Fall Home Maintenance Checklist for your Renton, WA home With winter season approaching, now is the time to do a few simple tasks around your home. Not only can this prevent damage from occurring, but it can help keep your home exterior clean. Instead of giving you a long laundry list of things to check off, we go over the five most important.

Is My Home Safe?

This is simple question to ask yourself every spring and fall.

  • Do you have one smoke detector on each floor of your home? Do I need to change the batteries?
  • Do I own a fire extinguisher? If so, is it up to date?
  • Where is my first aid/at home emergency kit? Do I need to make any changes?
  • Can our family be okay if there is a major event like an earthquake, flood, tornado or other natural disaster?

Am I Protecting My Home From Water Damage?

Water damage can be a root cause of home problems. Sometimes they can be covered by your home insurance, but other times they are not. Regardless if they are covered, they are a terrible to deal with. Here are a few areas to check to lower your risk of water damage in your home.

  • Check your gutters & downspouts

Once most of your leaves have fallen from your trees, simply look for debris that could be collecting in your gutters. If you see leaves collecting, remove them in order to prevent clogged gutters. If your gutters are clogged during a rainstorm, it could cause damage to your roof or siding. Also, check if your gutters are damaged & are still attached to your home. Lastly, check your downspouts. Ensure they are draining properly instead of being clogged and pooling water near your home.

  • Check your roof

Loose or missing shingles on your roof can increase your risk for water damage. Make sure your shingles are in good condition before that winter storm hits. If you have a home with a flat roof, ensure it doesn’t have any buildup of leaves. When in doubt, refer out. If you aren’t sure what to look for, ask a professional.

  • Are exposed pipes still insulated?

Check the exposed pipes around your home to ensure the insulation isn’t ripped or torn. Uninsulated garages are very important to check. Many people assume it is “inside” but uninsulated garages can get as cold as the outdoor temperatures. Check there for pipes that need to be insulated.

Is Air Escaping My Home?

Check door and window seals for signs of deterioration. Use weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to help keep warm air in and cold air out. You’ll also lower your energy bill. On another note, if air can get into your home, water can too.

Did I Replace My Furnace Filter?

To keep your furnace running efficiently, you need to replace the filter often. Some filters may need to be changed every month.

Are Rodents Nesting In My Home?

Rodents tend to nest in your crawlspace, attic and even in your walls. Walk the perimeter of your home & any access points in your garage to make sure you do not have any cracks or holes for rodents to enter. Also, check your vents along your foundation for holes or deterioration. As the weather gets colder, rodents are always looking for a warmer place to live.

Also, remember rodents love a food source. If you are storing food or bird seed in your garage, make sure it’s properly stored in a sealed container.

While preventative maintenance can get easily get pushed on the back burner when life gets busy, it’s still important to make the time to do it.

If you have questions about your home or condo insurance, call Eastside Insurance Services. We live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so we can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out our website, 24/7.

September Represents National Preparedness Month

flood insurance in Renton, WAAre you prepared for a disaster? Recent articles online, in the newspaper and commercials on televisions remind us that disasters are just a moment away. It is easy to think that’s a good reminder, yet fail to act on our preparedness. The fact is: disasters happen. It’s best to learn the skills & be prepared.

Ready.gov does a great job at summarizing how to prepare for disasters and teaches simple skills you should have that could help you or your loved ones if a disaster strikes.

What’s Your Plan?

Discuss the following questions with your friends, family or household to determine your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

After determining your plan, practice it!

What Life Saving Skills Do You Have?

There are a wide variety of skills you should have that can save a life. Here are a few to target.

  • Learn first aid & CPR.
  • Own a fire extinguisher, know where it’s located & most importantly, understand how to use it.
  • Know how to shut off your water, electricity & natural gas.

Do You Understand Your Insurance Coverage?

Yes, having insurance is your first step to protection, but do you know exactly what you are covered for? Did you know flood damage to a home is the most common disaster a household can face? If your home floods, are you covered? If you do not understand the details of your insurance coverage, call our office!

Are You Saving For an Emergency?

We all know the concept of saving for a rainy day, but the question is, are you doing it?

  • Have a savings account and contribute to it monthly if possible.
  • Consider owning a safe in your home & keeping cash in it. During a disaster, ATM’s or credit cards may not work.
  • Store all important personal, household & medical information in your safe (or a place you’ll remember).

Examples:

  • passport or photo ID
  • birth certificate
  • social security cards,
  • marriage or divorce license
  • military ID & military discharge record
  • pet ID tags
  • pet microchip info & proof of pet ownership
  • insurance policies
  • lease or rental agreement
  • mortgage or real estate deeds of trust
  • immunization records
  • medication list or other medical information a physician may need

If you want a detailed document of everything you would need to prepare for a disaster or emergency, print this form out & follow the checklist.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Learn the skills & know what to do before a disaster strikes.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or want a quote for flood insurance, contact Eastside Insurance Service. Our agents will shop to find the best insurance for your specific needs.

Car Insurance for high risk drivers in Renton, WAIf you’re searching for a new auto insurance policy and the company or agent tells you you’re “high risk” what exactly does that mean and what can you do to improve that?

While there is no real definition of what a high risk driver is, high risk drivers typically fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Too many speeding tickets or moving violations
  2. Accidents on their CLUE report
  3. Suspended driver’s license
  4. DUI/DWI or other major violations like reckless driving
  5. Excessive Speed violation
  6. Fatal accident history

Even if you don’t fit the criteria listed above, you may still experience higher than normal insurance premiums because of your:

  1. Credit history
  2. Age (new driver or elderly)
  3. Exotic or Sports car
  4. Lapse in your insurance coverage

Being a high risk driver does mean you’ll experience higher premiums. Additionally, many insurance companies will refuse to insure you or limit your available coverage you may purchase. The best remedy to fixing your high risk status is to clean up your driving habits. Over time you can regain your status as a preferred driver and get better insurance premiums and more choices.

If you have questions about your auto insurance or want a quote, call Eastside Insurance Services. We live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so we can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out our website, 24/7.