Winter temps are coming in [not so] hot. With the cold air comes the potential for ice and snow, and it’s critical for not only the longevity of your home’s life, but for your safety, to make sure your house is ready to take it all on. That’s why we’ve pulled together some tips for you that will have you saying, “Bring it on, winter”.
Insulation, insulation, and more insulation: The chilly air creeps in and cools down your house (ya know, the opposite of what you want), which then cranks up your heater – ultimately increasing the amount on your monthly heating bill. Having your pipes, attic, and crawl space sufficiently insulated helps to block out cold air and keep your house at the temp you want it without your heater putting in overtime. Hello, potential savings and cozy winter nights.
Chimney and fireplace: Whether your fireplace runs on wood or gas, have a professional come check it out before you fire it up. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (via consumerreports.com), “fireplaces, chimneys, and heating equipment are some of the biggest causes of home fires”. Having a professional inspect yours could potentially help to avoid any mishaps.
Trees and tree limbs: Mature trees are beautiful. The damage that their dead limbs can cause is not. Have a trusted tree service come out and inspect the surrounding trees for any branches that might not get along well with ice or snow.
Outdoor water devices: Those spigots and sprinklers sure do come in handy for most of the other seasons, but in winter, there’s the potential for them to cause quite some chaos if not properly drained. Make sure you drain and store any hoses and/or sprinklers, and open outdoor spigots to drain trapped water prior to the first freeze. Contact your local plumber for tips (or help)!
Homeowners insurance: We’ve got you on this one! If you want to level up on your homeowners coverage, get started today right here.
Did the responsibility of bringing a side dish somehow manage to land on your plate? Where we’ll never turn down some canned green beans, if you’re looking to bring more to the table (literally) without the extra work and time, we’ve got you. Here are 5 remarkable-sounding recipes that are surprisingly simple to make.
- Buttery Garlic Green Beans: If you haven’t guessed it, we like green beans – and they’re an essential for any holiday meal. Here’s your opportunity to still bring the green beans, yet with this recipe, you can bring them with some extra deliciousness.
- Click for Buttery Garlic Green Beans recipe – Source: allrecipes.com
- Applesauce: This may seem like a strange one to add, but with the addition of cinnamon, this side dish pairs nicely with the other holiday flavors.
- Click for Sarah’s Homemade Applesauce recipe – Source: allrecipes.com
- Baked Sweet Potatoes: Need a recipe that’s almost impossible to mess up? This one’s simple to make, with minimal prep, that you can just pop in the oven. (And who doesn’t love some sweet potatoes?)
- Click for Baked Sweet Potatoes recipe – Source: allrecipes.com
- Broccoli Cheese Bake: If you’re wanting to kick things up a notch, this is a good one to take on. Light prep, simple ingredients (some that you might even have already), and a yummy outcome.
- Click for Broccoli Cheese Bake recipe – Source: allrecipes.com
- Air Fryer Caramelized Bananas: This might be leaning more towards a dessert, but it looked too good not to share. This might be the simplest recipe on this list, with the potential to be one of the tastiest.
- Click for Air Fryer Caramelized Bananas recipe – Source: allrecipes.com
Another thing we make easy? Getting insurance. Get started today by clicking here.
I think we can all agree that we’re very ready for the cooler temps that the fall season will bring. But is your home ready? (And we’re not talking pumpkin decorations.) We mean prepping your house and yard to make sure they’re ready to take on the falling leaves, cooler temperatures, and new things this season brings that could impact them. If you’re not sure, we rounded up a few of the best maintenance tips we found to help you out!
- Clearing roof and gutters: Go ahead and clear debris off and away from your roof and gutters. Unfortunately, this isn’t a one-and-done chore. During fall, leaves well…fall…and allowing your roof to get covered and your gutters to get clogged could result in costly damages.
- Changing your filters: Having fresh air filters will keep your home at the temperature you’re wanting it.
- Assessing for cracks in and around your house: When water gets into cracks, then freezes, it expands. So not only will your cracks get bigger, so will the cost of fixing them.
- Checking for drafts inside the home: As the weather gets cooler, feel around for any areas that might be allowing the outdoor air in (like under doors that lead outside, windows, etc.). Getting these gaps addressed before the winter cold will help save on energy (and money).
- Scheduling an aeration treatment: Having your yard aerated will help to restore your grass from having been fried over the hot summer. Hello, green luscious grass for fall!
- Planting bulbs: Depending on your geographic location, planting flower bulbs in the cooler fall months, like September and October, helps to support stunning blooms come spring and/or summer.
As always, if you’re looking for a little extra protection this season, fill out this form and one of our trusted Bamboo Advocates will reach out and help you find just what you need.
Tropical Storm Hilary is expected to bring heavy rainfall and wind to Southern California starting Saturday, 8/19. You and your family’s safety are of the utmost importance, so we’ve provided some top tips on preparedness below.
- Know your zones: You can find this by searching evacuation zones/mapping for your area.
- Pack your emergency kit: Have an emergency kit ready that can easily move around with you. While you’re at it, check the batteries in your flashlights and assess any other equipment used in these situations, like storm shutters or generators.
- Review your family emergency plan: Go over with your family where everyone will go and how to get in contact with each other.
- Bring in loose outdoor items: Items like patio furniture, umbrellas, kids toys, etc. should be moved into the garage or an area where they aren’t susceptible to being blown over/away by high winds.
Find more tips and helpful information here at weather.gov.
After the storm, if you notice any damage to your property, we’re here for you. Get started on filing a claim right away by calling (877) 333-6938. (You’ll need your Bamboo Policy Number.)
We’re continuing to think of those in the projected path of Tropical Storm Hilary, and wish for nothing but safety for you and your family.
The heat is slowly but surely creeping in, and it’s about that time to get your pool ready to take on some cannonballs. If your pool’s been out of service for the past few seasons, it’s time to start prepping for action again. With that, we’ve got some tips to help you start the pool season off the right way.
Inspecting your pool
And we don’t mean just testing the water. Dedicate a good bit of time to inspecting, cleaning, and reconnecting all pool equipment that’s been off duty the previous seasons. You’ll want to ensure they’re working properly for another long summer season. It’s also worth it to hire a professional to come out and inspect certain pieces of equipment, such as your pool filter and pump.
Cleaning your pool
Clear any debris that’s sitting on your water and vacuum the pool’s floor to remove any dirt that’s at the bottom of your pool. Keep in mind, this isn’t a one and done step – it’s recommended to do this at least once a week. While you’re at it, check your pool’s filter to ensure it doesn’t need to be changed.
Checking the surrounding area
Now that you’ve prepared your pool, it’s time to look at the surrounding area! If you have concrete or wooden flooring around the pool, check for any chipping or exposed nails that could be potential hazards. You’ll also want to double-check that your pool area’s fence is in working condition and the gate is able to be secured. And to keep those oasis vibes strong, hose off any dirty chairs or tables so your guests (and you) can sit back and enjoy your at-home pool.
Keeping swimmers safe
With a pool comes great responsibility – like the safety of those who swim in it. When children are among your guests, assign shifts so that there’s an undistracted adult supervising the pool at all times. Ask visitors not to run, to avoid diving, and to stay away from the drain. Where “pool rules” may take you back to your younger days and the lifeguard blowing their whistle at you for running at the neighborhood pool – it’s smart to not only have rules established for your own pool, but make sure everyone who visits knows and follows them. Signing up for a local CPR class is a big recommendation, too!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the maintenance, try creating a pool cleaning schedule to make sure you don’t miss a beat when keeping your pool nice and clean. Pools are a large undertaking when it comes to care and maintenance. But dedicating the time to keeping up with it is all worth it when you and your loved ones are spending quality time together enjoying it, safely.
To find out if pool-related incidents are covered by your homeowners insurance policy, reach out to your Bamboo Advocate or contact us through the form on our Contact Us page to find out!
Like your car, your home needs regular maintenance throughout the year. As seasons change, so do your home’s maintenance needs. Where it may seem a little daunting to have home to-dos every season, think of it this way – the more upkeep you do, the more money you could save in the long run. That’s why we’ve got 5 starting points for homeowners on spring maintenance for the exterior of the home.
The importance of exterior home maintenance
Let’s go back to the car example. If you don’t conduct regular maintenance checks on your car, you might be dealing with more serious issues in the future that cost an arm and a leg. Well, the same goes for your house. If you aren’t being proactive with seasonal home maintenance, it may result in bigger problems that cost more money.
5 starting points for home exterior maintenance
- Gutters and downspouts: Checking your gutters for clogs may seem like a given, but some homeowners don’t think about also checking the downspouts. These too can get clogged and create serious issues for homeowners. If you’re not thrilled over the thought of climbing up a ladder, there are many local contractors for hire that can help with this task.
- Cracks: Do a perimeter check of your house. Any cracking you see – whether on the driveway, walkways, foundation, or patio – should be filled ASAP. With spring comes rain, and cracks are the perfect spot for rain to seep in and cause damage.
- HVAC unit: As the days get hotter, you’re getting closer to making the move from heat to AC. But get your unit inspected before you take the plunge! Having a certified professional come out and check it could help to prolong the life of your HVAC unit, while also ensuring that it’s completely safe to switch over.
- Roof: Your roof could’ve been damaged this past winter, but you may never know until it’s too late (and very expensive). Having your roof inspected by a professional supports its quality while also potentially avoiding a larger, more costly project in the future.
- Trees & shrubs: One of the best things about spring is watching the plants come back to life. However, if you don’t keep up with where they’re growing back, they could cause damage to your house. Make sure to avoid that potential damage by cutting trees and shrubs back so they’re not in contact with or directly above your house.
If you’re looking for extra protection for your home, click here to start your free homeowner’s insurance quote.