Getting Ready for Weather
For many across the country — and the world — changes in weather patterns, especially from warmer weather to colder weather, means preparing the home for the inevitable intrusion of wind, rain, and more.
What does that involve? One would be weatherproofing, which means you are proactive in protecting your home from suffering from damage. Even a small freezing-cold draft entering a home and affecting a pipe can freeze it and cause it to burst, resulting in a water damage situation.
Here are some easy time-saving tips to ensure you not only save money on your gas or electric bill but also minimize the risk of damage to your home in very cold weather.
This means start looking for openings — any openings — in your home that can allow air or water intrusion.
For air intrusion, check around doors and windows, and this is pretty easy if you just hold a facial tissue up around potential cracks and crevices. If there is any type of air leak, the tissue move and show that.
For possible water intrusion, look for water stains in basements, around windows, any place that seems possible for water to enter your home. Plug any openings you find with quality materials.
Filters and vents
You want the maximum efficiency from your furnace system so change all filters on a regular basis, usually monthly.
Now might be a good time for a professional inspection of your duct work and having the ducts cleaned, if they are soiled.
Replace old weatherproofing
All your doors and windows should have weatherproofing material. With time and weather factors, these weatherproofing strips can and will age and become brittle and fail.
Purchase quality replacement weatherproofing materials and replace them if you notice they are not providing an air-tight seal. It’s not a bad idea to replace them every few years no matter how they appear.
Prevent to protect
With a thorough inspection and a little work on your home, you can prevent issues from arising during cold weather. Spend the time to do it right.
However, if something bad does occur — it happens! — and you suffer from any type of damage to your home, do the right thing and get professional help right away. Call your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Basics of Vacuuming
If you have carpet or rugs, you have a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum is absolutely necessary to keep your valuable carpet and rugs clean of particulate or dry soil.
While vacuuming may seem like a basic housekeeping chore and simple to do, the biggest challenge is getting out the vacuum and actually putting it to use.
How often you vacuum depends on the size of your family, and this includes pets. As a general rule, you should vacuum the main areas in your home, such as the living room, hallways, and other high traffic areas, one time each week per occupant.
For example, if you have four people and one dog in your family, vacuum five times per week, in those high traffic areas. For low-trafficked areas, once per week should suffice. This might seem extensive and perhaps unnecessary, but it keeps your carpet and rugs virtually free of dry soil buildup.
How to vacuum
You might be thinking, “You just plug it in and push it across the floor.” Which is basically what you do. The problem is how fast you move and how much overlapping you cover when running the vacuum.
While you may push the vacuum forward fast, slow down when you pull it towards you. This way the beater bar, if your vacuum has one, has a chance to work loose the soils. Also, overlap several inches from side to side so you have complete coverage of the floor.
Choosing the best vacuum
Quality matters when choosing a good vacuum cleaner. The cheaper ones at department stores may work fine for a while, but they quickly lose efficiency and often break down. Look at the reviews of any vacuum cleaner you are contemplating and spend a few more dollars on a superior model. Your carpet and rugs will be better off in the long run.
Choosing a vacuum with a beater bar is smart. Especially with thick pile carpet, it helps remove more dry soil. Some choose vacuum cleaners with a bagless option. If you use a vacuum cleaner with a bag, change it out when about half full, for maximum efficiency. Purchase plenty of replacement bags and have them on hand for this purpose.
Get with the pros
Cleaning companies, especially those who specialize in carpet and rug cleaning, can help you choose a quality vacuum. Get their input. After all, it pays to call a pro!
When Insurance Fails
Devastating pipe breaks, failing sump pumps, a smoky kitchen fire, the roof leaking from damage from high winds… no one wants to deal with anyof that.
But it does happen, and when it does, you probably do what is natural – you pick up the phone and call your insurance company, most likely your insurance agent, who may direct you to anyone from a central call center to handle your claim, an insurance adjuster, or perhaps to a local disaster restoration contractor they know.
And then the fun begins.
You aren’t sure yet if you have coverage, because the insurance company is dragging its feet. The adjuster isn’t able to come out for a few days, something you can’t believe. You worry, fret, and wonder if the damage to your home will be covered, and if you will have to pay for some (or all?) of the damage. You know you have to cover the deductible, and that’snot cheap.
The work begins. Everyone is in a hurry because if the damage isn’t fixed right away, other issues will surface. The restoration contractor does what he is trained to do, and the work progresses nicely, and eventually all is well again at home.
A few days late, the adjuster shows up. And he delivers a devastating blow. While you have coverage, the cost to repair the damage is more than the insurance company feels is fair, so they will only pay a percentageof the costs. The rest? You have to pay for that yourself.
What can you do?
One thing is to get another opinion. Hiring an independent insurance adjuster to review the job, all the paperwork, and your insurance policy might shed light on the issue and give you more info you need.
Depending on the new information you receive, you can revisit the issue with your insurance company. Taking this information to the insurance adjuster who you are battling with probably won’t do much good. It’s time to go over his head, as the saying goes.
If the difference between the costs of repairs and the offer from the insurance company is high enough, you can also consider a claim to the state entity (such as the insurance commissioner) that has authority and power to help. Many claim to be subject to bad business practices. You might be advised to hire an attorney, all which will cost you more.
The good news is if you hire the very bestdisaster restoration company, they have the experience to help you deal with all of this. After all, it pays to call a pro!