Tips To Avoid Ice Dams At Your Home

Glass toy house

Glass toy houseIce Dam Basics

As the cold winter weather continues to stick around, you may be dealing with water damage and leakage around your ceiling and exterior walls. While you may be thinking that it is time to replace your roof, there may be a very simple solution, look out for ice dams. Knowing how to spot and deal with ice dams will help to ensure that your home stays safe this season.

Ice dams are caused by heat that builds up in your attic, due to improper ventilation, which then warms your roof and melts the bottom layer of ice and snow that is sitting on top. The melted ice and snow then runs down your roof until it reaches a cold area (typically your rain gutters). The water then refreezes, causing an ice dam to form. As the process continues, more water builds up behind the ice dam, which can cause the water to leak into your home.

Luckily, there are steps that you can take to help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, including:

  • Making sure there is adequate insulation installed on the floor of your attic to keep the attic and roof around the same temperature.
  • Checking the ventilation in your attic and installing soffit vents that are meant to vent air toward the ridge of your roof to prevent heat buildup.
  • Insulating or wrapping all heating ducts that are in your attic.
  • Sealing all openings from your home into your attic, such as light fixtures and chimneys.
  • Keeping all of your downspouts and rain gutters clear of all fallen leaves and other debris so that water can properly drain off your roof.
  • Do no use any sharp tools on your roof to remove ice since they can cause much more serious damage.

Having the right homeowners insurance policy will help to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage for any winter perils. Contact The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake, Minnesota for all of your home insurance needs.

It Is National Blood Donation Month!

Donate blood

Donate bloodNational Blood Donor Month

Before January comes to an end, it is time to roll up your sleeves to do some good. January is National Blood Donor Month, which is the perfect time to do your part to help those in need. National Blood Donor Month has been celebrated since 1970 as a way to call attention to the need for blood and to help recognize those who have saved lives by donating.

Although blood donations are needed all year long, they are especially needed during the winter months since blood donor rates tend to drop. Bad weather conditions cause many blood drives to be cancelled and many people have to cancel their appointments to donate due to illness. There is a constant need for blood to help keep a healthy and reliable blood supply, and each time you donate, you have the chance to save up to three lives.

The process to donate blood is fast and simple. After a mini-physical to check your temperature, blood pressure, hemoglobin level, and pulse, you are able to donate. The actual donation process only takes about 10 minutes and uses a small needle that feels like a pinch. When you are done donating, you get to relax and enjoy a tasty treat and something to drink. You are able to go back to your normal daily activities after donating blood, just make sure to stay hydrated.

All of us at The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake, Minnesota would like to encourage you to do your part to save a life this month by donating blood.

Keep Your Classic Car In Peak Condition

Classic car

Classic carWinter Tips For Classic Car Owners

Winter weather can be harsh on your vehicles, particularly your classic vehicles. You have probably put a lot of time, money, and effort into keeping your classic cars in top condition, so winter proofing your investment is a great idea. Here are some tips to keep your classic car looking and running great after the winter.

  1. Drain the fuel tank: Old gas contains deposits that can lead to clogs in your carburetor, which can cause your valves to work incorrectly. Draining and replacing your car’s fuel can prevent this from happening. Adding a fuel stabilizer to keep the gas from breaking down is also a good idea.
  2. Change the oil: Before parking your classic car for winter, changing the oil can prevent moisture build up in the cold engine. Clean oil in your car will also reduce the risk of harmful contaminants damaging your engine while it hibernates.
  3. Replace the brake fluid: Getting rid of the old brake fluid is the best way to prevent your brakes from deterioration when it is inactive. Just remember to replace it with fresh brake fluid the next time you drive.
  4. Remove and store the battery: Long periods of inactivity can drain your car’s battery. Disconnect your battery and wash it with a solution of water and baking soda. Top off the battery with distilled water and store it in a dry place until you need to reconnect it.
  5. Cover up your ride: Covering up your car will protect it from the harsh winter weather. A cotton flannel car cover will allow air to circulate while keeping out unwanted moisture.

Contact The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake for all of your Minnesota auto insurance needs.

Check Before You Buy: Used Car Inspections

Car insurance

Car insurance5 Things To Check Before Purchasing A Used Car

Used cars can be a great way to get the car you want for a price that won’t break the bank. Before you make any final decisions or commitments, you should have the car inspected to make sure you do not encounter any surprises down the line. Here are 5 things to inspect before you buy that used car.

  • Check the paint: Look carefully for dents, scratches, rust, and various signs of a recent paint job. If you notice waves in the vehicles paint, chances are it has been repainted. Take your time, because a keen eye is key. If you see any telltale signs, ask the car dealer or owner what required the paint job.
  • Check the belts: Open the hood and make sure that there are no issues like cracks in any of the various hoses and belts. If something looks iffy, you should ask the owner or dealer if and when it was replaced.
  • Check the tires: Having to replace 4 tires on a vehicle you just bought can be expensive and frustrating. Save yourself the time and money by taking the time to inspect the tires on the car you are looking at. Check the quality of the tires and make sure there is sufficient tread by using the penny trick. If you have concerns, have your mechanic take a closer look.
  • Check the air conditioning: Making sure the air is running properly now can save you when summer hits.
  • Check the brakes: This is one of the most important things to check when inspecting a used car. When you test-drive the car, test out the brakes to make sure they work well at different speeds and in different scenarios. When in doubt ask the dealer or seller when the brakes were last replaced.

Contact The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake for all of your Minnesota auto insurance needs.