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Preventive Attic Maintenance

In this issue of the Homeowners Maintenance Series, we are moving to your home's attic – where sometimes-overlooked minor problems become major problems for tyour home's well-being and safety.  Follow these tips  for a safe and healthy attic…

Seal any unwanted openings...

Look for openings in your roof or attic walls that allow access to animals like birds, chipmunks, squirrels and others; and seal these openings.  Whether or not you find such openings, it's still advisable to search the attic area for animal nests in case any critters have already made your attic their home.

Check out the insulation...

Be sure that you have enough insulation to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you're not sure how much you should have, check the guidelines at EnergyStar.gov Next, examine for coverage, assuring that there are no bare spots in your insulation and that the insulation is not obstructing vents.

Check for moisture and leaks...

Typically, if you have a moisture problem, you will be able to smell mustiness and mildew.  Be especially on the lookout for green algae or black mold; and, if found, you can kill it using a bleach/water solution. If you do find mold and remove it, you will want to check back periodically to assure that it was completelyeradicated and does not regrow.

Important Safety Advice...

Even if your attic appears to be free of outside breaches by animals and fromm moisture damage, be sure to inspectany  electrical wiring and connections for wear, exposed wires and/or other damage; and, if found, arrange for a more thorough inspection and repair by a licensed electrician as soon as possible.  FEMA reports that approximately 10,000 residential attic fires are reported each year, resulting in some 30 deaths, 125 injuries and $477 million dollars in property damage, with one-third of these fires spreading to involve the entire structure.  The leading cause, according to FEMA, is electrical malfunction (about 43%); and the most common heat source for these attic fires is electrical arcing.

Here at the William M. Sparks Insurance Agency in Timonium, MD, we strongly encourage you to be sure that your home is properly insured for fire damage and related injuries.  To be sure you have adequate coverage, contact your insurance agent for an up-to-date assessment of your current homeowners policy.

 

 

Saturday, 11 August 2012 14:58

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