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Boveda ceiling crumbling


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After living in Houston with a flat roof, I thought my ceiling nightmares were over. But, there are crumbles of brick in a spot in my master bedroom. The guy who came to fumigate told me it was termites and sprayed the heck out of it. He left with 3500 pesos promising to come back with a ladder and spray the roof but is long gone. 

As it is still crumbling and termites didn't made sense to me, I'm looking for other answers. Is this how you know you have a roof leak - crumbles instead of water? Could the split AC close by be contributing? Does one hire a company specifically for roof work like in the States or will any construction person do a roof? Could it be a big big scorpion with ill intent pinching its way through? 

Thanks!!!!

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23 minutes ago, TheBestSideOfTheWall said:

After living in Houston with a flat roof, I thought my ceiling nightmares were over. But, there are crumbles of brick in a spot in my master bedroom. The guy who came to fumigate told me it was termites and sprayed the heck out of it. He left with 3500 pesos promising to come back with a ladder and spray the roof but is long gone. 

As it is still crumbling and termites didn't made sense to me, I'm looking for other answers. Is this how you know you have a roof leak - crumbles instead of water? Could the split AC close by be contributing? Does one hire a company specifically for roof work like in the States or will any construction person do a roof? Could it be a big big scorpion with ill intent pinching its way through? 

Thanks!!!!

Sorry for your problem but I'm still laughing! Termites causing boveda to crumble, uh, no I don't think so. Could easily be the A/C but you will get many recs here for who to call so take your pick and agree to pay AFTER the problem is solved. You may well have to front the money for materials but not the mano de obra (labor charge). Good luck. We once counted 48 scorpions in one night in a rental we had prior to moving to PV, most of which were dead in the morning. We were VERY careful when getting up at night. Have never seen one here.

Mexicans have a great saying that in English roughly translates to "you never pay the Mariachis until the song is over" and it is good advice for lots of things.

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Termites eat wood, not concrete or bricks.

My best guess is that you have a leak in the roof and water is slowly dissolving the concrete below causing the bricks to shift.

It is a common problem here because of the weather.  You need someone to fix the roof and seal it.

 

 

 

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Yes, I really was mad at myself as to how I handled the fumigator. I broke my cardinal rule to never hire someone who came to me. Only people I sought out. 

But...the house that I bought had a gardner and a maid who worked for the past owners for three years so when the guy said he fumigated for the people who lived here I bought it. 

As soon as he was inside he was finding all kinds of problems and wanting 500 pesos for each new creature he was going to slay with his "organic magic mixture." I had a bad vibe two minutes in and was ready to pay the extortion so he would leave. And sure enough, I found out he wasn't who had done the place before. I figure he saw the For Sale sign go down, a very bewildered woman standing in the driveway for a half hour trying to make both sides of the gate close at the same time, and knew he won the sucker lottery. 

(Now the gate doesn't open or close at all because I seem to have blown a breaker to the front of the house. As soon as I can find the breaker box, expect me to blow the whole neighborhood. Have screwdriver, will zap.)

I was so capable of fixing things, fumigating, gardening, and cleaning on my own I was the ultimate independent woman. I feel like I have been transported back to being 16 and not knowing how to change a tire (my dad let the air out a few times during the middle of a Friday night knowing I would want to go somewhere Saturday night. Then he would go fishing.)

So here I am - figuring out brick ceilings, water filter lights, septic tank care, and propain tanks. 

Sigh! I signed up for this so complaining is futile. 

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Your can-do attitude will take you far. Mexico does have a learning curve so don't feel bad. After 12 years here we fell for a well laid scam that cost us roughly $9000 US. A best friend who had done us innumerable favors, it can happen to anyone.

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You might consider hiring a good property manager--one call does it all, as to fixing things or explaining things. The monthly fee might be worth it. I used Roma Prop. Mgmt. for the first years here. The important thing is to make it easy enough on yourself so that you do not get discouraged and go "home."

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21 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

I don't think think this one is going home!

Lol! As of July 14th, 2017; this is home. And home is what you make it.

I'm a spry 55 years old but I'm already trying figure out where to eventually put in the wheel chair ramp for the day I turn 95 and fail to auto-correct when tripping on a cobblestone. I feel like my heart has lived here for decades just waiting for me to raise my kid, serve my 24 year marriage sentence,  conquer single life, and haul the rest of my body down here. 

 

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Is it your brick that is truly crumbling or are you seeing white powdery salitre falling from the ceiling?  Salitre is much more common here--still requires a fix but crumbling brick is a sign of very long standing water problem and may require a more expensive fix.

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1 minute ago, Yo1 said:

Is it your brick that is truly crumbling or are you seeing white powdery salitre falling from the ceiling?  Salitre is much more common here--still requires a fix but crumbling brick is a sign of very long standing water problem and may require a more expensive fix.

It is defiantly red brick crumbs. Fortunately it is a small area. I tapped with a broom handle to see what I could knock off and it is one brick right by the outside wall. And I'm still wondering if the split AC isn't somehow involved since it is only a foot away. 

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Okay, so somebody recommend a good, honest person to this woman who will check out her roof and ceiling and get the problem fixed for a reasonable, fair price before a chunk of the boveda falls off and kills her.   We need people with her attitude and spirit here.  And please publicly post that recommendation because I might need that repairman too!  None of the PM stuff , please.  We are, after all, a community helping each other.  At least that's how I understand the purpose of this web oars.

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1 hour ago, bdlngton said:

Okay, so somebody recommend a good, honest person to this woman who will check out her roof and ceiling and get the problem fixed for a reasonable, fair price before a chunk of the boveda falls off and kills her.   We need people with her attitude and spirit here.  And please publicly post that recommendation because I might need that repairman too!  None of the PM stuff , please.  We are, after all, a community helping each other.  At least that's how I understand the purpose of this web oars.

Thanks!!!  But honestly, if I die from a brick it will be one thrown at me. I can be a little snarky. 

Web help is the best. I can get references and rock a mud facial mask at the same time. 

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OK, first have someone get on the roof and check that entire boveda area for leaks.  If it is OK, take some clear flat sealer and seal that brick and the mortar and area around it.  The AC could be causing a condensation problem but I doubt it.  Far more likely you have a small leak.

Get in the habit of checking the entire roof prior to rainy season and sealing/calking any suspect areas.  If it is necessary to recoat an area, make sure it is cleaned first.  There's this tendency around here to slop some coating on right over the dirt.  Make sure they don't do that.

I have found that roof leaks fall in the category of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."  But unless you are expert at this, I would find an honest and qualified person to do it for you.  I can't recommend one because I do my own.

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 Good info Mainecoons.

If you can get on the roof yourself and take a boo around first that would help. You may be able to visually spot a problem area but it's also by touch and sound. Waterproofing usually has a membrane that is sandwiched between layers of white "goop". So if it looks bubbly, poke it or rap your knuckles on it and it will sound hollow instead of a nice solid "thunk". I've been dealing with Juan Pablo of JP Home Services and it was refreshing to hear that my roof is fine (this was in April before the rainy season). In other words, he didn't fake the need to work on it. I also find his attitude refreshing because he doesn't dismiss my ideas or concerns because I'm female. That's a tough find in macho Mexico and I can spot the swagger when it walks through the door now. Those who swagger do not get my business. He gives estimates which are accurate although there can always be unexpected surprises when dealing with concrete and hidden pipes. Juan Pablo's cell phone number is 333-968-2938

I have just been in this house for a little over a year and I've done a fair bit of work. Prioritize your needs and deal with the wants later. My first two priorities were grounding the whole house and installing an under the sink water filtration system. Yours will be different. Poco a poco. Your sense of humour and "can do" attitude will take you a long way here. Welcome to the "far side".

 

 

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9 hours ago, TheBestSideOfTheWall said:

I know. But that is regular fumigation. Didn't you read the part about it being organic ;)

Apparently you were told by the ladron that it was organic,whatever that means. My friends have 6 street rescue dogs and get the 350 peso fumigation and the dogs are still alive and the bugs are dead. I think that it's been said on here already but never do bus. with somebody knocking on your door no matter what they claim.

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Roof repair: We had Rudy Renteria of Ajijic Marble and Granite redo our roof when they were finishing our addition. They did an excellent job, removing large chunks of previously applied barrier that did not stick. They have a great team and do excellent work... 766-1306...

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We have happily been using Raul Perez to repair anything construction wise, including electrical, plumbing wall cracks and roof leaks.  Very dependable, honest and trustworthy.  Excellent English.  He is at: 333.173.3160.  email: rpenajijic@hotmail.com.

Mike

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Not all bricks are equal. Some are "low fired", which makes them only a little stronger than adobe. Many terracotta pots are like this too. They crumble apart with constant moisture. I bought some inexpensive bricks from Mexcale that were like this. This why many of the builders now prefer concrete "blockas" - but the are never the same look in a boveda.

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We have had a couple instances where some ants burrowed a trail thru the mortar and a week brick.  I just could not figure out what was making that colored dust in just that particular spot.  

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