prepare for winter Archives - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Winter Driving Tips

As the winter rolls on, driving in snow will become a common occurrence. An ounce of preparation will pay dividends when it comes to staying safe while driving in poor road conditions.

Get Your Car Serviced: It doesn’t matter what season we’re in, no one wants their car to break down. However, this is especially true in winter. Get your vehicle a check-up to make sure everything is running smooth.

Check for Recalls: Part of that check-up should be a check for recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a handy tool you can use to check if your vehicle has had any recalls issued. Critical issues can be fixed for free at your nearest dealer for free!

Know Your Car: Every car handles differently in snow. Take time to learn how your car reacts to poor weather conditions.

Clear off snow and ice from your vehicle: Turn on your defrosters and brush off the roof of your car while the defrosters work on your front and rear windshields. By the time you get to brushing off the windshield, the ice will be falling off!

Brakes: Allow for longer braking distance in the winter. The snow and ice, more than any other road condition, will require you to brake two or three times longer than usual. And as anyone who has ever driven in large amounts of snow can tell you, sometimes braking doesn’t help. In those situations, it would be best not to attempt driving at all.

One action at a time: Doing multiple driving actions like braking while turning will cause your car to slide in the winter. When planning on turning, brake first, and then turn. Completing one action before starting another will allow you to course correct if something goes wrong during one action.

No false moves: Any sudden actions can cause your car to be thrown off balance. Driving like you have a hot cup of coffee in your lap is the best way to describe how you need to drive in the winter.

How to correct a slide: If the back end of your car is starting to fishtail (sliding out left or right), turn your steering wheel in the direction of the slide. However, do not overcorrect, because that will cause your car to spin. Hitting the brakes will also make things worse.

Turn off traction control: When driving on a snowy hill, momentum is your friend! Traction control is great for maintaining stability, but will cut down on your momentum. Turning off the system on hills and turning it back on once on you’re on level ground can help during the winter months.

Be sure to give us a call at 215-885-2200 if you have any questions about auto insurance. Your protection and peace of mind is our only business!

Winter Maintenance Tips

 

Well, many of us got our first taste of snow this week. Home Maintenance never stops – even in the winter! While it may seem like the perfect time to not go outside, your home will need occasional maintenance. This maintenance will help save you money in the long run, especially if you get hammered with the worst winter has to offer. Bundle up, and head out to check the following items off your list!

Gutters and Drainage. Cleaning out the gutters can be the worst, but it is essential in any season with large amounts of precipitation. Your gutters can fill with ice in the winter which can lead to damage when the ice thaws and expands. This expansion will put a strain on your gutters.

Check Window Wells. Window wells are a great way to let some natural light into your basement. However, if not properly maintained can cause moisture to seep into your basement. Make sure the well is properly cleaned, and the window liner is sealed. This is especially important when expecting a large snowfall.

Clean your Dryer Vent. Dryers cause 15,00 fires a year and tend to get the most use in the winter. To reduce your fire risk, clean off your lint filter with every drying cycle. You can also clean the lint vent located on the back of most dryers. Once cleaning the dryer, let it run for about 15 minutes to flush all remaining lint from the machine.

Bleed your Radiators. If you have radiators, be sure to bleed them each winter. This is a simple process for anyone. Simply, turn on all your radiators to their max setting. Then turn them off and let them cool. Go to each radiator, turn it off, and open the bleed valve. Put a tray under the valve and let out the air. The tray will catch the water (this is normal). Then close the valve and repeat for all radiators.

Avoid Ice Dams. Ice dams build up on the edge of your roof in the winter. They prevent melting snow from draining. This melted snow can get under your shingles and into your home. Adding insulation and increasing ventilation will keep your whole roof the same temperature. You can also manually knock off these ice dams using a telescopic rake.

Prep before Blizzards. Winter can bring freezing rain, sleet, and blizzards. Any of these can cause a mess of issues. Make sure your generator is working. Keep a stash of lanterns and flashlights if you lose power. If you get poor cell phone reception, keep a battery powered radio around to keep up to date with news and weather. Put your heavy snow gear all in one place for ease of access when you have to shovel. After the storm passes, knock off any snow on tree limbs that could pose a threat to your home.

Use these tips to keep your home in tip-top condition. If anything else needs to be done in the winter, call a service professional to help you repair any items that might need immediate repair like pipes, windows, or doors. If you suffer any major damage during the winter, don’t forget your homeowner’s insurance policy was made just for these events.

Be sure to give us a call at 215-885-2200 if you have any questions about homeowners insurance. Your protection and peace of mind is our only business!

 

Winter is coming. Are you prepared?

car-snowed-in

Winter is right around the corner.  Are you ready?  Not sure what you need to do?  Well, I am here to help you.  Spencer Insurance Agency has a “Winter Tips” section on our website.  I rather see you out sledding or skiing than repairing your car or home.

Is your car ready for winter?

And don’t forget to prepare your home for winter. Do you remember the “Ice Storm” a couple years ago?  Read over our “Winter Storm Power Outage Tips.”

Do you find yourself inside more during the winter?  This is a great time to get your finances in order.  Check out our “Tips on financial planning this winter.”

We have some additional useful links in our “Winter Section” so check them out today.

Give us a call today at 215-885-2200 for an insurance review or answers to your questions.

We hope you have an enjoyable winter and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.   Make sure you share your holiday pictures with us.  Post them on our Facebook page or send them to us for our newsletter.  We love seeing magical moments with your families.

 

Fall Maintenance Tips for your Home and Auto

The Fall Season can be a beautiful time of the year in our area. With cooler temperatures and the leaves changing, the fall is a great time of the year to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors.

Fall is also a great time to prepare for those cold winter days that are coming. I imagine you remember our winter last year with all the snow, ice and school and business closings. Hopefully, this winter will be a bit milder.

Here are a few tips to prepare your home and auto for winter:

  • Put the ice scraper and snow removal tool in your car. Remember a few years ago we had a snowstorm in October?
  • Check the tread on your tires to make sure you have proper traction in the snow.
  • Replace worn wiper blades.
  • Prepare a winter emergency Kit for your home and auto. Check out http://www.ready.gov/kit-storage-locations for some kit ideas.
  • Have your furnace serviced and cleaned by a qualified Technician. Replace your furnace filter.
  • Move flammable materials away from your house and attached garage. Keep them in a shed away from your home.
  • Insulate pipes that are exposed to cold areas in the house.
  • Check for damage to your roof and gutters. Clean any debris from your gutters.
  • Have your chimney inspected by a professional.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust ducts and space under the dryer.
  • Check your fire extinguishers to make sure they are not out of date. If you are not sure it’s best to replace them.
  • Trim trees around your house so the weight of ice and snow will not cause them to rub against your home.
  • If you have a storm sewer near your home make sure it is clear of any debris like sticks and leaves.

A little maintenance on your home now can save you from having a claim later. This can help you save money on your homeowner’s insurance. For more tips on saving money on your auto and homeowner’s policies go to our website. Enjoy the Fall weather and let’s hope we have a better winter this year. Call us today if we can be of service for any of your insurance needs.

 

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