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When Do I Insure My New Home?

Are you planning to build your dream home soon, or thinking about adding an addition to your present home?

For your protection, you must advise us about your plans before you start construction.

You will be required to insure the full replacement value of the project. This may take the form of an endorsement or “course of construction” extension to your current policy or may require an entirely new policy.

If you are going to act as your own general contractor, you may be charged a higher premium for the increased exposure. You will also be asked to obtain proof of insurance from any subcontractors performing work for you. Some insurers may request a higher deductible during the construction phase.

These can be exciting and hectic times. If you have any questions, please call us. We’re here to help.
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Smoke Detectors

Did you know you must have a working smoke detector on every level in your home and outside of sleeping areas? It is mandatory under the Ontario Fire Prevention Code to have smoke detectors installed on every floor. Tenants and homeowners who fail to have a working smoke detector on every level in the house could face the fines up to $235.

Since electric smoke detectors will not work if there is a power outage, anyone with smoke detects that plug in or are wired to the home's electrical system are reminded they also need a battery back-up model.

Check your smoke detectors regularly. They can save lives only if they are working properly.
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Protect Your Home Against Ice Dams

With energy costs rising, you probably have already sealed any cracks and drafts around your windows and doors to make your home more energy efficient, but have you considered the financial impact of heat loss through your ceilings? While drafts around doors and windows will cost a few more dollars in heating bills, heat loss through your rood can result in thousands of dollars in damage. Why? The answer is ice damming.

Ice damming happens when snow on your roof begins to melt and freezes before it has a chance to run off. Usually, this is caused by warm air leaking from your house into your attic. The warm air heats the roof's surface and causes the snow to melt. As the water runs down your roof, it freezes near the roof's edge and an ice dam starts to form. This process repeats itself a few times and eventually creates a dam made of ice that prevents water from draining away. Inevitably, this water backs up under the shingles and into your home.

The key to preventing ice dams is to make sure your attic is properly insulated so that the warm air stays in your home and the cold air in your attic. Experts recommend having a minimum of 8 inches of R20 insulation on your attic floor. However, insulation alone may not prevent ice damming. The heat that escapes from light or ceiling fixtures, attic access hatches, exhaust fan systems, chimneys or other perforations in your ceiling can increase the risk of damming.

Here's what you can do to prevent ice dams or minimize the damage it causes.

PREVENTING AN ICE DAM

- Ensure that your attic is adequately insulated

- From inside the home, seal any perforations in the ceiling

- Ensure your soffit vents are not blocked by insulation

- Take measures to draw more air into the attic through the gable and eave vents

- Keep roof vents free of snow so cold air can circulate in your attic

- If you are installing a new roof, have the contractor install roof felt or install heating cables as an interim measure

- If you suspect your home is susceptible to ice damming, consult an expert who can use diagnostic tools to identify problem areas providing opportunity to prevent damage from occurring

WHAT TO DO IF AN ICE DAM OCCURS

- Consult an expert, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE, should you climb out on your roof to inspect or attempt to remove the ice dam yourself

- Take pictures and call us

- Remove any damaged contents and move any undamaged contents out of harm's way

- Contact a local restoration contractor to inspect and take immediate and necessary preventative action