Tips for Hiring a Contractor:
Have you ever had contractor knock on your door? Offering to inspect your roof or siding? Telling you that a recent storm caused damage? Maybe you received a mailing. Spring is here and with it comes rain, hail and wind. And contractors will follow. Before signing any documents do your homework. An Assignment of Benefits Agreement may seem simple enough but it authorizes contractors to act on your behalf taking away your rights to act. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) posts the following suggestions before hiring a contractor:
· Get more than one estimate.
· Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, time schedules, guarantees, payment schedules and other expectations should be detailed.
· Demand references and check them out.
· Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license and write down the license number and their vehicle’s license plate number.
· Never sign a contract with blanks; unacceptable terms can be added later.
· Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished and ensure reconstruction is up to current code.
· Make sure you review and understand all documents sent to your insurance carrier.
· Never let a contractor pressure you into hiring them.
· Never let a contractor interpret the insurance policy language.
· Never let a contractor discourage you from contacting your insurance company.
· Never pay in full until the contractor has delivered the materials to your property and finished the job.
And as always, feel free to give us a call! We are happy to answer your questions about your roof and siding and storm damage.
Tips to Stay Safe This Summer!
Want to avoid summer accidents that you could be liable for? Check out these tips on how to be safe around pools, trampolines and ATV/Motorcycles:
Pools: We all love sitting by the pool and relaxing. But it is important to be safe around them to avoid any accidents. Be sure to keep constant supervision on younger swimmers and have them wear the proper flotation gear if they are not tall enough to reach the bottom. Clear out any extra pool toys that nobody is using so nobody trips and falls on them. Lastly, make sure that all other pool equipment like diving boards, slides or ladders are working properly so no major accidents can be caused.
Trampolines: Trampolines are another fun thing to enjoy during the summer months. But make sure to follow the proper safety when having children on one. Make sure children are always supervised. Having safety netting around the trampoline can reduce the risk of someone falling off and getting hurt. Keeping the springs on the trampoline covered can also help prevent injury. And finally, make sure that nobody is attempting any dangerous stunts on the trampoline.
ATV/Motorcycle: Now that summer has arrived, there will be a lot more motorcycles and ATVs out. Make sure that all riders are wearing the proper safety gear like helmets, proper clothing to avoid exposed skin, and padding to help reduce the risk of severe injury. On motorcycles, follow all traffic safety laws and avoid injuring yourself or others on the road. Follow all the rules regarding where and what times of the day you are allowed to ride ATVs and avoid any dangerous stunts on ATVs to reduce the risk of anyone getting severely hurt.
Tips to Handle Stress!
Stress may lead to many health problems such as depression, heart disease, anxiety, high blood pressure, or even stroke. Here are some ways to de-stress and keep yourself healthy, according to the American Heart Association!
Make a list. Making a list of the things you need to prioritize throughout the day may help you feel less overwhelmed. Try making a list of the things you must get done and check them off as you go! This way, you feel accomplished crossing things off the list and won't feel so buried in work. Lists can also help you break down bigger problems, so you don't tackle everything at one time.
Exercise. Exercising is a great way to reduce stress. Go for a walk, run or anything try active to clear your mind, and help relieve some of that pent-up stress!
Relax. Try taking a few deep breaths and count to 10 to help your body relax a bit. Take some time to do these things before you react to a situation. And if something is not an urgent matter, respond to the situation the next day so you do not feel overwhelmed.
Get some sleep. Sleep can make you feel more productive throughout the day and help you tackle that list of priorities you made. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and wake up ready to take on the day!
Winter Safety Tips For Your Home and Vehicle
Winter is on its way. Now is the ideal time to begin thinking ahead about ways to safeguard your home and vehicle in preparation for the frostiest and most frigid days. Take a look at this helpful list of tips and get started on protecting your house and car ahead of time.
Tips For Your Home
Conduct a home heating inspection: To make sure all of your home heating equipment is up to date and in working order, schedule a home heating inspection. Dirty filters can make your furnace work harder and lead to a higher heating bills; it's best to replace your filters every month when using it regularly. Inspecting and cleaning your furnace often makes sure your system is working correctly and protects against expensive fixes and poorly timed equipment malfunctions.
Take a closer look at your windows and doors: Warm air can escape your house through cracks around your windows and doors. Caulking should be replaced intermittently so you take the time to check for holes that need to be patched. If you can see light coming in around the edges of your doors, plan to replace your weather stripping. It can cost a few dollars to replace but save hundreds on heating bills.
Prepare your fireplace by having your chimney cleaned: If your chimney hasn't been cleaned in a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and other undesirable buildup. Check on the flue to ensure that it closes entirely and that you don't feel air coming in once it's closed. As an additional way to keep warm air in and cold air out, add glass doors around the opening of the fireplace..
Cover your water heater: Buying a blanket for your water heater is a sound investment. Pick one up at a hardware store to keep your tank from quickly losing heat. On top of that, you can also lower your water heater temperature. Most manufacturers set the temperature to 140 degrees by default, but turning the temperature down just 10 degrees could save you around 3 to 5 percent on energy costs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends setting the temperature to 120 degrees.
Tips For Your Vehicle
Keep your tank half-full: Maintain at least half a tank of gas at all times. In the event of an emergency where you are stuck or stranded, this will ensure a source of heat until help arrives. Keeping the tank half-full will also help avoid gas line freeze-up.
Warm up your car outside your garage: It sounds obvious enough, but always be sure to never warm your vehicle in an enclosed space (such as a garage). Carbon monoxide emitted from your car can be lethal within minutes.
Thoroughly clear your car in case of snow: Make sure your vehicle is properly cleared of snow and ice before you hit the road. Clearing your windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk will ensure that your car is ready for travel and offers maximum visibility. Completely clearing your car also means snow and ice won't be able to drift off while driving and accidentally hit a vehicle behind you.
Pack and store a winter safety kit: Protect yourself from the worst by building a safety kit ahead of time. Items such as blankets, flashlights, gloves, hats, water, food and any necessary medication could prove invaluable in difficult circumstances.