Bitter cold, blizzard conditions, frozen locks, fender benders and still Amanda’s clients insisted on the showing. They had driven up from the City (We all know that means New York City.) These potential buyers didn’t drive 4 hours (normally 2 to 2.5 Hours) for nothing.
Amanda managed to de-ice the frozen lock and leave her car ½ mile away from the property b/c it just wouldn’t make it up the slight incline of the driveway. Amanda’s buyers had a large 4 Wheel SUV that had absolutely no problems making it up the driveway.
The kids spilled out and Mrs. Petrocelli quickly had them “mittened” and capped with scarves just hell bent blowing in the tempest winds. When Amanda said freezing, she was talking way below zero.
The lock groaned and finally twisted properly. In went the entourage. How great to finally be inside out of the blizzard. Outside, it must have been 10 below and inside was really warm at about 0 degrees.
The laundry room stared Amanda and family square in the face with water running haphazardly everywhere. Getting into the kitchen became a matter of remaining balanced as everyone skated on the ice sheet created by broken water lines from the laundry area.
Every water line in the entire house had broken and was streaming water with ice pads getting thicker as the water froze. Amanda hustled everyone out of the home trying to make sure no one got hurt.
The Petrocellis’ were disappointed, Amanda was mortified. This was her personal listing and she knew the sellers would go ballistic upon hearing of the substantial damage and resulting repair costs. (The home might be covered by home owner’s insurance—speak to your insurance agent and be pre-emptive.) Amanda called me after her customers had left and her fingers thawed.
“Dad: Just want you to know I advised Peter and Myra Smith 2 months ago they needed to winterize their home or it was quite likely the water pipes would freeze and break. Evidently, they did not follow my advice and they have a major plumbing problem that needs immediate response. I don’t know how long the water has been running, but the whole interior seems wrecked to me.”
The point is clear. HAVE A PROFESSIONAL PLUMBER WINTERIZE YOUR PROPERTY BEFORE DEEP WINTER SETS IN.
If you do heat your home in winter, install a heat alarm system that notifies you in the event your heating plant fails, you run out of fuel, or the electric is out. Alarm companies have plans and devices serving as a “fail safe” allowing you to avoid the horrible devastation broken water pipes bring when they freeze and burst.