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As of February 27, 2015

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, February 18, freezing in the sprinkler header along the north wall of the Chapter/Living Room caused the pipe to split in several locations.  Because of the early hour, flooding was extensive before the residents could determine the cause and shut the sprinkler system supply valves. The sprinkler piping on the first floor is hidden in drywall encasements and the wood framing covering the upper floor support beams. This construction allowed the water to travel through these encasements and “rain” throughout the first floor.  The water seeped through the floor to the basement.  Our immediate response, in addition to shutting off the source of water, included contacting the Borough police, our maintenance contractor, our sprinkler system contractor and a water remediation service (Service Master).  All responded promptly. Ed Sidwell went to the house to provide on-site support and Bob Nelson manned the phone and e-mail to coordinate contractor actions and insurance company notifications. Resident brothers assisted Service Master in water removal which took most of the day. Industrial blowers and dehumidifiers were installed and remained in continuous operation until the weekend. The wall-to-wall carpeting and padding in the Chapter/Living Room were disposed rather than attempting to dry these waterlogged articles.

The sprinkler piping was repaired that day and the system was fully restored. The wet basement ceilings caused spurious fire alarms for several days until the detectors were dried/repaired. The electrical circuit for the dining room tripped and could not be reset. This circuit has been repaired.

Brothers Nelson and Sidwell (President and Vice President of our Property Association) met with the insurance adjuster on Friday morning, 2/20. Based on discussions with the adjuster, the wood flooring on the entire first floor is a loss and should be replaced. Ceiling heat panels on the first floor and basement were examined with an infrared heat detector/gun with room thermostats set to the highest setting. About 60 – 80% of the panels were not functioning. Fortunately, enough of the heating system is working to keep the temperature at a comfortable level. The vinyl tile flooring in the basement was not damaged.

Brothers Nelson and Sidwell met with a flooring contractor on Monday, 2/23, to begin the estimating process for the wood flooring replacement.  A showroom visit is planned for the week of March 2 to look at flooring options and styles.

Brother Nelson met with a general contractor and HVAC contractor on Thursday, 2/26, to begin the estimating process for repair/replacement of the heating system for the first floor and basement. Additional estimates will be sought. General contractors are in very high demand because our situation has been experienced at many locations in our area (including our local library), a result of consistent temperatures at or below zero.  

The heating system repairs need to occur before the flooring is replaced so we don’t expect full restoration until well into the summer months.

Professional cleaning to remove the large amounts of residual dirt on the first floor and basement occurred on Friday, 2/27. This cleaning concluded our immediate and near-term responses to this event.

Longer term efforts will include obtaining additional estimates, review of bids, coordination with the insurance broker, approval of the Association’s Board of Directors (BOD) for repair/replacement work, and coordination of work with the chosen contractors.

The full cost is not known but we expect insurance to cover most, if not all, of the clean-up and repairs, less the $2,500 deductible. If this is not the case, the BOD will need to approve an alternate funding approach/source.

Please send any questions and comments to Brother Nelson, ΔΔ916, at nelsonnittany@aol.com.