The fact is, everyone lives in a flood zone. Fortunately not all flood zones are that risky! Your home may just be in a very low risk flood zone, but that doesn't' mean a flood may never affect you. Any water that inundates two or more properties is considered a flood. If a ton of rain floods the street ( a property) and then your home ( a second property) that is flood. The bad news is that Flood is not ever covered under a normal HO3 homeowners policy. If you see the need to cover the risk of flood, please call us and we can send you a flood quote in a matter of minutes!
Probably not... because it doesn't really exist! What people usually have when they think they have full coverage is actually at least three different coverages working together on the same policy. Liability, Comprehensive and Collision. When purchased together, you are close to fully covered, however you may still be missing some endorsements. Since most companies are a little different in what they offer and what they call their coverage, it is best to talk with your agent and ask them if you are covered for the things that are important to you.
As a homeowner, you know how important it is to keep every aspect of your house maintained. One of the most important facets of home maintenance is to make sure your roof is in tip-top shape. If you catch a problem early, you’re more likely to keep it from becoming a major repair — and a significant financial burden.
There are several things you can do to extend the life of your roof. Take a look at five ways to make your roof last longer.
1. Inspect your roof
If you’re not really sure what condition your roof is in, it’s time for a roof inspection. You don’t have to climb up there yourself; it’s always a safe option to hire an experienced professional to do it for you. It’s a small investment compared to what you could end up paying for repairs.
How to inspect your roof
Look for loose and curling shingles. What should you (or a roofing company) be looking for? For starters, it’s important to take a close look at the shingles, and search for any that might be loose, broken, curling, or missing completely. If they look worn down or are cracked, they should be replaced.
Inspect the interior. You also can look for signs inside your home, such as leaks in the ceiling, peeling wallpaper and cracked wall or ceiling paint, which could indicate that water is getting through your roof. Check the wood in your attic for signs of termites or other insects that might have made a home in your roof. The sooner you spot an insect problem, the faster you can treat it before it gets out of hand.
Look for rust on flashing. Lastly, look for any signs of rust on metal areas, such as the flashing around the chimney. Rusted areas can be treated with chemicals, such as corrosion-resistant paint. If the problem has progressed, the component may need to be replaced.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected every three years.
2. Check your gutters
Loose gutters can be hard on your roof. Over time they can start to pull away from the house, leaving damage to the lower area of the roof that eventually needs repairs or replacing. While you’re checking your gutters, look for leaks and clogs as well; clogs can cause the gutters to become heavy and pull on the roof. Depending on the types of trees you have near your home, you may want to clean out the gutters once per season.
3. Trim the trees
Overgrown tree branches can wreak havoc on your roof. They might rub or scrape on the roof, causing damage to the shingles and allowing holes and leaks to form. Branches could break during a storm, causing serious damage to your home. Tree leaves and needles can also fall into the gutters and clog them. Keep them trimmed back and watch for any branches that might be hanging too closely to your roof.
4. Remove debris
When you think of cleaning your house, the roof probably doesn’t jump to the top of the list, but it’s helpful to keep in mind. At the very least, it’s important to immediately get rid of any debris that builds up during a storm. You should also check your roof periodically to make sure there’s no accumulation of dirt, loose objects or foreign material.
Remove algae, mold, and moss
If you have asphalt shingles, you should also check them for black or dark green stains, which are a sign of algae growth. Shingles that are mostly in the shade can attract algae, mold, and moss, which you can have removed with a professional cleaning. The cost of a cleaning is a fraction of what it costs to replace the roof if the algae continues causing damage, and it can also refresh and restore some of the natural beauty of your roof.
5. Keep snow and ice off your roof
If you live in an area where ice or snow accumulation can be an issue the buildup can be extremely heavy, and the excess weight may stress your roof structurally. A one-inch-deep square foot of snow weighs about a pound, and a cubic foot of snow weighs around 20 pounds. When you think about your entire roof being covered in snow, you can start to calculate how much extra stress the snow places on it.
In addition to structural damage, snow and ice can melt and leak into your home if the roof or shingles have been damaged. This can create a host of other issues inside your home, including mildew and rot.
Removing snow from your roof can be extremely dangerous, so contact a professional contractor to examine the situation and see if removal is necessary. And you don’t need to remove snow from your roof every time it snows. Just be aware of those times when there’s a lot of accumulation in order to keep it from causing any damage. Learn how to prevent ice dam damage to your roof.
Seasonal home maintenance inspections, particularly after severe weather and when the seasons change, are an effective way to stay on top of any potential or developing problems with your roof. The better you take care of your roof, the better it will look and the longer your roof will last.
Learn more about signs of roof damage to help extend the life of your roof.
It’s back-to-school time — is your house ready?
We’re not quite sure where summer went, but if you haven’t noticed, it’s already time to think about the new school year.
And as you think about how to get your kids organized and ready, consider doing the same thing for something else — your home. It won’t just be good for you; in many instances, removing clutter also means removing distractions, which can help your kids focus better.
Where to start
You can start wherever you like, but it might be best to make sure your activities are organized before you start in on the daunting task of tackling all of your stuff. With sports and other activities, the school year can be a blur for parents. So keeping a family calendar — whether it’s a dry-erase board or just a weekly printout on the fridge — will ensure that everyone knows where they’re going, and when.
Before the kids go back
Don’t head out for back-to-school shopping just yet. First, do an inventory of school supplies, clothes and shoes so you aren’t buying things you don’t need. Toss or donate stuff that’s old, that doesn’t fit, or that your kids simply don’t like and won’t wear any more. One trick we’ve seen online: If you’re going through a whole closet and you’re not sure what fits your kids, have them try on pants until you find a good pair. Then use that pair to compare the length of all of the other pants.
When they’ve got homework
If possible, designate a study space where your kids have the tools they need for success. It should be well-lit, quiet and free of distractions. Different kids have different learning styles, so you’ll soon find out what works well and what doesn’t.
Now that you’ve gotten them organized ...
... It’s time to focus some energy on your stuff. Eliminate as much clutter from the house as you can, perhaps by following the classic 80/20 theory: 80% of the time, most people use only 20% of their stuff. If the item you’re looking at isn’t in that 20%, ask yourself: Do I really need this?
Stay on top of things
You’re off to a good start in the organizing battle — so keep things rolling! Each week, set aside time to go on a “search and destroy” mission for clutter. It’s much easier to stay organized when you only have to do a little at a time. And make sure the kids are involved, too. Everything — homework, school forms, backpacks — should have a home. And when everything has a home, you’ll be happier in yours!
Brr! Cold weather is on the way. A remote car starter is a convenient way to thaw out the exterior of your car and warm up the inside of your car. Some cars come already equipped with remote start from the factory, but after-market remote starters are inexpensive and easy to install.
The convenience of a remote starter outweighs the safety concerns, and with the following tips, you can ensure your remote car starter keeps you toasty and safe.
Hire a professional to install
One of the best things you can do to ensure the remote car starter functions correctly is to hire a professional to do the wiring. While you can get instructions online, there are special considerations for manual cars. The cost of the starter and installation averages about $400. You can order a starter for less online, but if you lack training in automotive electrical systems, you’re better off hiring a professional to do the work.
Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
It’s a busy morning. You’re rushing to pack the kids’ lunches for school, gather the visual aids for a report you’re presenting at work, and ushering everyone out the door. At least your car’s been running and will be warm and ready to go. The only problem? You forgot your car is parked in your closed garage, and now your garage is flooded with carbon monoxide.
Every year, 20,000 to 30,000 people suffer from carbon monoxide exposure. Any modified equipment is a risk in some way, so make sure everything functions properly. Be sure you only use your remote starter when you have your vehicle parked outside.
Protect your car from theft
Some remote car starter systems have additional features that can keep your car from getting hotwired or that disable the starter when the thief stops the car. The remote starter itself does not make your car any easier to steal. There are various levels of security with a remote starter. If the doors aren’t locked, and you engage the remote start, the doors will lock automatically. Another level of security is that many starters require you to place the key in the ignition before the car’s gears will move out of “Park.”
Keep your car and your life safe
You decided to go to a late movie, but the only parking spot was quite far back in the lot. You’re a bit nervous about walking out by yourself, and you can’t remember if you locked the doors of your car. With a remote starter, you hit a button on the key fob and your car will lock up tight. While it might still be a bit scary to walk out after the movie, you won’t have the concern of someone hiding in your backseat.
Keep dogs from overheating
Even though remote starters are a convenient tool, don’t rely on them to keep your pooch cool while you run into the shopping mall for an hour. Many remote starters shut off after a certain period if the key isn’t in the ignition. If you do plan to run into the store, make sure you check on your dog every 10 minutes or so to make sure the car hasn’t shut off. Better yet, just don’t use your car starter this way at all.
On a mild 85-degree day, the interior of the car heats up to around 102 degrees in a car with the windows left down. The temperature can spike dangerously in a matter of minutes. It’s truly best to leave your dog at home on a hot day or save the errands for another time.
The bottom line: Use remote starters responsibly
While there are a few minor concerns with using a remote car starter, the convenience far outweighs the worries. As long as you practice the tips above and use your starter responsibly, you most likely will not run into any issues.