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-   -   Please help! HUGE gaps between baseboards and floor (http://www.diychatroom.com/f19/please-help-huge-gaps-between-baseboards-floor-32266/)

jamiewamie 11-20-2008 11:44 AM

Please help! HUGE gaps between baseboards and floor
 
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I live in an apartment in an old brick building. The floors have sagged, causing huge gaps between the floor and baseboard in every room of the apartment. Some gaps are 2 inches. There are also electric radiators on the floor with large gaps under them. My landlord just wants to stuff fiberglass in the cracks and then put tape over it! I have suggested using expandable foam, which can then be trimmed/sanded/painted. What is the best way to fix this problem??

Ron6519 11-20-2008 12:58 PM

If these gaps have appeared in a short period of time, call the building department immediately and have them do an inspection ASAP. There is something very wrong with what you have pictured.
Personnally, I would leave the building if these have shown up while you were living there.
Ron

jamiewamie 11-20-2008 01:02 PM

It was like this when I moved in, and apparently these gaps have been here for quite a while.
I have been thinking to call License and Inspection/building code officer.
But I wanted to give the landlord a chance to fix it first.
What would be the best way to fix it ?
Anyone have any ideas?

gomi_otaku 11-20-2008 01:05 PM

The real way to fix it would be to figure out why the floors are sagging, and repair/reinforce them. I can't imagine simply taping over them, or even filling with expansion foam. If a cosmetic fix (or a way to keep things from falling into the gap) is all that is needed, I would still put in a little time and labor, and remove the baseboards and remount them lower to cover the gap, and mount a baseboard under the electric heaters to cover the gap there.

Ron6519 11-20-2008 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiewamie (Post 187729)
It was like this when I moved in, and apparently these gaps have been here for quite a while.
I have been thinking to call License and Inspection/building code officer.
But I wanted to give the landlord a chance to fix it first.
What would be the best way to fix it ?
Anyone have any ideas?

You would want the inspection done first. To cover up the issue and then bring someone in to inspect would be somewhat pointless. This is not a cosmetic issue, it's structural. And you can't caulk and slap paint on it and call it a day.
This would be a coarse taken by the contructionly naive.
If you're on the first floor and there's a basement below, it wouldn't take anyone with construction experience to much time to see the problem.
If I walked in there and saw this, I'd be in the basement in a heartbeat.
Ron

AtlanticWBConst. 11-20-2008 02:52 PM

If you look at the height of the baseboard unit to the left, in the picture, it appears that there may have been wood flooring under there at one time. Are you sure that this is a sagging issue, and not a case of previously removed flooring material?

jamiewamie 11-20-2008 03:22 PM

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I am pretty sure it is a floor sagging issue. The floors lean toward one way in the whole apartment. I am on the second floor. The building is also on top of a small hill. It is evident to me that the whole building has structural problems. If you press on the dry wall that makes up the outside wall, it gives. (Mushy.) There is also a moldy stench that comes from gaps. The place is so drafty, that I can smell my neighbor's cigarette smoke who lives downstairs, even when all my windows and doors are closed.

My main problem is... the land lord does not seem to want to fix it the right way. I am NOT a professional at all, but then neither is my landlord.

What am I supposed to do? These gaps are an issue for me not only because they are extremely drafty, it is dirty, and creates an environment for pests. They are also unsightly. Also, the attic and walls have bats in them. I am so afraid that bats will come crawling into my apartment! This has happened twice already.

If I have notified my landlord, and he wants to fix it his way (i.e. stuff it with fiberglass and tape over it) can I put my foot down and say no? Should I still call a building inspection officer?

I really wish I could move out of here, but unfortunately, that is not an option for me right now, especially as I am still under lease.

Thank you very much for everyone's input and help.
I have attached another photo of the gap under one of the heaters. You can actually see the bricks that make up the outside wall.

jamiewamie 11-20-2008 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. (Post 187780)
If you look at the height of the baseboard unit to the left, in the picture, it appears that there may have been wood flooring under there at one time. Are you sure that this is a sagging issue, and not a case of previously removed flooring material?


I am not sure-- but all of the baseboards on the other side of the apartment are completely flush with the floor. It is only on one side of my apartment that all of the baseboard/floors are like this.

Ron6519 11-20-2008 03:38 PM

If the building is declared unsafe, the lease is of no issue.
This is your safety, not mine.
Call a governing agency and get the building inspected.
Ron

Marvin Gardens 11-20-2008 03:52 PM

I agree with all the above.

It is illegal to lease a dangerous building. Get the city or the county to come out and look at the building. If they declare it unsafe you are not legally required to stay there.

This is a major drop in a floor. Some settling is to be expected but this is not acceptable.

AtlanticWBConst. 11-20-2008 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiewamie (Post 187793)
.....It is evident to me that the whole building has structural problems. If you press on the dry wall that makes up the outside wall, it gives. (Mushy.) There is also a moldy stench that comes from gaps.

SCARY, scary stuff.

Sounds almost like a collapse waiting to happen.

Place sounds like a complete dump.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiewamie (Post 187793)
.....
I really wish I could move out of here, but unfortunately, that is not an option for me right now, especially as I am still under lease.

As suggested earlier, a building inspector (official) could easily put an end to that lease, in that dump.

4just1don 11-20-2008 10:34 PM

almost sounds like a flat roof sloping that way,leaking in,,,, causing rot and mold/mildew/stink issues. OR other roof issues causing same symptoms. When you see problems 'most' likly coming from 'above'. What is above this area?? This is the Outside of building I assume by the brick pic. Are you on TOP floor?? or others yet above?What do THEY look like? or directly below yours,,,is the ceiling sagging???

jamiewamie 11-21-2008 11:11 AM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 4just1don (Post 187996)
almost sounds like a flat roof sloping that way,leaking in,,,, causing rot and mold/mildew/stink issues. OR other roof issues causing same symptoms. When you see problems 'most' likly coming from 'above'. What is above this area?? This is the Outside of building I assume by the brick pic. Are you on TOP floor?? or others yet above?What do THEY look like? or directly below yours,,,is the ceiling sagging???


Thank you for everyone's input. I will be contacting a building code officer.
I am not sure that they will deem the building 'unsafe' but won't hurt to try. I hope it will encourage my landlord to fix it properly. I have already contacted the department of health about the bats, they cannot enforce/do anything.

I have stated my concerns about the gaps are drafts, pests, and the moldy smell, besides aesthetics and stuff falling into the gaps. I don't really care where the problem is coming from, I just want my landlord to fix it. FYI, however, I am on the top floor, the roof is flat, and the picture of the bricks is INSIDE the apartment under one of my heaters. Below me is a store, and I have not looked at its ceiling. I am sure it's not pretty though.
From the outside of the building, you can see that the bricks have sort of shifted. (I am no expert.) Also, the building is infested, I mean FULL of bats. :( There is an attic/crawlspace also, that has bats.

And my apartment does not look like a dump. I think that's part of the problem. At first glance, it appears that nothing is wrong. But then you keep digging---
Attached is a picture of the gaps in my bedroom, which I have since filled with foam, because I couldn't take the smell anymore!

Termite 11-21-2008 11:49 AM

I agree that it would be smart to call the building/housing department in your city. It is very possibly unsafe for a number of reasons.

The shame is that it sounds like this condition was in place long before you lived there, you willfully rented the place having seen the gaps, and are now making an issue of it. Yes, the landlord should fix it, but the whole situation seems somehow unfair to me.

jamiewamie 11-21-2008 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thekctermite (Post 188238)
I agree that it would be smart to call the building/housing department in your city. It is very possibly unsafe for a number of reasons.

The shame is that it sounds like this condition was in place long before you lived there, you willfully rented the place having seen the gaps, and are now making an issue of it. Yes, the landlord should fix it, but the whole situation seems somehow unfair to me.


Yes, I know the gaps were there when I moved in. I did not notice them before when they first showed us the apartment, and to be honest, they did not bother me at all, until I ...

1. Started getting bats in my apartment
2. Started to smell the musty smell from the gaps, in addition to the cigarette smell seeping in from neighbor's downstair apartment
3. It got cold and the drafts from the gaps are unbearable

I don't see anything unfair. Especially when AFTER I moved in, my neighbors told me that the last person left because of all the bats that would come in the apt.! And since my husband is allergic to mold and cigarette smoke, etc!


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