Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Blog

Winterizing your house to be ready for winter plus homeowners insurance - Schaefer & Delauder Insurance - Germantown and Frederick MDAs a homeowners, you are probably accustomed to handling home maintenance chores mostly in the springtime.  But the potential for damage to your house from the cold temperatures and brutal weather conditions of winter call for extra maintenance effort in the autumn as well. Don’t let Mother Nature get ahead of you.  Consider the following fall home maintenance tips.

  • Examine all gutters and downspouts for damage and remove any debris such as leaves.  This will help you avoid potential water damage inside your home from melting snow and ice.
  • Arrange for your chimney to be inspected and cleaned by a professional to help you avoid chimney fires caused by the buildup of creosote on the internal chimney walls. Your chimney technician can also check for structural problems in the chimney liner that could lead to sparks and embers escaping into walls, roof or attic.
  • Check your fire extinguisher to assure that it is in good working order and fully charged   This should be a multipurpose fire extinguisher (effective for ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and electrical fires).
  • Be sure that your heating system is cleaned and functioning well before you need it.  Check manufacturer’s instructions for replacing your furnace filter and make the change before using your heating system. Fall could be the perfect time for an annual inspection by your local HVAC technician. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to clean out any dust and lint that has built up inside your clothes dryer. Don’t overlook the area behind and under the dryer and especially the exhaust duct – all areas with the potential for a dryer fire.
  • Test your smoke detectors to assure they are functioning properly. Change the batteries if/as necessary, and replace any malfunctioning smoke detectors. 
  • To avoid frozen water pipes, insulate any pipes that pass through exterior walls and unheated areas such as the attic, garage and basement to help prevent freezing.
  • Prevent drafts around windows and door by checking the seals and repairing the caulking if necessary. 

By taking these steps before winter weather sets in, you can avoid more damage and the need for urgent repairs during the cold months.

Homeowners Insurance Tip

Did you improve your home over the spring and summer – perhaps with a new backyard pool or deck or a room addition or something else? If so, then your property value has likely increased.  Plan to have a conversation with your insurance agent to be sure that your homeowners insurance policy still offers complete coverage.

Feel free to contact any of our very capable and experienced agents at Schaefer & Delauder Insurance either in Germantown or Frederick, MD to discuss your homeowners insurance questions.  We can help you review your current insurance policy and explore your options to be sure you have the best coverage and protection according to your circumstances.

Tuesday, 09 October 2018 13:24

Prepare well to avoid home flooding damage and homeowners insurance claims.It’s every homeowner’s nightmare:  arriving home from a long-awaited vacation to find that your house has suffered water damage in major proportions! 

Could this have been avoided?

When planning your vacation, be sure to devote some attention to securing your home against possible damage from water pipe bursts, severe weather flooding, or something else.  We've provided a checklist here to help you cover everything.  This way, you can leave home with the peace of mind that will let you enjoy every minute of your vacation knowing you'll return to an intact home.

Tuesday, 09 August 2016 05:18

 

Burglar-Proof Your HomeWe all look forward to a vacation break during the summer months; but, in fact, so do burglars who know that homeowners many times leave their homes unprotected. However, most burglaries could be prevented if we take basic precautions.  According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), light, time and noise are the homeowner’s greatest weapons against home invasion by burglars. If you will be leaving your home empty while you vacation, consider the following to help make your house burglar-proof.

Monday, 15 May 2017 05:18

 

Could your household clothes dryer be a potential fire hazard?Are you like many of us who just assume that the household appliances we use each day will always be reliable… and safe. For example, we all do the regular grind of laundry; but we rarely consider that our clothes dryer could become a serious fire hazard. However, the U. S. Fire Administration (a division of FEMA) tells us that an estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires occur in households each year resulting in some 100 injuries (with an estimated 5% fatalities) and causing approximately $35 million in property damage.

The USFA reminds us that dryer fires are more frequent during winter months. The main cause of such fires stems from failure to thoroughly clean the appliance, allowing unfiltered fibers and lint to settle around the exhaust pipe or the heating element where they can ignite.

Monday, 14 November 2016 14:33

blog hurricane

June 1st marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the peak season runs from mid-August through October. Except for the coastal areas, the midAtlantic region of the country rarely suffers direct hits from hurricanes. But we do experience severe storms with high winds, lightning and flooding – often the indirect result of hurricanes. So it is helpful to know what to do before, during and after a storm hits.  

One thing that could be overlooked is the potential harm that can come from the electricity in your home. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) offers the following safety tips to help you avoid injuries from electrical and fire damage.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 14:03

blog homeowners rights

Do you know why spring is known as the home buying season? It seems that almost half of home sales for the entire year occur during the period of April through June.

If you are shopping for a new home, you probably already know that you’ll be asking a lot of questions. You’ll want to know about the neighborhood, perhaps the schools, and the financials – from the mortgage interest rates to fees and taxes. After all, buying a home is likely the largest investment you’ll be making.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 05:18