True Stories from the Savvy Surveyor   (I guarantee you!)

4 — Just a Little Stain?

The following conversation happened in a mall clothing store. They were not aware they were losing their lease. I was working for a client that was getting the lease and planning to build a new store.

Me: "I want to thank you guys for your great hospitality to let me in your store to measure and take pictures. I have completed my job and want to ask you a question before I leave. I noticed a very small stain in the carpet near the rear of your middle sales room. Did you guys have a roof leak or something in the past?"

Store Manager: "Oh yeah! It was worse than a roof leak. We had to replace all the carpet in the rear sales room, but we decided to keep the carpet in the middle sales room and get it thoroughly cleaned. That little stain line is the only evidence left of what happened here last month. I am surprised you saw it!"

Me: "What happened?"

Store Manager: "The mall sewer pipe clogged up and sewage came up through the floor drains in both bathrooms. It oozed out of the bathrooms, into the hallway, then out into the entire rear sales room, and partially into the middle sales room. We had to close the store. It was awful!"

Me: "That is unbelievable! How did that happen?"

Store Manager: "The food court is down stream from us on the sewer line. Most of the mall is upstream from us. Periodically the food court grease clogs the pipe and the sewage from most of the mall comes up through our floor drains. It has happened before but never as bad as last month!"

Floor Mop UpNeedless to say, I was so thankful that I spotted the stain and asked that simple question. An architectural surveyor is really much more than someone who only measures, takes photos and looks at equipment!