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Maintenance Tips for Your Home This Spring

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Roof and PlantAs soon as spring arrives, all people want to do is go outside and enjoy the fresh air and the warmer temperatures. Another great thing you should do as a homeowner is complete some maintenance items around your home. This is important to do so your home can stay in the best condition all year long.

Maintenance Tips for Your Home

  • Clean your gutters. Throughout the year, a lot of things can accumulate in your gutters including debris, leaves from the fall and other items. You should take the time once per year to clean them out and spring is a great opportunity. While you are doing this, be sure to clear out your downspouts so you can ensure that everything is working properly.
  • Get your roof inspected. Even if your roof is fairly new, you still want it to be inspected at least once per month to make sure no repairs are needed. You do not want to find out you need to repair your roof by finding an interior leak. Inspect it once per year to prevent issues like this from happening. If you do need a repair, make sure you contact a professional to do the job.
  • Trim the foliage around your home. The trees and shrubs around your home can grow a lot in a year and you not only want to keep them looking nice, but you also want to make sure that the tree branches are not getting too close to your home. They can cause structural damage if they are not maintained so inspecting them once per year and trimming as needed is imperative. You want to make sure they are at least five feet away from your home.

Using these tips can help keep your home in great shape and prevent some costly repairs later. In the case that you do find yourself in need of some restoration and repair, be sure to reach out to Parker Young for a quote.

Tips on Picking the Best Smoke Alarms for Your Home

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Pot Burning on StoveWhen you own a home, you need to make sure you have the right smoke alarms in place so you are always protected. Having these in your home can double your chances of surviving a home fire. You should have at least one on each level of your home. You should also have them in sleeping areas, such as bedrooms. Choosing the right smoke alarm can be confusing so use these tips to make sure you get the perfect one that meets your needs and can keep you safe.

Tips for Choosing the Best Smoke Alarms

  • Choose the right type. There are three different types of smoke alarms. Ionization alarms better detect faster fires but are not as good at sensing ones that are slower to grow. Photoelectric alarms are better at detecting slower fires and are best suited for kitchens because they are less likely to go off with cooking smoke. Dual-sensor alarms provide the best protection because they have both photoelectric and ionization technologies to detect both kinds of fires.
  • Choose alarms with a test button. You always want to have a test button because you should be testing your fire alarms once per year. If the alarms you choose do not have the test button, it can be difficult to determine if they are working properly.
  • Look for hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms. When you choose this option, if one alarm goes off then they all do. This can alert you of a fire in another area of the home, even if you are not in the area. This is especially important if you have a large home and you cannot hear smoke alarms going off in other areas as well.

You always want to make sure your home is protected, which is why it is so important to have the right fire alarms in place. Be sure to contact Parker Young for more information.

How Home Damage Protection Classes Will Benefit Homeowners

Thursday, March 24th, 2016
home_insurance
Home Damage Protection Classes that Benefit Homeowners

First time homeowners rarely consider their brand new home may suffer damage at some point in the future. There simply isn’t a way to predict potential home damage. The types of unpredictable damage include:
-Unexpected hurricanes or tornadoes where applicable
-High wind gusts of unusual strength and duration
-Flooding in high water table areas or as a result of storms
-Accidental damage from flying objects

These are just a few of the possibilities. Home damage protection classes can provide a wealth of information on other types of home damage and especially, on how homeowners can protect their home and property. For example, the location of a home near athletic fields can cause damage from an unexpected ball sailing through a window or against exterior siding. In urban areas with high volume traffic, an unexpected vehicular accident can cause home or property damage. There is also fire and damage from break-ins in urban and suburban areas.

How Home Damage Protection Classes Will Benefit Homeowners
Home damage protection classes will benefit homeowners by raising awareness of potential damage and also how to avoid many types of damage that can be incurred due to lack of knowledge. Education is always the best protection for a wide range of issues. For homeowners, knowing where damage can occur and how to avoid it protects the home and helps reduce the cost of repair, remediation and homeowner insurance. Home damage classes point out the likeliest types of damage in a specific location and also teaches homeowners the best methods to obtain maximum home protection. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and to enjoy a greater sense of quality of living in the home.

Other Benefits of Home Damage Protection
There’s an even better reason to invest in home damage protection classes. These classes may help homeowners make better decisions on purchases for the home that are safe and durable. For example, home damage protection helps homeowners to know flammability and toxicity levels of certain home purchases. The interior of the home also has a broad range of potential sources that need home damage protection.

Where To Look for Mold In The Home

Monday, February 29th, 2016

airduct

Have you recently started suffering from allergies? Does your house smell a little musty? Do you experience water-related problems in your home? If the answer to any of these questions is a yes, then you most likely have a mold issue at your home. If you can’t see any visible signs of mold, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not there. Mold can grow without being visible in places like behind the walls, in the air conditioning ducts, above the ceiling and below the floors.

Mold Inspection

If you have even a slight suspicion that you might have mold in your home, it is always advisable to do a thorough inspection. First, look for signs yourself. If you have had water leakage in the past, that area will be a good place to start your inspection. Any mold infested area will give off an odor; so even if you can’t see it, you will be able to smell and feel it. If you suspect mold infestation but can’t find the source, your next step is to call a professional.

Where to Look for Mold

  • Walls: The most obvious place to look for mold is on the walls. If you see cracks in paint or foundation, this can be a result of mold.
  • Floor: Floors gather lots of dust and also trap moisture in carpets and fabric. The two of these conditions allow for the growth of mold.
  • Ceiling: Following the notion that heat rises, the ceiling attracts lot of humidity and becomes a playing ground for mold.
  • Windows: Due to frequent condensation, windows are generally humid. Though mold can’t grow on glass, it can grow on the frame and wall on which window is planted.
  • Insulation: Insulation could be breeding grounds for mold, especially if there was ever a leakage nearby. This is an important one to check as it is out of sight.
  • Basement: Due to its lower location, basements are generally more damp and humid, attracting mold. This part of your house needs special care and attention.
  • Air Ducts: These are very susceptible to mold colonies growing inside the ducts as a result of air condensation and humidity.
  • Clothes: Wet and damp clothes left un-attended for more than a day can have mold on them.

How to Plan Ahead for Home Rain Damage

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

rain home

Water stagnation causes excessive damage to any building, and along with that comes illness. Here are some foolproof tips to keep your home ready to handle any of the elements, especially heavy rains.

The roof

Prior to rainfall, inspect the roof carefully in case of any cracks, loose shingles, sludge or grime. Older homes are always vulnerable to the elements. Moisture can seep into the framework or the home itself. If you notice any cracks on the ceiling inside the house, get moving to address the issue immediately.

Pipes and water runoffs

Debris, leaves, mud and dirt can cause a block preventing the easy flow of water into runoffs. If required, use a mesh to prevent debris from filtering into the main pipes. If there are leaves at the mesh remove them immediately, otherwise they will cause excessive damage to the ceiling.

Downspouts

Excessive saturation at the base of the house or the surrounding can cause an imbalance to the structure with problems down the line. Engineer downspouts so that water does not take root in the building but flows freely and prevent any sludge or moisture build up.

Check the gutters

Debris in the gutters creates water logging. When you notice anything in the gutters that prevents water from flowing freely, make sure that you get them cleaned right away to ensure safety. If not, there is a chance that the water can flow into the house because of a faulty outlet.

Waterproofing

House wraps, damp proofing, prevention of rising damp, roof prevention water proofing mechanisms, foundation proofing are all necessary to prevent any weakening of the building. The necessity is to make sure that you get suitable people on the job prior to the rains.

To prep the home for the rainy weather is to make sure that the runoffs are sturdy. By being proactive, any problem related to leakages, cracks, plumping will gird the house against nature’s fury. If there are any trees near the house that look dodgy, call in the professionals. It will frustrating if you do not plan ahead.

Water Damage Home Insurance Resources

Friday, January 29th, 2016

3d Property insurance concept

Repair work for water damage can be quite expensive, and as they are usually deceptive, water damages may run you into unexpected expenses that may not have been part of your budget.  Hence, water damage home insurance can come in handy and protect you from unforeseen repair bills.

Any water damage has to be addressed immediately as the damage can spread to other parts of your house in no time, and mold growth that results from water damages can be hazardous to your health.  If the damages are not prevented, then the molds would continue to proliferate as water leakage provides the moisture and nutrient that molds need to grow.

It’s important to note here that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t always cover all water damages and they are usually covered under an additional policy.  There are many factors that are taken into account to assess whether the damage can be covered under homeowner’s insurance or not.

A homeowner’s policy generally covers damages caused by floods, wind, rain, or hail whereas mold caused by persistent water leakage are covered under a separate policy.  Age of the roof and the structure of your house are also considered for the assessment.

Look through the clauses of your existing policy and find out the types of water damages covered under it.  However, the best way to find out the coverage is by contacting your insurance service provider, as they are the ones who would be able to provide relevant information.  They would also inform you whether you need to purchase an additional policy or not for all types of water damages.

Water is one of the most common causes of damage in your home and it’s advisable to take precautionary measures, especially when the cost of water damages can be very high.

Maintain appliances and structures inside your house and obtain proper insurance to avoid unwarranted hassles.

Methods for Dehumidifying Your Home 

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

home maintenance

Excess heat and moisture in the environment can lead to humidity in the house, and sometimes it can cause dampness around furniture and areas where direct sunlight does not reach. The general signs of humidity in the home are foggy windows, musty smell in some rooms and rotting wood. Homeowners need not always resort to artificial or electrical means to dehumidify their home, as a few simple tools can keep a home free of humidity.

  • Ventilation – Areas of the house that are exposed to heat and water like the kitchen and bathroom should have proper ventilation for entry of fresh air that can drive out moisture and humidity. In cold weather when people take long hot showers, the bathrooms tend to become more humid. This is a good time to open windows and help the area dry out faster.
  • Keep Houseplants Outside Temporarily – Plants are good for the house. However, these too can create humidity; instead, they should be removed from areas like bathrooms and kept on a balcony or in a window. Using limited water in house plants during winter and rainy seasons will lower humidity a significant amount.
  • Dehumidifiers – There are different types of artificial dehumidifiers that can be used as tools to remove excess moisture in different parts of the house. For example, these devices include silica gel and Eva-dry Renewable Wireless Mini Dehumidifier. Depending on the weather conditions and the size of the room, different types of dehumidifiers with varied technologies are used.
  • Insulated Pipes- Hot and cold water pipes tend to sweat during humid weather conditions which can cause rusting. Wrapping the pipes in insulation tubing can protect them from the aftereffects of condensation.
  • Protection From Winter Chills – To prevent cold air from seeping into the house during winter, always remember to block windows with plastic frames that will keep the home warm. If caulking is not done properly, it can lead to increase in heating costs during winter.

Understanding The Method of Drying Out Your Home

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

ordinary life in the flooded flat. 3d concept

It’s important to start the drying process as soon as possible following water damage to prevent further consequences.  If the damage is not significant and if you can handle the process without professional help, then make sure you take all necessary safety measures such as turning off the power in your house and wearing gloves before you start the drying process.

If the effect of water damage is minimal, then a natural drying such as a simple ventilation would be enough.  However if the damage is significant, then you will have to contact professionals who would then use a conventional drying method that involves high temperature heat and air movers.  While the drying process is underway, they need to follow certain steps as per industry norms:

  • Material and Structure Consideration:  While drying your house, moving contents to a dry place is important.  Contents, such as books, electronics, and furniture may get affected by water damage and would require drying as well.  Industry-approved tools are used for sterilization, drying, and sanitization of these contents.  If something cannot be restored or if the cost involved in the restoration process of any item is higher than its value, then the item should be discarded.
  • Monitoring:  After excess water is extracted, the drying equipment should be placed on affected areas.  The contractor has to monitor the process at a regular interval to check moisture content, humidity, and temperature, and take corrective measures if required.  The equipment should be relocated if a particular area in the house remains wet.
  • Completion: The drying process is considered complete only when the moisture content, humidity, and temperature are within acceptable limits.

Apart from that, dehumidification is also used for the removal of water from the affected areas.  Proper procedure methods need to be followed to avoid secondary damage that may result from inappropriate measures.

Disaster Home Insurance Benefits

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Happy couple seal a deal with their personal financial advisor a

Home insurance is something that is more than just having your legal requirements covered as a home owner. It is a safety net in case there should be any disaster-level accidents including fires, storms, theft, vandalism, and other things that can damage or even destroy your home. Your best bet will be to hire the services of a home insurance company and get a comprehensive plan that is appropriate for the house you are living in.

Types of Home Insurance

Depending on the company you hire, your insurance coverage can be one of three types- basic, broad and special. The amount of coverage between them and their cost varies from basic to special. In a basic home insurance, you should get coverage for a good number of damage-causing situations including fire, hail, explosions, smoke, and other such contingencies. Broad will add more items to the list and similarly, special will let you pick and chose a number of likely damages.

Advantages of Home Insurance

Having adequate insurance involves knowing how much your home and the things inside it are worth before applying for it. If you happen to go through a fire accident or any of the mentioned covered incidents, you can restore them with the insurance plan. Even if you do not get the exact same items, the payout will ensure you get close substitutes. The structure can be repaired and restored and you can get the damaged portions back to working order.

When it comes to insurance, diligence is key. Always be aware of what you are signing up for, and read and discuss the terms and other parts of the document in detail before you put your money down. Also, be wary of what is not included in the policy and never make assumptions; ask and clarify.

Preparing For El Nino Winter

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Source: Flickr

Throughout the continental US, ice storms are most likely to happen between the months of December and January. Ice storms can be especially brutal this year as the weather forecasters have issued warnings about the upcoming winter. Around the New Year ice storms are expected to hit, so it makes sense to prepare your home and make sure that you focus on protection and damage prevention.

Here are a few tips that will work as prevention measures from winter damage to your home.

Communication: Have a fail-safe way to keep your communications channels open. There should be a radio handy to listen in on the news, a working spare battery for your phone, and other backups that are ready to go in times of emergency.

Heat: Make sure your HVAC systems are working well. It’s never too late to have it serviced before the new year, especially because you do not want your home going cold after an HVAC failure in a storm.

Lighting: How would you keep warm if the power were to go out? Power failures are unlikely, but a looming threat, so make sure you have that covered with plenty of battery-operated and ignitable appliances like lanterns and candles.

Water: Fresh water can become an issue as full pipes tend to expand in extreme weather conditions and burst because of static water in them. Keep your taps slightly open so that there is a drip. Also, don’t waste this water; collect it.

Car Emergency Prevention: Keep a winter kit in your car. It should have everything you need to prepare you for action if you happen to get stranded such as an ice scraper, extra layers of clothing, a form of communication, and emergency contact numbers. Send your car in for a service before it gets too stormy.

You can relax and be at peace when you know that you are prepared for any contingencies at your home this new year.

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