Tag Archives: rain

Keeping You Safe While Driving Through Severe Weather Conditions

Car in Snow

Today’s forecast consists of heavy rain and snow. In an effort to help prepare and keep you safe for the commute home, allow us to share some helpful reminders and additional information about driving in severe weather conditions from Travelers Insurance.

Driving for Winter Conditions

Before you leave the driveway or parking lot, take time to clear snow and ice off your car, including your windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk. Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility. Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.

As you get on the road, remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen. Turn your headlights on to help other vehicles see you. Avoid using cruise control in snowy or icy conditions – you want as much control of your car as possible. Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy, and avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks. The drivers can have limited visibility, and the road in front of them could be worse than the road behind.

What Is Black Ice?

Black ice is not actually black in color — it’s clear enough that you can see the road beneath it, making it appear “black.” Black ice may also be difficult to distinguish from a wet roadway and may appear wet and shiny. An absence of air bubbles allows it to blend in with any surface, making it difficult to see for pedestrians on sidewalks as well as for drivers on winter roads. Fog, light freezing rain, and melting and refreezing precipitation can all cause black ice to form.

Even if the air temperature is above freezing, cooler surface temperatures may mean black ice could still present a hazard on the roads. Vehicle exhaust moisture can also cause black ice to form on roadways, where drivers may not expect it, such as intersections where stopped vehicles may idle for brief periods of time allowing condensate to form.

We wish you a safe commute home! Please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions or would like us to review your auto policy.

Preventing Ice Dams and Winter Roof Damage

Ice Dam

We hope that everyone has remained safe through this snow storm. Now that the snow has fallen, it’s time to think about the ice dams that are likely to form and follow. In an effort to help keep you informed of some of the best practices, allow us to share some helpful tips surrounding ice dam prevention and/or removal.

An ice dam forms when melting snow freezes at the edge of your roof line. If you do not remove the snow, you run the risk of the ice dam growing large enough to keep the water from draining off the roof.  The water could then back up underneath the shingles and find its way to the interior. This can damage your roof, attic, and upper levels of your building.

How do you tell if you have an Ice Dam?

  • Look for large icicles hanging from the gutters and sides of the roof, as this is a sign that water may be trapped on your roof
  • Look for water stains in your attic ceiling or exterior walls

Steps you can take to prevent an Ice Dam:

  • Remove snow from your roof after every heavy storm before it freezes by using a roof rake.
  • Make sure that leaders and gutters are clear of leaves and debris so melted snow can drain properly
  • Insulate your roof and attic.
  • Seal up any holes in the roof that can cause water to seep through
  • Make sure any vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic fans, and light fixtures are properly insulated and sealed.
  • Install a leak barrier underneath the shingles to act as an additional preventative measure, as it keeps water from seeping inside your building.

Tips for removing an Ice Dam:

  • Call a roof professional. If this is done incorrectly, you may cause further damage to your roof.
  • Do not use rock salt to melt the ice, as this could lead to even more damage.
  • If you do choose to remove it yourself, you can use calcium chloride to melt the ice.

As the cold winter months continue, please be proactive and prepare for the possibility of an ice dam forming on your roof. Doing all you can to prevent an ice dam will alleviate your stress and bring you closer to a worry-free season. We hope you all remain safe.

Having A Safe and Happy Super Bowl Party

snack food

If you’re planning to host a Super Bowl party, the entertainment is already taken care of. From the big game itself, to the famous commercials and happening half time show, there’s always something to enjoy. Of course, there’s good food and drinks to think about as well. It’s always good to stock up on chips, dip, drinks and other snack time favorites.

That’s not all there is to being a good host. As you check everything off your Super Bowl itinerary list, allow us to share some helpful party safety tips to ensure your guests enjoy themselves and everything goes smoothly.

Personal Liability: Do you have enough liability? Please keep in mind that personal liability laws vary state by state. Familiarize yourself with the laws beforehand so that you know what to pay close attention to as the party progresses.

Closest thing to a “warm” welcome: The forecast calls for “a full day of sunshine” when the Falcons and Patriots take the field in Houston, Texas. Given that the winter months in New York can sometimes lead to rain, snow, ice, and other conditions of the like, it may pay to take precautionary measures. You can make sure your walkway is shoveled and cleared of ice. As guests arrive, clean and dry an otherwise slippery floor. This will help you set the mood for a good time by avoiding any injuries.

Keeping Everyone Safe: There are many things you can do to ensure guests have a good time at your party. We understand it’s easy to get distracted while having fun. Please be mindful not to serve uncooked food. With buffalo wings a popular snack for this occasion, keep stray bones away from any pets scurrying around. The big game can lead to heated debates amongst passionate fans (and being on the losing side can be even more disappointing), so do what you can to discourage arguments and fights. There are always calm ways to diffuse these types of situations.

Go Home Happy: Even if your guests’ favorite team loses the game, you can still play a role in helping them go home without a worry. If alcohol is served, perhaps you can offer a prize to whoever volunteers to be a designated driver. Some hosts opt to stop serving alcohol toward the end of the evening and switch to soft drinks and coffee. Should guests be drinking too much, take their keys and arrange beforehand to have a cab service ready to provide rides back home.

Do you understand the Personal Liability Laws that apply to your state? Contact us today to review or increase your coverage. Enjoy the game!

Preparing For A Nor’easter

Fallen tree

In anticipation of the forthcoming Nor’easter, allow us to share some of these helpful tips as you prepare. Here are suggestions of what to keep an eye on before, during, and after the storm hits.

  • Check skylights, vents and chimneys to make sure that no repairs are needed and everything is tight and secure from any water leakage.
  • Check leaders and gutters to make sure that they are clear of leaves, tree branches and any other debris. Clogged downspouts often lead to freezing and ice damage later in the season.
  • Check to be sure that trees and branches are trimmed back and pruned, so that dead branches or tree overhangs do not fall and damage your roof, chimney, skylights, windows and doors.
  • Reach out to your neighbors to see that everyone remains safe and in good spirits through the storm. This is an opportunity to embrace the importance of community and lend a helping hand to those in need around you.
  • Check to be sure furnaces are cleaned and in good working order, so that you do not run the risk of being without heat.
  • Check carbon dioxide and smoke detectors, making sure that they are working properly and the batteries have been changed.
  • Check water pipes for any leaks because a small leak can be managed by changing a pipe or repairing a portion of a pipe. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, be sure to contact your service company for a shut-off as well. A large leak can be a nightmare and do considerable damage to your home.
  • Check your electrical outlets, plugs and cords for any deficiencies such as wear and tear, overload, and fraying cords.
  • With power outages to be anticipated and the roads expected to be dangerous, shop for non-perishable foods before the storm hits. Refrigerated food will only stay safe for up to four hours after a power outage. Click here to see a guide of all specifics.

Maintenance is the key to preventing homeowner claims that may be caused by the elements. We urge you to embrace this opportunity to safeguard your home. We hope that you all stay safe through this storm and the rest of the winter season.