Protecting your Seattle Home or Condo from Mold

Every home in the Seattle area is vulnerable to mold damage and now that we’re coming into the cooler winter months, mold can thrive. Mold really needs one thing to grow: moisture. Unfortunately, mold is usually not covered by your insurance.

Protect your home from mold by identifying and eliminating sources of moisture. Moisture can enter your home through many different areas including:

  • Damaged roof flashing
  • Damaged or worn out shingles
  • A downspout that is not properly setup to push water away from your home or foundation
  • A leaky pipe
  • Condensation from your laundry, shower or kitchen
  • A crawl space with no vapor barrier or an improperly installed vapor barrier
  • Single pane windows that are sweating
  • Seeping up through the floor

Eliminating these common problems is fairly simple. Identifying where the issues are coming from are sometimes more tricky as water can travel great distances before it makes it mark known. Look for mold on walls, around windows and in the corners of a room. Sometimes mold can grow under your carpet on cement slabs so if your basement smells moldy, that would be a good place to check.

There are many ways to remove moisture from your home. In bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens, install exhaust fans to remove excess moisture from laundry, showers and cooking. Without these fans, moisture can seep upwards and into your attic producing another hidden problem. A fan will quickly pull the excess moisture out of the room. Be sure to closely look at the size of the fan you install because a fan that is too small for the room may not even make a difference.

If moisture is entering your home through your crawlspace, a simple visual inspection can be completed. First, look to see if a vapor barrier exists (a black plastic). Make sure it is covering the entire surface, goes up over any pier blocks and extends to the edges of your foundation. If it doesn’t, consider a quick weekend project to remedy the issue.

If you have questions about your home, auto or commercial insurance, call the insurance agents at Secord Agency in Seattle, WA. They’re right on NE 45th right in the middle of the neighborhoods of Wallingford, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Fremont and the University District. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.

How to Put Together an At-Home Emergency Kit

Fall is a great time to consider disaster preparedness and to take a look at your family’s emergency kit. While disasters can happen anywhere, whether natural or man-made, it is important that your family be prepared.

For many, the thought of having a disaster preparedness kit in their home seems silly and unnecessary. The fact of the matter is that every state in our country is susceptible to a natural disaster such as an earthquake, tornado or hurricane, flood or even a volcanic eruption. Preparing for one of these events can be quick and inexpensive, but also a great time to educate your family about safety during one of these events.

The basic home preparedness kit, according to ready.gov should include:

  • Water – 1 gallon per person, per day. Minimum 3 day supply.
  • Food – non-perishable food such as canned tuna, canned fruits & vegetables, nuts, dried fruit, low sodium crackers, soups. Also, dry mixes that do not require refrigeration. Store food in tightly closed containers to extend it’s shelf life and protect from pests. Change food & water supplies every six months to keep fresh supplies.
  • Battery powered radio for emergency information
  • Flashlight with extra sets of batteries. (Consider an LED flashlight that requires much less energy to use)
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust masks, plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off an area from contaminants
  • Moist towelettes for simple hygiene
  • A manual can opener and pocket knife
  • Cell phone w/ solar charger of some sort

Additional items could include prescription medicines, diapers, pet food and blankets. Keep this kit in a designated area where your entire family can easily find it.

If you have questions about your home, auto or commercial insurance, call the insurance agents at Secord Agency in Seattle, WA. They’re right on NE 45th right in the middle of the neighborhoods of Wallingford, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Fremont and the University District. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.

 

Insuring Comic Books, Fine Art, Antiques & More

So, you’ve got an Amazing Fantasy #15 comic book – the first appearance of Stan Lee’s Spider Man in a safe from when you were just a kid. What you probably know is that this item can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, but what you probably don’t understand is what happens if that item is lost, stolen or destroyed by a disaster in your home.

Many of us acquire valuable items from inheritance, being collectors or investment purposes throughout our lives. Perhaps you received a valuable old watch, or received an expensive engagement ring.  Often time people assume that these collectibles will simply be covered by your standard home insurance policy as a covered item. What is important to understand about insuring these items is that your standard home insurance policy has specific limits for these valuable items. Typically around $1500, but this amount varies between companies. So, if you have a watch worth $10,000 you’ll have a gap of $8500. What you need to talk to your insurance agent about is getting something called a “floater.” A floater is a type of insurance policy that allows you to insure a specific item. One way to remember a floater is that the items it covers tend to be able to float away (be carried away). Thus, increasing the chances of theft or damage.

Some valuable items to consider adding to a floater include:

  • Watches
  • Rings, necklaces and other jewelry
  • Art
  • Furs
  • Historical Documents
  • Comic Books
  • Antiques
  • Expensive electronics

While they may not have an expansive comic book collection or a one-of-a-kind fur coat from the 30’s, if you have questions about your home or renters insurance, call the insurance agents at Secord Agency in Seattle, WA. They’re right on NE 45th right in the middle of the neighborhoods of Wallingford, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Fremont and the University District. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.