Archive

Archive for February, 2021

Ice Dam Tips

(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

Ice Dam Tips

Ice dams are becoming a menace in the midwest with the fluctuating temperatures. A cycle of melting snow during the daytime and refreezing at night can cause ice build-up that will eventually find its way inside your home. This article from Money Crashers has tips on preventing ice dams and what to do when one occurs on your roof.

  • Rake It. Using a roof rake to remove snow right away while it is still fluffy is much easier than when the snow has become wet or hard from compacting. Snow rakes can be had for anywhere from $30 to $80.
  • Heat Cables. Most home improvement stores offer DIY kits with electrically-heated cables to run along your roof’s edge to melt snow before ice can form. Costs can vary depending on the size & length of your roof.
  • Add Insulation. Improving the insulation in your attic can help prevent ice dams from occurring. Plug gaps and find other areas where warm air is leaking into the attic. Just adding more insulation does not help plug gaps or leaks.
  • Chip It. If you have an ice dam already, don’t go whacking away with a claw hammer or hatchet. An ice pick or rubber mallet can help break up the ice and prevent damage to your shingles.
  • Puck It. There are commercially-available de-icers out there, puck-shaped chemicals you can throw onto the ice dams to help melt or create channels in the ice dams. Read the labels as some products could discolor shingles or damage sensitive shrubs or plants.
  • Sock It. Filling socks or nylon stockings with calcium carbonate and laying them perpendicular to your roof can create channels for melted snow to runoff your roof. Again, be wary of plants as calcium carbonate could damage more sensitive plants & shrubs.

Be sure to check out the full article from Money Crashers with more tips on preventing & dealing with ice dams.

Contact Us!

At M. 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 mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Warmth During a Power Outage

Photo Courtesy StockVault.net

Warmth During a Power Outage

Much of the country experienced a wave of severe cold weather this week, especially in areas that don’t usually see temperatures below 40 degrees. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, & other usually warms states have seen temperatures in the teens as well as ice & snow. This has affected power grids for these states leaving many without power, water, & heat. We found this article from Prepper’s Will with tips on how to stay warm during a power outage:

  • Check Your Efficiency. Have someone come in to do an examination of your home to point out weak spots as far as losing heat in the home. Many natural gas & electric companies offer services like this to help their clients save money on their natural gas and electric bills. Use the information to properly seal your home and provide more barriers to keep heat inside your home.
  • Purchase a Generator. Depending on your needs, a small generator could be enough to run your stove, refrigerator, and other key electrical appliances. Be sure to keep the generator away from all doors & windows or other areas where the generator exhaust could creep in. People die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning because of improperly using a portable generator or using their vehicles in enclosed spaces to keep warm.
  • Consider a Grill. A propane or charcoal grill will cook food/soups, as well as boil water for drinking & bathing. Do not use the grill in an enclosed space or close to your home.
  • Conserve Existing Heat. Use sheets/blankets/towels to trap warm air in occupied areas and prevent cold air from entering. Use blankets/towels/rugs to insulate the floor of the room/area you are occupying.
  • Basements Could Help. Basements can be easily heated and are naturally insulated by the ground around each wall. Average temperatures in basements are between 50-60 degrees and the enclosed space is easier to heat.

Be sure to read the full article from Prepper’s Will with more tips on keeping warm during a power outage as well as other tips for survival.

Contact Us!

At M. 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 mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Carbon Monoxide Safety

(Photo courtesy of StockVault.net)

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills over 400 people each year with the majority of the deaths happening in December, January, & February. We found this article from the National Safety Council with the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and safety tips on how to protect you and your family:

Mild symptoms can include headache/fatigue/nausea/dizziness and are often mistaken as the flu.

Severe symptoms can include vomiting/mental confusion/loss of coordination and also death.

If you feel you are experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately – don’t shrug it off.

-Purchase a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector and place them in the hallway near your sleeping areas and near fireplaces/furnaces. Be sure to check the batteries at the same time you check your smoke alarms (twice a year).

  • Have your gas/coal-burning appliances checked out once a year by a qualified repair person.
  • Avoid using flameless portable heaters indoors
  • Keep generators outside and at least 20 feet from any window, door, and vent.

The winter months are the most dangerous for carbon monoxide because of a closed-in environment and reliance on gas furnaces/wood or coal-burning stoves to heat our homes. Be sure to read the full article from the NSC for more information on carbon monoxide poisoning and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Contact Us!

At M. 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 mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Frozen Pipe Tips

(Photo Courtesy StockVault.net)

Frozen Pipes Tips

According to Punxatawny Phil we are going to see another 6 weeks of winter. I received a warning on my phone this afternoon that a “Winter Weather Warning” is in effect until 7pm tomorrow night. Freezing temperatures, 6-8 inches of blowing snow, & recommendations to stay off the road unless absolutely necessary. With this warning of freezing temperatures, I can’t help to think about frozen pipes. This article from the Red Cross offers tips on how to prevent frozen pipes and how to properly thaw them to avoid broken pipes and water damage.

  • Drain water from swimming pool & water sprinkler supply lines by following the manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not use anti-freeze unless directed to do so.
  • Remove/drain outdoor hoses and store indoors. Shut off valves to outside faucets and leave faucets open to allow for remaining water to expand and avoid pipes to burst.
  • Add insulation to attics/basements/crawlspaces to maintain temperatures in those areas.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around pipes to help prevent freezing. Leave faucets to drip overnight to help keep water flowing through pipes.
  • Keep your thermostat at a constant temperature during day & night, this may result in a higher heating bill but can help to prevent frozen & burst pipes which may be more costly.

Be sure to read the full article from the Red Cross with more tips on how to prevent frozen pipes and how to thaw them properly.

Contact Us!

At M. 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 mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized