company.

    In a situation like this, I’d say, read your lease. If it’s at all fuzzy about a situation like this, I’d request that your landlord put you up in a hotel, at their expense, while the repairs are happening. If your landlord refuses, and doesn’t come up with an adequate alternative solution, I’d say it’s worth a call to a lawyer who specializes in landlord/tenant issues. Even if you have to pay for an hour of their time, I think their help could save you a lot of money. While many, many landlords are decent, there are many others who are just trying to maximize their profit, without regard to the welfare of their tenants. Landlords generally have a lawyer they can consult about situations like this, and you should have the same kind of backup.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!


    • Lol…because mothers are…mothers, she of course asked me if I was woken up by the storm this morning. My evaluation of that conversation is I didn’t lie…outright ๐Ÿ™‚

      Budget Girl is a badass.

      Thank you for the advice. My landlord actually responded pretty swiftly and within and hour there were two guys here pulling up carpet and padding, and another one outside my apartment digging a hole for a new drainage pipe from my patio. Apparently three other apartments were also flooded so they seemed to have a routine down. For now, I’m going to stay put. As I write this there is an industrial fan blowing against the bare floor. The current plan is for them to keep the fan here for a day or two to ensure the floor is dry before they install new carpet padding and carpet. I will keep my eyes peeled for mold.


  2. OMG!!!!!! That’s terrible!!!! It definitely sounds like the floor of your apartment will be a loss and like you might be out of there for some time, if not permanently. It doesn’t really sound like a storm though — more like a pipe broke — because I feel like if it was just water seeping in from the outside it wouldn’t be that high that fast.

    I think I’d ask the rental company to move you to another unit in the same complex, if that’s at all appealing to you. If your belongings are ok then that’s the fastest way to deal with the situation (and probalby the cheapest for them as it doesn’t involve hotels or etc.)

    Please check back in later today and let us know how it goes!!!!!


    • It kinda sucked ๐Ÿ™‚ Yea, when they first arrived they just had fans and then once they stepped on the carpet they realized how much water had made it’s way in from outside.

      It wasn’t a burst pipe… I am on the ground level of an apartment built into a hill (like a split level home). While my front door is ground level, the back of my apartment, and the patio, are below the ground level of the hill behind me. Last night we had a tremendous storm (with flooding across the state) and unfortunately, the drain that is built into my patio, wasn’t working well enough to drain the water that fell to my enclosed patio AND water that was running off from the decks above. My explanation here seems terrible so I will just update this post with a picture or two ๐Ÿ™‚

      The maintenance guys got here so quickly and started ripping up the floor (while I was attending a staff Zoom meeting) that I didn’t make it over to the office to ask about moving. Thus far their response has seemed pretty good…and I am honestly overwhelmed with all that I have going on right now, so I think I may sit tight and keep my eyes peeled for mold.

      As always, thank you for the support!


  3. While I’m saying you may want to pay for an hour of a lawyer’s time, at the same time I don’t think you should have to spend ANY money at all on a carpet cleaner, dehumidifier, etc. It is the landlord’s responsibility to resolve the issue.

    Also, I’m sorry this is happening to you! I’m sure it’s not what you had planned for your Tuesday morning.


  4. Aw thanks, so are you! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m glad the landlord and maintenance people are being responsive, and it’s being resolved quickly.


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