The cold snap has wreaked havoc at a Rural Valley property, leaving its owners with a mess on their hands and thousands of dollars in repairs to make.
Susan and Dan Bevevino, who own the property, a farm south of Route 85, checked on their property to find water “everywhere” — a word that could be an understatement.
“The rental has been empty,” Susan said. The house was last occupied in early December.
During the freeze last week, Dan had visited the house.
“The house looked fine,” Susan said. “No problems.”
He turned the faucets on to drip so that they would not freeze with the temperatures expected to drop again in the near future.
When he revisited the house, it was a different story.
During an initial evaluation done by Davis Brothers Heating, plumbers found 15 pipes broken.
“A couple of days later my husband went back out there and noticed two more pipes. So, he just decided to go through the whole house and see how many pipes were broken.”
He found 32 broken pipes.
The house was left with an extensive amount of damage — the first-floor carpet destroyed throughout as well as the ceiling. The upstairs bedrooms, Susan said, also have noticeable water damage and the basement has water in it.
The house is heated by a boiler system that pumped water throughout all of its three floors. Dan said that it’s possible that the electricity went off and the pump stopped worked, but the Bevevinos are not sure at this point how the incident began.
“We now have a contractor there ripping up the flooring and the ceiling,” Susan said. “Some of the walls have also been damaged and some have had to be taken down.”
An insurance company was able to come to the house and survey the damage, without including the damage to the plumbing.
Damage estimates are at $6,800 for house repairs alone, and repairing the furnace could cost $7,000 if the Bevevinos decide to go that route.
“They’re (the insurance company) not obligated to buy me a new furnace because I think the boiler still fires up and lights and everything — it isn’t necessarily that the furnace itself failed,” Dan said.
“I’m just taking the opportunity to improve the place at the same time, but the big thing that’s still open is what I’m going to do for a heating system,” Dan said. “I’m not anxious to repair the current system, I’m starting to explore a forced air system. I’m concerned that the same thing will happen.”
The Bevevinos are not only having issues at their Rural Valley property — they found damage at another property they rent on East Pike with $500 worth of water damage. That property has two broken pipes, with no visible water damage, Susan said.
“What is scary is that there is another round of bitter cold temperatures and wind chills (predicted for) next week.”
Dan hopes that the repairs will be finished and the house in Rural Valley will be in a state that can allow a new tenant to move in within a month or two.