Things You Should Do Before Tenting the House

Chances are if you have turned up this article in a search, you are going to be tenting your house to fumigate for termites or other pests. The chemicals that go into the structural fumigation are absolutely no joke, and include formaldehyde, phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride, and others. In fact, burglars have entered homes under fumigation only to leave with much less than they bargained for – including their lives. Here are a few tips to help you get through your home’s fumigation.

  1. A pest control company should be willing to provide written description of the chemicals that will be used in fumigation process. A company that refuses to provide such documentation may be using older chemicals that have been banned such as methyl bromide and chlorpyrifos.
  2. Since you will be out of the home for at least 48 hours, you may want to ask the pest control company if they work with a home security firm or patrol. Sometimes a pest control company will have a relationship with a security firm to provide a guard or a patrol for the period of the fumigation and the airing out of the home. You can also request that local law enforcement to make occasional checks on the home while it is tented.
  3. On the outside of the house you will want to trim back shrubbery and plantings, allowing 18 to 24 inches of space for the tent to lie on the ground. Any climbing plants attached to the house must be removed, and you will want to dig up any bulbs within the perimeter. On the day fumigation it is recommended that you water the cleared area around […]
By |2015-09-30T07:30:43-04:00September 30th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Four Points about Four Point Inspections

If you’ve been investigating buying a home or other building purchase, you might have heard a lot of different terms.  One of them is probably ‘four point inspection,’ and it’s often confused with ‘home inspection report.’ It’s not the same thing at all. A four point inspection is a tool that insurance companies have come to rely upon when assessing insurance risk for older homes. While many older homes are well cared for and in good condition from the roofbeam to the foundation, some have great cosmetics, but are hiding serious problems that could result in big claim payouts.

A four point inspection should be performed in addition to a full home inspection, not in place of it. A full home inspection covers the grounds, septic systems, grading, the structures soundness, exterior surfaces, and other points. A four point inspection covers only the roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. These areas can present the most risk to insurance companies if the systems have not been adequately maintained or upgraded.

  1. Roofing is an especially important concern in Florida, not only for hurricanes, but for our other interesting weather phenomena. Hail, wind, rain, and tornadoes can wreak havoc on older roofs. Inspectors look at the age and condition of the roof and the materials that have been used in construction. Roofing problems are often hard to spot until there’s been water and structural damage, so having a professional assess the condition of your roof can save a lot of future trouble and money.
  2. Plumbing systems might need repiping due to age, deterioration, or the use of materials no longer in use, such as polybutylene. Inspectors will also look at the condition and age of the water heater, the condition […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:48-04:00September 23rd, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Five Things You Must Do After a Burglary

There are few events that strike right to the heart of your sense of security than a burglary. Homes can be burglarized even with good security procedures like alarm systems and camera setup. As upset as you are, there are five things that you must do right away.

  1. Call the police first. If you notice signs of a break in, call 911 right away. Do not enter the house! The burglars could still be there, possibly armed, and certainly not glad to see you. If possible, retreat to your car and lock the doors, or go to a neighbor’s house. If you see the robbers leaving, memorize as much detail as you can in order to provide descriptions, or take out your mobile phone and get video if you can. The police will take a report either at the site or down at the station.
  2. Call your insurance company second. You’re likely to be asked for a police report number, but it’s okay if you don’t have one yet. They may send a claims adjuster to help assess the damage and figure out what’s been stolen.
  3. Record any damage. When the police give you the all clear to enter your home, it’s important to stay calm and start looking for and recording damage done by the burglars. You may need to have a board-up service come out, or have a door rehung. All of these repairs should be covered under your homeowner’s policy. If you are a tenant, your landlord’s policy should cover damages to the dwelling unit, but will not cover theft or damage to your personal property.
  4. Catalogue the missing items. Some of the top items for burglars to steal are […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:48-04:00September 16th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Drip Drop Drag: How Much a Leaky Faucet Costs

There are lots of great reasons to save water. It helps to conserve dwindling resources, keep aquifers topped up, and to have water available for emergency services like firefighting. However, one of the best reasons to save water is near and dear to any homeowner’s heart. That reason is money. It’s really surprising to learn just how much water you’re wasting by not making very simple repairs or replacing older fixtures. Calculating how much water you’re losing is a lot simpler than sitting there with a bucket and waiting. The USGS has a handy water wastage calculator that can tell you exactly what’s going down the drain.

  • One faucet leaking one drip of water per second can send five gallons a day down the drain. If left dripping for a year, that’s 2082 gallons of water. That is enough to fill a 9.5 foot spa to the depth of four feet.
  • A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day and can easily double your standard water usage, or even triple it if there are other toilets in the house doing the same thing. If you let one toilet run for a whole year, that’s 73,000 gallons, or almost enough to fill a 50 x 35 swimming pool to the depth of six feet.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District has created a special page so that people can figure out how much water their household is actually using per day. As you’ve seen above, little drips can add up to a lot of gallons. Here are some tips and tricks to help you save gallons of money and gallons of water.

  1. Check all the faucets inside and outside the house for leaks.
  2. To […]
By |2015-09-09T07:30:20-04:00September 9th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments