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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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??
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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?
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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.
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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.....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.

.....
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.
 

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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???
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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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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!
You'll have to forgive the thekctermite. He's heavily sedated after being decked by a power tool. Obviously it didn't knock any sense,"into" him.
Ron
 

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So are you letting the landlord attempt to fix the issue? It really doesn't matter whether you think it will work, you need to let him try and then follow up with him if it doesn't work. If I was a landlord and you ran to the government before letting me try to fix it I would not be happy.

How did this place compare to others that rented for the same amount?
 

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Spray foam and duct tape do not fix a sagging structure. You should not worry about hurting the landlords feelings. That place is a huge liability lawsuit waiting to happen. Your health and personal safety are at risk. Please put your location in your profile. You should be ready to move because the structure will have to be gutted and maybe even torn down. Good luck with this mess, Dorf Dude...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay everybody--
This is what I'm gonna do- I'm gonna let the landlord try and fix it, but I MUST insist that he does not stuff fiberglass insulation in the cracks and cover it with tape. Heck, if that is all that he can do, I would rather he NOT attempt that. First of all, he is not a professional. Second of all, after doing some research, and with the knowledge that he is not a professional, I do not feel safe with him handling fiberglass in the apt. I don't want to be exposed to fiberglass, as it is full of chemicals and it would not be sealed properly if it just covered with tape. Anyone here work with fiberglass? I think this beyond reasonable.

SIGH.
I have tried to be very nice about everything, and the landlord has fixed lots of other things, such as leaky pipes, door knobs, etc, but seems conveniently ignorant about the MAJOR issues.

I just have to make my apt. as livable as it can be for the time I have to live here, even if that means just filling the cracks temporarily to get rid of the drafts and smell.
My family just has so much going on in our lives, that it is a burden trying to deal with this.
 
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