Protecting your roof from high wind damage and rain

flowers

April showers, bring may flowers

 

We have all heard this quote before, but April showers also bring high winds and roof damage.  Spring is also a time for planning home improvements like that long awaited new roof.  Make sure your contractor is installing that new roof properly to ensure long term protection for your home.

The roof deck forms one of your home’s critical shields of protection from high winds and rain. Unfortunately, if this shield is not fastened properly, it may be lost during high winds.

While the loss of roof coverings can make your home vulnerable to water infiltration, loss of the roof’s sheathing, often referred to as decking, can result in excessive damage to the structure of your home and your possessions.

As wind blows over the roof, uplift forces pull at the roof. These uplift forces try to pull off the roof covering and the roof deck. When the roof decking is blown off, the inside of your home becomes exposed to the elements. Trusses or rafters may become unstable and the entire roof may collapse.

Tips

The following techniques can be used during roof installation on both new and existing homesand are best performed by a licensed, professional contractor.

  • Install a roof deck of 5/8” thick solid plywood to maximize wind and windborne debris resistance with 10d or 8d ring shank nails spaced at 6 inches along the panel edges and every 6 inches in the field of the plywood panel. Make sure that the nails penetrate the decking directly into the roof framing.
  • When re-roofing your existing home, be sure to look at the attachment of the roof deck to the roof framing and make sure the nails are spaced at 6″ on center. If it’s not, add fasteners as described above to strengthen the attachment.
  • Create a ‘sealed roof deck” secondary water barrier by installing self-adhering flashing tape or modified polymer bitumen strips, commonly called peel and seal, over the joints in your roof deck. This will help keep out the rain if the roof covering is damaged or destroyed by severe weather.
  • Install one layer of #30 underlayment, sometimes called felt paper, over the roof decking and sealed roof deck. The felt helps with drainage in the event water gets under the roof covering.
  • All nails used to attach the roof sheathing must penetrate the underlying roof trusses or rafters, otherwise the sheathing will not be securely attached and can be more easily torn away by high winds. Inadequate attachment of roof sheathing, resulting from poor workmanship, has been a common cause of roof failures during hurricanes and other storms with high winds.

Finally, you can significantly increase the roofs’s sheathing resistance to uplift from the wind by applying a bead of construction adhesive using a caulking gun along both sides of the intersection of the roof decking and the rafters or trusses. Be sure to look for a premium, APA AFG-01 rated adhesive.

Benefits of Using This Mitigation Strategy

  • Helps to prevent damage to a structure and its contents
  • Helps to prevent injuries to occupants

What is A Sealed Roof Deck?

How to Survive a Power Outage

how to survive a power outage

Power outages can occur at any time—and they’re almost always unexpected.

When it comes to how to survive a power outage, there are few things to keep in mind beyond candle safety and digging out board games. By taking a few measures beforehand, you’ll be more comfortable –and less panicked—when the power goes out.

Prep for a possible emergency

While some power outages last no more than a few hours, those caused by natural disasters and storms can last for days. For that reason, first make sure you’re prepared to handle a worst-case scenario by compiling an emergency kit and creating an emergency action plan.

Some essentials that will help you survive a power outage include:

  • At least two weeks of nonperishable food for each member of your household (don’t forget pets!)
  • A least a gallon of water per person for those two weeks
  • A manual can opener
  • Flashlights for every room in the house (and possibly even a battery-powered camping lantern)
  • A battery-powered radio
  • Portable fans that operate with batteries
  • Plenty of batteries
  • Matches
  • Books, cards and board games to pass the time
  • Surge protectors for your electronic devices
  • Disposable dishes and silverware
  • Hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes
  • An extra supply of medications and a plan for anyone in your home that relies on electrically powered devices for a health condition

Consider investing in a back-up method of heating food

It’s helpful to have a means of heating food that doesn’t depend on electricity. Some options include a camping stove or a barbeque grill. You can also manually ignite a gas stove—just make sure you have matches and know the proper technique.

Remember: Only use grills, generators and other carbon producing items outside. These items can produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if used indoors.

Know how to stay warm (or cool)

You’ll also want to have a plan to keep warm in cold weather (or cool in hot weather). Bundle up in layers and stay indoors to keep warm when you’re dealing with cold weather. Stay out of the sun, seek shade and wear light colors to remain cool in hot weather. Don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

If you heat or cool your home with a method that doesn’t depend on electricity, make sure you have plenty of wood, newspapers and/or fuel stocked away.

Finally, if you are especially concerned about power outages, consider purchasing a back-up generator.

Don’t drink the (tap) water

When the power goes out, water purification systems may not be functioning. So fill up your tub with water—just don’t use it for cooking or cleaning without first purifying it. (Better yet: Drink from your bottled water supply.)

If you’ve run out of bottled or distilled water, boil or disinfect tap water first. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. If you don’t have a heating source, bring out the bleach. Add eight drops of bleach to a gallon of clear water (or 16 drops if your water is cloudy). Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking.

Know what food is safe to eat

In an emergency, you should have nonperishable food items stocked and stored. But what about the food in your refrigerator—will it still be any good during or after the power outage?

Avoid opening refrigerator and freezer doors if you can. This will keep the cool air in for as long as possible. A full freezer will safely hold food for 48 hours; a half- full freezer will safely hold food for up to 24 hours.

If the power is out for longer than four hours, refrigerated items may start to spoil. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food before cooking or eating it. Throw away any food that has a temperature higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Power outages can be stressful. By being prepared, you’ll be able to survive a power outage without compromising your personal safety or running out of food, water or things to do.

Source: How to Survive a Power Outage | Erie Insurance

21 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever

93267999_family-board-game-e1421436149207If there’s anything last year’s Polar Vortex taught us, it’s that sometimes you don’t have a choice but to stay inside. Yet endless days spent cooped up can lead to cabin fever.

But how do you really know if you suffer from cabin fever? Here are some signs to help you know:

  • You feel cooped up and restless.
  • You have difficulty concentrating on what’s in front of you.
  • You feel lethargic or simply unmotivated to do anything.
  • You feel irritated and on edge for no apparent reason.

If you can relate to any of those signs, you’re probably dealing with cabin fever. But before you take up permanent residence on your couch or start to sleep out of sheer boredom, check out these ways to beat cabin fever.

1. Break out a good book. For helpful suggestions and reviews, check out goodreads.com.

2. Start a new hobby. A few ideas include knitting, stained glass, Soduku and fiction writing.

3. Try a new recipe. The possibilities are endless on Pinterest.

4. Start scrapbooking.

5. Do a puzzle. It’s a little old-school, but still fun.

6. Pull out some old board games or a pack of cards.

7. Engage in some pre-spring cleaning. You’ll have more time to enjoy the great outdoors once it thaws out!

8. Rearrange your furniture. Sometimes a few moves is all it takes to make your place look new.

9. Tackle a home improvement project. Just make sure it’s an indoors one!

10. Plan your summer vacation. Thoughts of warmer days spent outdoors are nice to have during winter.

11. Have a movie and popcorn night. Dig out an old favorite or stream or rent something new.

12. Research your family history and create a family tree.

13. Write a letter to touch base with an old friend or family member. Everyone loves getting an actual letter that’s not a bill or solicitation.

14. Watch the newest season of your favorite show on Netflix.

If the weather isn’t too terrible, head outdoors. Here are some things to consider.

15. Go for a walk, even a 15-minute one.

16. Make a snowman or a snow fort.

17. Go out and shovel. It’s a great workout!

18. Try an outdoor winter activity like sledding or snowshoeing.

19. Have a snowball fight. You don’t have to be a kid to indulge in this one.

20. Volunteer your time at a local nonprofit or animal shelter. Animals especially need a warm place this time of the year.

21. Comb through your local paper’s entertainment section. Do something you’ve never done before.

Too much sleep and wallowing in boredom will only make you feel more lethargic. When it comes to ways to beat cabin fever, staying active and having fun really helps pass the time.

These tips come from our friends at Erie Insurance.

How To Insure Your Home

Model HomeHomeowners insurance protects your home, its contents, and, indirectly, your other assets in the event of fires, theft, accidents or other disasters.

A standard homeowners policy (known as an HO-3 policy) will protect you from things like fires and fallen trees. Notice how we didn’t mention floods or earthquakes—those events are specifically not covered by a standard policy and require additional coverage. Homeowners in some areas of the country may be required by their mortgage company to carry these kinds of policies.

A standard policy will also protect your possessions from said disasters as well as theft. But a standard policy is not a blank check: there’s a limit to how much you’ll be compensated. If you have specific items of value, such as jewelry or artwork, you can pay a little extra each year to insure them for their full replacement value.

Now, if someone is on your property and slips and falls and sprains his ankle, he might sue you for his medical expenses. Homeowners insurance covers your liabilities in this situation as well. And like the examples mentioned above, you can pay more for extra coverage. Homeowners insurance isn’t required by law, like auto insurance. But mortgage companies usually require you to obtain a policy before they’ll give you a loan.

How Much Coverage Do You Need? Your home-insurance policy should cover enough to entirely rebuild and furnish your home were it wiped off the map. Ask a home builder to walk through your home and give you an estimate of what it would take to rebuild; that figure should be the basis for how much replacement coverage you’ll need. Be sure to point out any unique and/or expensive details that would add to the replacement cost.

Once you’ve determined the replacement cost of your home, you’ll need to know what kind of coverage you want. There are a few key terms here:

Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage– This means that the insurer will pay for the rebuilding of your home no matter the cost. These policies are hard to find these days.

Extended Replacement Coverage– Many insurers offer coverage that caps the payout at around 125% of your home’s insured value.

Inflation Guarantee (or Guard) – This feature makes sure that your home’s insured value stays current with the marketplace.

If you get a reliable appraisal, extended replacement coverage and an inflation guarantee, you should be in good shape. The appraisal provides a realistic starting figure and the inflation guarantee makes sure that your home’s price stays current. The 125% coverage means that, even if construction prices outpace inflation, they probably didn’t outpace it by 25%, so you should have enough money for whatever work you need done.

One last thing: The law requires you to have flood insurance if you live in an officially recognized high-risk area. To find out your flood risk and to find plans (which are offered by the government), go to floodsmart.gov.

When it comes to protecting your possessions, you may want more coverage than your standard policy allows. If you have anything of exceptional value (a family heirloom, a piece of art, jewelry, etc.), you should insure it separately. Insurers will charge extra for this coverage (something like an extra $10 on your monthly premium per $1,000 of value insured), but it pays to be covered.

Also keep in mind that there are two different kinds of coverage when it comes to personal articles. There’s “actual cash value” and there’s “replacement cost.” You want coverage for replacement cost. Actual Cash Value Insurance is what you’d get if you sold your valuable today — a lower amount than what you initially paid. Replacement Cost Insurance pays you the amount of money you’d need to buy a brand-new item to replace your old one. Liability Coverage Say a guest stays at your home and slips on the floor and sprains his ankle. He decides to sue you. Your homeowners policy includes liability coverage in case you lose the court case. Generally speaking, standard policies offer $100,000 to $300,000 of liability coverage.

Supplemental liability coverage can boost your protection to $1 million or more. If you don’t own a car, adding that kind of coverage can be relatively cheap—less than $100 per year—and isn’t a bad idea. If you do own a car (putting you at greater risk for causing damage to people and property), expect to pay $300 to $400 a year. Check out your auto policy to see what kind of coverage you already have.

Shopping for a Homeowners Policy There are three kinds of home insurance companies and salespeople: Direct sellers, who sell directly to consumers; Captive agents, who only sell one company’s insurance products; and independent insurance agents, who sell policies from many different companies.

Your Deductible Like auto or health insurance, your homeowners insurance has a deductible (the amount you must pay before coverage kicks in). Like those other policies, you should opt for the highest deductible you can afford. If you do, the cost of your insurance premium (the monthly bill you pay) will surely be lower. Plus, a low deductible forces your insurer to cover more of your costs — costs they pass on to you in the form of increased premiums.

Remember: You should not use insurance to cover every conceivable expense, just the big ones. If reinstalling a gutter will cost you $200, pay the $200 — don’t start filing claims for it. Insurers hate it when you file too many claims, and may raise your monthly premium or even cancel coverage because they’ll view you as too risky. It’s not about gutters—you want the insurance when you have to pay for a whole new roof.

A good rule of thumb to follow: If you can fix anything for less than $1,000, don’t file a claim.

Lucsok Insurance is an independent agent wha can find the best policy to fit your needs.  Contact us today for a quote.

Link to original article here.