So, after little more than a year, our apartment has decided to self-destruct. On Saturday night, the sink started backing up, full of nasty silt. This happened once last year, so we thought we knew the drill. Of course, this kind of thing always happens on the weekend, and I didn't think standing water in the kitchen sink really qualified as an emergency. Unfortunately, when we returned from church on Sunday, we discovered standing water around the sink, under the sink, and on the floor. Of course, the counter was cluttered with odds and ends, so all kinds of things were contaminated. One large roll of paper towels and several disinfectant wipes later, the majority of the kitchen items were evacuated.
I called for emergency maintenance, and the office sent somebody over in one quick hurry. He fiddled with the problem for a while, dragged up more foul-smelling silt from the drain, and declared himself out-classed. He called some real plumbers, who in turned fiddled for a long while and also declared defeat. They promised to return sometime during the week to "camera the line."
In the meantime, we must subsist on fast food.
They were back on Wednesday, prepared to perform a colonoscopy on our pipes. From the back room, I heard lots of suspicious sawing sounds. When they were done, they left a big whole in the wall, claiming to have found and marked a "break in the line." They predicted it would be necessary to "tear out" the whole kitchen. In the meantime, that hole has released all kinds of new noxious smells which continue to remind us of mildewy basements and old gym clothes by turns. Hence the small and entirely inadequate air-freshener.
I went down to the office today to inquire how long we'll have to put up with this situation. After all, the sink is a muddy mess, the countertops are unsanitary and the whole place smells horrible. It has kind of crippled any attempt to cook in there. No one could tell me how long it would be. They suggested it would be okay to use the sink and the dishwasher if the sink was draining. I tried it. The sink isn't draining. I left a message.
In the meantime, our kitchen paraphernalia has taken up residence on the table and in plastic bins. I think I will acquire more air fresheners. Fun times.
In addition to the obvious problems, the water from Sunday's flood seems to have gotten into more than just the particle board. Every other floorboard under the entryway carpet is suddenly severely warped. They'll likely want to tear that up, too.
And, if they ever can get around to it, our bathtub isn't draining properly.