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Old 10-27-2008, 07:55 PM   #1
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Hello Folks! All I can tell you is that it took me several tries before I was able to log on to this site...... well~~~~maybe you think I am not computer smart but it seems like I do know a bit here and there...well, here is my problem....I moved into an older apartment building and, of course, the bathroom has one of those *older cast iron tubs* I am thinking of getting it reglazed...but I have heard it will only last for about a year.... I like to take baths especially in the colder weather coming up now.... but, the bottom of the tub where you would sit has orange rust....and is totally horrible. The landlord had a few of the bathrooms in this building done over.....and if I want my done over, he is going to charge me $200.00 more a month which I cannot afford being on
disability that I am at this time....I have heard of naval jelly...do you think this would help? I would appreciate any comments about this problem...thank you!

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Old 10-28-2008, 12:57 AM   #2
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Hello Folks! All I can tell you is that it took me several tries before I was able to log on to this site...... well~~~~maybe you think I am not computer smart but it seems like I do know a bit here and there...well, here is my problem....I moved into an older apartment building and, of course, the bathroom has one of those *older cast iron tubs* I am thinking of getting it reglazed...but I have heard it will only last for about a year.... I like to take baths especially in the colder weather coming up now.... but, the bottom of the tub where you would sit has orange rust....and is totally horrible. The landlord had a few of the bathrooms in this building done over.....and if I want my done over, he is going to charge me $200.00 more a month which I cannot afford being on
disability that I am at this time....I have heard of naval jelly...do you think this would help? I would appreciate any comments about this problem...thank you!
Navel jelly contains an acid that disloves rust. The problem is that you likely have that top layer of porcelin on the tub that has become damaged and that is allowing the cast iron to come into contact with the water.

These surfaces are very hard to properly refinish. The chemicals that will properly prepare the tub surface (so it will allow new surface materials to stick to it) are extremely dangerous to use, so dangerous it is not even worth consideration.

I would try your best to work with the property owner to get the tub replaced. I don't know of any good safe repairs that will last.

Jamie

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Old 10-28-2008, 01:03 AM   #3
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I am not wanting you to war with your landlord, but a rusty tub should not be inherited. You do have rights as a renter to not have mold or health type issues. Does your agreement really have you fixing the owners property at your expense?
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:06 AM   #4
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If it is not a large area that needs to be coated, they do sell porcelin repair kits. You basically just paint it on.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:32 PM   #5
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Pay HIM $200 extra a month if he has it fixed? Huh?! Tell him/her you'll pay the full rent and not hold back $200 a month if it's fixed. It's his property, he should be thankful that you are trying to keep it in good repair.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:01 PM   #6
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It's his property, he should be thankful that you are trying to keep it in good repair.
If you're saying that the landlord should have the tub fixed properly, I agree.

However, if you're saying that the tenant should do the repair himself, then you're obviously not a landlord, and Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrr from me too. I am a landlord, and I've had it up to my ears with tenants "making improvements" without having the presence of mind to discuss their plans with me before plowing ahead. And that goes double for judges that decide that a tenant's "good intentions" absolve him of all responsibility for his actions. It seems to me that a reasonable tenant would run his plans past the landlord to ensure that there's nothing that he doesn't know about the subject matter that will turn his good intentions into a headache for the landlord. It also seems to me that most judges know precious little more than most tenants about maintaining rental property, and should leave the decision making up to the landlord and not put their own opinion above that of the landlord.

The problem is that the vast majority of tenants don't have a clue about what's on their walls or floors or ceilings, and so they have no idea how their "improvements" or "repairs" can do far more harm than good. For example...

I maintain the 21 vinyl compositon tile floors in my building with a floor machine. When a tenant vacates, that floor machine is heavy and powerful enough to scrub off the dirty surface layer of acrylic floor "wax" so that I can put down a new coat of acrylic floor finish to have a clean and shiney floor for the next tenant. But, tenants don't know what they don't know, and will simply clean the floor with a sponge mop and then apply a coat of whatever "floor wax" they find in their grocery store, including Carnauba Wax meant for hardwood floors! So, when the tenant moves out, I have to strip a floor with 10 coats of dirty whatever off of it that turns into slimy gunk if and when when the stripper softens it up.

If these tenants had the common sense to tell me what they're wanting to do, I would either tell them how to do it properly or tell them not to do it at all, thereby saving us both a $#!*load of unnecessary work. I would prefer they move out rather than putting something on my floors that I'm going to have a hard time removing. Acrylic floor finish is hard to the touch, but soft enough so that it responds to polishing, and as a result dirt gets embedded in it underfoot. Cleaning with a sponge mop doesn't remove that embedded dirt, and then putting a coat of whatever "floor wax" that a grocery store sells just makes it hard to remove the crap and restore that floor to a proper condition.

And the kicker is that when I go in front of a judge to charge for the extra time I have to spend fixing that "tenant maintenance" the judge figures I should be grateful for the tenant taking "good care" of my apartment by waxing the floors!

I'd call him/her a f%&king @$#-hole under oath, but it wouldn't do any good. The judge still wouldn't know enough to make the correct decision.

I use Zinsser's PermaWhite Bathroom Paint on the painted walls in my 21 bathrooms. I have had tenants, in their wisdom, decide they want to paint those bathroom walls a different colour. Those tenants don't know that there is mildewcide in the paint that is on the wall, and that by painting over it with a regular paint, you effectively make the wall susceptible to mildew growing on it again. And, when I try to explain that to a judge, they figure this is all BS, and are astonished that I'm not grateful that the tenant did free painting for me! I end up having to repaint the bathroom to restore it to it's original mildew resistant condition because the tenant didn't have the common sense to ask if there was anything he didn't know about what he was about to do.

I regularily get tenants that shampoo their carpets before vacating thinking that they're doing a "good job" cleaning up the apartment for me. This, it turns out, does more harm than good because I have to spend more time removing old soap from the carpet than I would normally spend cleaning dirt out of the carpet.

Both Rug Doctor and Easy Off rental machines use a single two stage vaccuum motor that has about the same suction power as your average ShopVac wet/dry vaccuum cleaner, which is simply not enough to pull soapy water out of a carpet. And, on top of that both Rug Doctor and Easy Off both recommend using 1 to 2 fluid ounces of soap concentrate in their 5 gallon solution tanks. So, the average person following these instructions will use 5 to 10 fluid ounces of soap concentrate, which is WAY TOO MUCH soap and then use a machine with WAY TOO LITTLE suction to remove any more than 1/2 of that soap solution from the carpet.

The result will be that as the carpet dries, a sticky soap film will remain behind over each fiber of the carpet pile, making the carpet get dirtier faster and making normal vaccuuming ineffective in removing that dirt. About the only way to remove that dirty soap film is to dissolve the soap film in water by shampooing the carpet again. The result is very dirty water in the recovery tank and the user thinking that the shampoo'er got a lot of dirt out of the carpet judging by how dirty the recovery tank water was. In fact, all he actually did was replace an old sticky soap film on the carpet with a new one.

My extractor has two separate Lamb three stage vaccuum motors piped in parallel, so it has enough suction to remove most (80 percent prolly) of the soapy water from a carpet. And, 5 to 10 ounces of soap solution is way too much. You only use a squirt of dish washing detergent when doing dishes in a 4 gallon sink. Imagine pouring a wine glass full of dish washing detergent in your sink before doing dishes. That's how excessive Rug Doctor's and Easy Off's user instructions are, and their rental machines simply don't have the suction to remove more than half of that soap solution. The other half remains in the carpet as it dries, leaving you with a sticky carpet that dirt sticks to and that resists releasing that dirt to a vaccuum cleaner.

I use ChemSpec Formula 77 carpet cleaning soap, and like most other professional carpet cleaning soaps, they recommend 1 to 2 ounces of Formula 77 per 5 gallons of water in the solution tank. That means I use 1/10 to 1/5 of the amount of soap that Rug Doctor or Easy Off recommend using, and my machine will remove 80 percent of the cleaning solution from the carpet in one pass. So, I leave less than 1/12 of the soap behind in a carpet that a rental machine would.

I can always tell when a tenant has used a rental machine to shampoo one of my carpets. I have to use a half a quart of defoamer because of all the residual soap foaming up in my recovery tank, and I have to do 3 or 4 passes just to get all the old soap out of the carpet.

If I went in front of a judge to explain why I want the tenant's damage deposit to pay for the extra two hours I spent cleaning soap out of a carpet, he's going to say I haven't proven my case because I'm not an "expert". The experts are Rug Doctor and Easy Off because they make the machines, market the soap concentrate and provide the usage instructions for proper use of their machines. In reality, the weak suction of Rug Doctor and Easy Off's machines combined with their advice about how much soap to use results in carpets getting dirty faster and makes regular vaccuuming ineffective, but that carries no weight because I'm not an "expert".

If a tenant were to come to me and say he/she wants to shampoo their carpet, I would give them the soap to use and tell them to do a second pass with only clean water in their solution tank to recover the residual soap because their rental machine simply doesn't have the suction to do it in one pass. But, tenants will never do that. They think that following instructions is sufficient, and it doesn't occur to them that those instructions are intended to make you dependant on cleaning your carpet with a rental machine instead of your vaccuum cleaner. And in the eyes of the law, Rug Doctor and Easy Off are right, and I'm ignorant.

The bottom line here is that a responsible tenant will run his plans past the landlord BEFORE doing anything to the landlord's property to make sure he's not about to do more harm than good because of his lack of knowledge about that property.

I could go on and on about well meaning tenants who know full well that they don't know what they don't know but yet not having the common sense to approach the landlord to get his input. But this post is already long enough, and I believe I've made my point.

Chetsy:
Go to any store that specializes in products for the elderly and disabled. You should be able to find a rubber traction mat for your bathtub which will cover up the rust, but which you can install and remove quickly and easily without harming the tub. Any local senior's residence or nursing home will be able to tell you who sells "assisted living" aids in your area.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 12-02-2008 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:06 AM   #7
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hey nestor, perhaps you need to add a clause to the leases and have a 'firm but understanding' agreement before they move in about any changes they might like to make. we're selling our old home on L/C and the guy has had a few problems so far, but has asked me if this or that is ok to change and when he needed help, i was there to make sure it was done right. (that copper pipe plumbing drip comes to mind.....) when he said he accidentally broke a small window in a door, i already had pieces cut! no problem to swap it out.

to the OP...$200 a month to repair a tub??? what does he want to do? call in one of those overpriced bathroom refinishing companies to redo the whole thing at your expense?

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Old 12-02-2008, 08:36 AM   #8
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Nestor-Kelebay - Your tenants are very lucky to have a landlord who truly cares about the condition of his properties. If I worked so hard to take proper care of things like you do, it would frustrate me to no end to have to go in and undo what they did. I'm sure they have good intentions when they paint or clean, but like you said they don't know what they don't know.

I was a renter for about 12 years before I bought my house. During part of that time I was a single mom. I treated every apt./home I lived in as if it were my own house that I owned. For most repairs, I would contact the landlord and arrange the repair with him. If it was something I could fix and I was confident that I knew how to do the work, I did it myself. Anything that was over my head, I made arrangements for the repair through my landlord and if my daughters or I caused the problem, I paid for the repair. Otherwise the landlord paid. I have to say though, back then I wouldn't have known that about the rental carpet cleaners, and almost every landlord said, "Do not paint", but some people did anyway. I always thought it was because they didn't want someone to paint their walls fuschia-pink.

My biggest problem was finding a landlord who would rent to a 'single mom'. It seemed that so many of them had bad experiences with women who didn't teach their children to respect their home and just let them ruin things. So I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I had excellent references, but usually their minds were made up once the 'single mom' thing came out so they didn't take the time to look at my references. I honestly couldn't blame them though, because most (not all) of the other single mom's I knew fit the stereotype to a T. But, like Tony Soprano says, "Whatayagonnado?".

This is a little off the subject, but I rented an old farmhouse from an elderly lady for a while (had to move out because I started noticing black soot covering everything in the house and she said it wouldn't hurt anything ). But the funny thing that happened there was: The bathroom had an old clawfoot bathtub that had seen better days. The faucet was in bad shape; the handle for the cold water was broken off and the only way to turn the cold water on was with a pair of pliers. Well, it must have been that way for many years, because it was worn down to a jagged point . My daughters were just 1 and 2 years old then and it was too dangerous for them, so I called the landlady and asked if she would pay for a new faucet if I searched around and found one (that size and style wasn't available in the stores). Her answer to the problem was, "When I was a little girl, my dad let us ride the goats. To keep us from poking our eyes out on the goats horns, we put a potato on each horn. Maybe you could put a potato on the faucet when the kids are bathing." I didn't know what to say. I just told her, "okay". It was the funniest, strangest thing I had ever heard. I about died laughing. Can you imagine watching a do-it-yourself home repair show on tv where they fix a faucet with a potato? Oh well, she and her grown sons farmed and only got the house because it came with the land they bought. Her solutions to the other problems with that house were about as effective as the potato.

MdangermouseM - did anyone figure out where your 'heeber squat' quote comes from? I've asked a few people and haven't found anyone who has ever seen it. YET. I'm still searching.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:01 AM   #9
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Nestor-Kelebay - Your tenants are very lucky to have a landlord who truly cares about the condition of his properties. If I worked so hard to take proper care of things like you do, it would frustrate me to no end to have to go in and undo what they did. I'm sure they have good intentions when they paint or clean, but like you said they don't know what they don't know.
i absolutely agree!
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MdangermouseM - did anyone figure out where your 'heeber squat' quote comes from? I've asked a few people and haven't found anyone who has ever seen it. YET. I'm still searching.
nope, not yet. though many guesses were from jabberwocky to willie wonka, lol. i CAN tell you it was in print in the 70s, but that's all!

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Old 12-03-2008, 06:41 AM   #10
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I'd have to agree with DM about the clause in the lease if it is not already there, but as so many paople will often glance over a contract without really reading it, it may help to also have something like your post printed and posted in the apartment for the tenant to read after moving in as well, to help them understand the reasons behind the clauses. It sounds like preventing the problem is alot easier than fixing it after the fact. I.E., if they have a 2 year lease and want the bath to be light blue, they could pay you to purchase the paint with the mildewcide. Or maybe have $10 a month added to the rent to pay for you to clean the carpets, but do not tell them about it till they give notice to vacate and then tell them to not worry about cleaning the carpet as you will take care of it, (not telling them up front would prevent them from not caring for the carpet over the lease period). It does sound like you have your hands full with 21 units to care for.

As for the original intent for the thread, I am sure that the owner is trying to have the renter pay for a bath remodel. Did you not see or address the tub prior to renting? Not that it is your fault, but in the past when I had to rent, I always did a walk through with the landlord or agent to document any pre-existing damage to protect myself down the road. Reglazing usually does only last for 12-18 months, but it may be your best bet if you do not plan to be there longer than that. IMHO the landlord should be responsible since it would be adding value to his property, but some have a very hard time parting with money. Also do a search for "cost of reglazing tub". It offers some ideas and alternatives though I have no first hand knowledge of most of them.
Good luck!

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