Darnall roof experience leaks with heavy rain

October 7, 2015

Heavy rainfall has caused ceilings in Darnall Hall rooms to leak. File photo: Georgetown Voice

Last week, heavy rainfall caused leaks from the ceilings of two dorm rooms on the top floor of Darnall Hall, drawing attention to a damaged roof, which is now set to be repaired.

On Sept. 29, ceiling leaks started in the rooms of Aakash Panjabi (MSB ‘19) and Alexis Bankhead (COL ‘19), both residents of Darnall’s sixth floor. Whereas the leak in Bankhead’s room was relatively small, Panjabi said, “There was just a huge puddle of water in the center of our room.” On Oct. 4, five days after the leak had started, Alexis and her roommate still had a garbage can and towel under the leak.

According to Panjabi and Bankhead, both pairs of residents reported the leaks to the Emergency Service Requests number, which is on the Planning & Facilities Management website, on Tuesday night.

In an email to the Voice on Oct. 6, Vice President of Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey wrote, “We are contracting with an expert roofing company to inspect and make necessary repairs.”

According to Panjabi, the maintenance workers who went to his room said that they cannot repair the leaks from the inside. Rather, they will need to patch the leaks from the roof.

Since Sept. 30, Panjabi and his roommate have not been sleeping in their room. “[The maintenance workers] told us not to stay in there,” said Panjabi. “The water was fine, but when it sat there for a day, it started to smell really bad,” he said. According to Panjabi, the carpet needs to be cleaned and treated.

Panjabi and his roommate were offered temporary housing in Village C East as an option. However, both decided to stay with friends on their floor.

Both Bankhead and Panjabi said that they are not aware of when the roof will be repaired. Morey and Associate Vice President of Facilities Operations, Design, and Construction, Gregory Simmons, visited Bankhead’s dorm room to inspect the leak on Oct. 6 afternoon. Bankhead found this visit to be very unexpected. As Bankhead described, Morey and Simmons told her that they would be calling a roofing company, and that, since they cannot pinpoint where exactly the roof is broken, the repair would be a “hit or miss.”

“Such roof leaks are not a frequent occurrence, however, when heavy and pervasive rain coupled with high winds occur we do experience various roof leaks in our facilities,” Morey wrote in an email to the Voice. He also added that, over the years, there have been various improvements to Darnall, including the paint, carpeting, and furniture.

Regarding renovation plans, Morey wrote, “Further Darnall improvements will be considered as we develop an overall campus housing renewal strategy.”

Anna Gloor
Anna is the former general manager of the Voice's business section.

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Hannan Ahmad

If a roof has experienced leaks just after a little rain, it means there has been a major lack in maintenance of the building. If you get regular roof inspections from professional roofers and tend to the minor repairs on time, you don’t face such issues.