Insuring Your Personal Belongings

home insuranceWhen your home is severely damaged by a fire, storm, or a flood, it can be incredibly expensive to replace all of your belongings that were lost. And depending on the sentimental value of your personal items, some of them may even be irreplaceable. Luckily, having dependable homeowner’s insurance will help to protect the value of your treasured belongings in the event of a catastrophe. However, don’t assume that all of your items will be covered under your policy, or that you’ll be covered for the full replacement cost of your belongings. Before disaster strikes, be sure to consider the following to make sure that your most beloved possessions are protected.

Renters

If you rent your home or apartment, there’s a good chance that your personal property isn’t covered under your landlord’s insurance policy. In the event of damage by a fire or storm, the apartment building may be covered under their policy, but your personal items won’t be. Consider investing in renter’s insurance, which will insure your belongings for a small premium.

Flood Insurance

Your homeowner’s insurance will not cover any losses due to flooding. Especially if your neighborhood has a high flood risk, you will want to add flood insurance to your existing policy to ensure that you’re protected.

Document Your Possessions

Take pictures of and save the receipts for any valuable items you own. In the event that you need to make a claim to your insurance provider, having evidence of the value and condition of your possessions will make it much easier to be reimbursed for your losses.

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

Be aware that your personal property coverage under your insurance policy is capped to a specified maximum value for certain items. For example, if your policy only covers jewelry worth up to $1,000, and you own a $10,000 engagement ring, you will not be covered. Adding scheduled personal property coverage to your policy for extremely valuable items will ensure full coverage for your belongings. And if you’re not sure how much your jewelry is worth, take your items to your local Richmond jewelry store for an appraisal.

Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost

Your insurance policy may not cover the full replacement cost of a lost item. In case of a personal property claim, your insurance may either reimburse you for the cost of replacing the item with a brand new one, or for the cash value of the item – meaning what you could expect to receive for the item if you sold it at a yard sale or online.

Insuring your valuables may be an additional monthly bill, but if you’re concerned about losing them in a natural disaster, you’ll want to protect your belongings now before it’s too late. If you don’t already have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, shop around online for a policy that’s right for you. And if you’re already insured, make sure that your personal property is being adequately covered by your policy.

Is it Advisable to Purchase an Expensive Rug?

Rug Choices

rug choicesWhen designing the interior of our homes, there are many accessories to consider.  One that has the biggest impact on a room with hardwood flooring is an area rug.  There are numerous options available in endless designs, making it easy to find one that fits in with your vision, though it may take going to a few different stores around town to make that visions come true.  You will probably find rugs that suit your taste in a wide variety of prices as well.  This means that you will need to weigh your options before purchasing the right rug for you. If you are anything like me though, the shopping is the enjoyable part but you should also consider how much you want to spend on this new home design feature; after all, there are probably other things you are going to want to spend your money on to make your home more visually appealing.

Benefits of More Expensive Rugs

More expensive rugs will often be of a higher quality, feeling better to the touch and being more durable than cheaper options.  However, you might be hesitant to buy them due to the possibility of stains and damage, especially if you aren’t planning on having it cleaned regularly.

Cleaning is Always an Option

green rug cleanIf you really like an expensive rug, fears about cleaning shouldn’t stop you.  There are plenty of guides you can access online that will walk you through different forms of rug care step by step should you wish to handle it on your own though I would not recommend doing this. Hiring a green certified rug cleaning service is always the best way to go as they will safely clean your rug i a thorough manner.

Professional rug cleaning services can come by on a regular schedule to maintain your rug, at least I like to do this to schedule them in advance. You can also call them for emergency visits to treat stains or other problems, such as set in smells after a dinner party.  Most rug cleaning services like any Chem-Dry location will guarantee their work and are insured, which should help you feel more at ease-more so than if you were doing it yourself.

So, should you buy that expensive rug?  If you like it, why not?  There are ways to protect than investment for years to come.

Prepare Your Home For Emergencies

A red home fire extinguisherA saying my father always drilled into me was, “You have to be prepared for anything”.  Time and time again I’ve come to see how right he was.  Everything from having backup batteries to having a savings plan is essential when preparing for the worst.

Now, I’m a little older now and a little wiser last week I moved into a new one bedroom apartment, because I no longer had any use for a house.  It was just too much upkeep and too much space for just me.  So now since I’m moving into a new place, my dad’s words are staying top of mind and I need to have my new home in order just in case of an emergency.  I’ve enlisted the help of my senior care helper to drive me around town to pick up essential items.  Some of the items on my emergency plan shopping list are:

Fire Extinguisher

It’s essential to always have a fire extinguisher in your home.  It should be in an easily accessible place and everyone in the home should know how to access it.

First Aid Kit

Every home should be equipped with a first aid kit.  Just as with the fire extinguisher, it’s important that it be easy to get to and that everyone knows where it is.  With this kit, I like to keep extra medication, just in case I run out and have no way to get to the drugstore.

Radio, Flashlight, Water, Non-Perishable Food

In my home, I like to keep all of these items together, because they’re likely all going to be used together, especially in the event of a power outage.  If you’ve ever been stuck without power, you know how stressful it can be, especially if you have no light and no way to hear about potential updates.  With this kit, I also keep a few extra packs of batteries.  Radio and flash light can’t run on the same supply all the time, so it’s important to have reserves.

Replacing Your Siding After Storm Damage

Vinyl siding is the most popular choice of home exterior for many homeowners. Vinyl is typically the cheapest siding option, the easiest to install, and it’s fairly durable and low maintenance as well. However, no type of siding is completely impervious to storm damage. Strong winds, flying debris, and hailstorms can all cause serious damage to your vinyl siding. After a storm, be sure to inspect your home’s exterior for these forms of damage that are commonly sustained by vinyl siding:

Chipping

Storms can cause small pieces of your siding to break off, usually in the shape of a half-circle at the bottom of the ridge of a siding panel.

Cracking

Vinyl siding can split or crack, usually running parallel to the siding. Cracks and splits can often be found between the valley and ridges of the siding panel.

Holes and Breaks

A severe storm can cause vinyl siding to break in some situations. Hail and flying debris can also punch holes into the siding.

damaged sidingIf you have personally inspected your siding following a severe storm and you’ve found chips, cracks, or holes in the panels, you should consider replacing the siding. The purpose of siding is to protect your home from the elements, and chips and cracks will increase the vulnerability of your home. The first thing you will want to do is call a contractor to inspect the siding and decide how to proceed from there. Blue Ridge Exteriors is an excellent option for Richmond VA siding repair and installation, should you need to replace your siding.

Other types of siding that you may wish to consider are wood siding and Hardie Plank siding. Wood siding offers the benefits of an elegant, traditional appearance and quick and cheap installation. However, wood siding provides your home with no insulation and is prone to damage. Wood siding also requires high maintenance. Hardie Plank siding on the other hand, is made from fiber cement, and offers a high level of weather resistance and paint durability. Unlike wood and vinyl, it won’t crack as easily in a severe storm.

If a storm has caused damage to your siding, you may want to consider replacing it with a stronger, more durable siding. Whatever option you choose, be sure to have a professional, trustworthy contractor inspect and work on your home.

Restoring Your Carpets after Water Damage

Fortunately, it’s just a plumbing leak. It could be much worse – your whole house could be completely flooded! But even a little water damage is cause for concern. As moisture builds up in your carpets and flooring, so does harmful mold and bacteria. In turn, the growth of mold and bacteria severely reduces the air quality in your home and can pose dangerous health risks for you and your family. Moisture in the flooring can also cause cracks, weakening the foundation and structural support of your home. If your home has suffered from any degree of water damage, it’s best to take care of the issue and restore your carpeting and floor before more expensive risks such as health and structural damage become an issue.

The first thing to do after your home is damaged by water, be it from a leaky roof or a burst pipe, is to assess the level of damage. If the damage is only minor, you can most likely take care of the issue yourself by drying the affected area as soon as possible. A combination of a wet vacuum and fans will help to speed up the drying process, and then a dehumidifier to dry the excess moisture in the air. If you have any water-damaged carpet padding, you will want to replace the padding and steam clean the carpets. Cleaning the carpets, as well as the walls and baseboard – anything that has been touched by contaminated water – will sanitize and deodorize your home after water damage. Drying your flooring immediately following damage will help to stop the growth of mold and keep the air in your home clean.

If the water damage is more than minor, you will want to enlist the help of a professional. Many carpet cleaners specialize in water damaged carpet restoration. Using professional drying methods and repairing the flooring of your home, you will be able to prevent further damage and mold growth. Carpets will be professionally cleaned and deodorized so your home can return to smelling fresh and clean. For more information on professional carpet inspection and water damage restoration, visit www.peachykleenchemdry.com.