Watch Out For Ice Dams!

With all the snow the region has been receiving many have snow accumulation on their home or building roof. This snow accumulation is dangerous for two reasons.  The weight of the snow on any flat part of the roof could cause collapse and the other reason is ice dams.2 5 15 ice dam ang e1423163667936 300x300

Ice dams form when the heat from the attic melts the snow on the roof, but then stops melting when it reaches the eaves where there is no heat underneath. Consequently, this forms a solid barrier of ice on the edge of the roof. When there is an ice dam the melting snow on the roof above the ice dam on the roof allows water to find its way under the shingles on the roof. Water under the shingles can leak into your house and cause water damage inside. This could lead to numerous other issues such as mold and property damage. Another issue with ice dams is the formation of large icicles. Some of the icicles can get enormous and be a danger if they fall on a person or property below.

To prevent ice dams make sure the floor of the attic is properly insulated. This prevents the heat from the house getting up to the attic. Also, it is important to stay diligent to rake the snow off of your roof so there is no accumulation of ice from the melting snow. The best type of rake is made of aluminum and has wheels on it so it doesn’t damage your roof shingles. If you have ice dams and want to get rid of them, it is not a good idea to break up the ice with a hammer or other hard object, as you could damage your roof.

A trick from This Old House to melt ice dams (not recommended on a regular basis, as it could damage gutters because the chemicals are corrosives): take a pair of old nylon pantyhose and cut the legs off, fill with calcium chloride ice melter. Place the nylons on the roof of the house so the toe part hangs over the edge of the roof. This channels the melting ice water off of the roof.

If you do have ice dams and the water backup has caused damage inside your house, most of this is covered under your homeowners policy after your deductible is met. However, if your roof has not been maintained over the years and the leak is from poor upkeep of your property, the loss may not be covered. Please call us with specific questions on a loss to see if it is covered. The best way to avoid a loss is preventative action to insulate properly and remove snow from your roof!

Everything You Want To Know About Life Insurance

What better gift is there than life insurance for Valentine’s Day? We think it is one of the best! Buying life insurance is one of those things you always put off because you never want to think about anything happening to you or your family. However, life insurance is a necessity and will help those who are left behind when you pass away. Life insurance lets your loved ones remain financially secure after you are gone. Some of the life events that prompt people to buy life insurance are getting married, having a child, becoming a homeowner or changing jobs.


Take getting married for example, once you are married many of your finances are combined. You make joint investments, such as buying a house/condo. With such large joint investments, it would be difficult for just one of you to make all the payments. This is why life insurance is so crucial. Even if both of you have life insurance through work, it is also smart to buy a separate policy for each of you. If one of you loses his/her job, all the money invested into the company life insurance is gone. You don’t have life insurance anymore. On the other hand if you are putting money into personal life insurance policies they are always there.

How much life insurance do you need to buy? Many times people only buy 4 times his/her annual income, when in reality you will probably need closer to 10 times your annual income. Think of all the expenses life insurance needs to cover: funeral costs, mortgage, car loans, credit card debt, taxes, education, retirement, and list goes on. An equation you can use to help determine your life insurance needs is:

current and future financial obligations – (spouse’s earnings, savings, investments and life insurance already owned) = amount of life insurance

There are two main types of life insurance: term and permanent life insurance. As the name implies, Term Life Insurance is for a specified term or time period. Policies can range from 1-30 years for a term. This type of life insurance is relatively inexpensive because it does not build any cash value and it just ends when the term expires. The payments are at a fixed rate until the end of the term. If future life insurance is needed, the rate will most likely go up because the person buying it is now older (an influence on the rate of a policy) and could have health issues that were not present when first buying the term insurance. If the purchaser does die during the term of the policy, the beneficiary will receive full payment of the policy. This type of life insurance can be used for the purpose of covering a mortgage. If you have a 30 yr mortgage, you may buy a 30 yr term policy just to cover your mortgage payments if you die within that time period.

Permanent Life Insurance, such as Whole Life, will initially be more expensive. However, the rate on the policy will not change regardless of any changes in health or occupation, as long as timely payments are made. A significant difference from Term Life Insurance is that Permanent Life Insurance will build up cash value. Over time, the policy value will be increasing by more than the actual premiums. The owner will have access to this cash if so needed. In the end, Permanent Life Insurance will be more cost effective and provide a better solution to family planning.

Being prepared is the best way to provide a secure future for your loved ones, should you pass away. Buying life insurance could be the most thoughtful and caring thing you can do this Valentine’s Day! Call us to find out more about your life insurance options