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Archive for January, 2018

Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipes

Especially if you have an older home or manufactured home, frozen pipes are a reality in these frigid temperatures. The Red Cross comes through again with some tips on preventing frozen pipes and how to unfreeze them:

– Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

– When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.

– Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

– If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

– Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.

– Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.

– Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

Be sure to check out the full article HERE for more tips on frozen pipes!

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Winter Storm Preparations

Winter Storm Preparations

Here in the Western Michigan area we’ve gotten a small reprieve from Jack Frost and his winter blasts. But they are ramping up again soon and with the snowfalls expected, it is a good plan to have some preparations in place.

Thanks to the Red Cross, here are a few tips to help you prepare yourself and your family for a winter storm:

– Make sure your home heating sources are installed according to local codes and permit requirements and are clean and in working order.

– Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.

– Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cold air out.

– Stoves must be properly vented and in good working order. Dispose of ashes safely. Keep a supply of wood or coal on hand.

– Electric space heaters, either portable or fixed, must be certified by an independent testing laboratory. Plug a heater directly into the wall socket rather than using an extension cord and unplug it when it is not in use.

– Consider storing sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off. Be cautious of fire hazards when storing any type of fuel.

– If you have a fireplace, consider keeping a supply of firewood or coal. Be sure the fireplace is properly vented and in good working order and that you dispose of ashes safely.

Be sure to check out the full article HERE for more tips on preparing for winter storms!

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Decluttering

Decluttering

 

We all like stuff. George Carlin once said that our houses are basically containers for our stuff. But what if the stuff we like begins to overwhelm us? In case of a loss to your home, some of the stuff we hold onto aren’t covered on a standard home policy. Broken or obsolete items, one of a kind or antique items (can be scheduled with limitations/exclusions), and other types of stuff (check your policy’s exclusions for more info). Why hang onto stuff that we don’t use or don’t derive joy from?

The blog, “Becoming Minimalist” offers some tips on how to pare down your stuff and begin to declutter:

* Give away an item a day – simple enough, choose one item to give away every day for a year.

* Fill a trash bag – either fill it with broken/damaged/non-value items to be thrown away or fill it with items you wish to donate to charity. Fill a bag a day/a week/a month however you want to begin your decluttering

* The 12-12-12 Challenge – find 12 items to donate/trash/give away

* The Four Box Method – get 4 boxes, one to donate/one to trash/one to store/one to keep

There are a few more tips and the blog has other articles on paring down your stuff.

Peter Walsh, a guest on Oprah, shares some additional tips:

* Tackle one room – decluttering is a process that takes time.

* The “In/Out” Rule – Something new comes into the home, something old needs to leave the home.

* Have a vision – create a vision of what you want the room/space to look like.

* Ask yourself if you really need it – another article mentions looking at an item and deciding if it brings you joy. If it doesn’t – it’s gotta go.

 

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized