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Got Gutters?

Got Gutters?

Time to clean them!

The leaves have fallen and we are gearing up for cold weather, and dare we say it… snow! Cleaning your gutters is crucial to keeping your home ‘healthy’. 

Gutters and downspouts get clogged with debris throughout the year. This could be from leaves, twigs, or build up and it happens to everyone. When this happens, gutters essentially become useless and don’t do their job. The weight of the debris can cause them to sag against the fascia and often this is where we see water penetration into the structure. Our team has even seen cases where basements are wet simply due to the gutters being clogged.

It is also recommended to check for leaks and holes. These can be sealed up by caulking the inside of the gutter. Small holes can be filled by gutter sealant and larger holes will probably require a patch. 

Also, check your downspouts. Are they draining too close to your foundation? Downspouts need to extend several feet away from the house. If not, they’ll dump the water right into the basement.

We recommend cleaning your gutters and downspouts at least once a year after the leaves have fallen, or twice if you have a lot of trees surrounding your home. You can do it yourself or you can hire a local contractor. 

Different ways to clean your gutters include using a leaf blower, a pressure washer or by hand. This all depends on how often you’ve cleaned your gutters or the amount of debris. There could be dirt and grime or just leaves and twigs. 

You’re not alone – cleaning out your gutters every year can seem tedious or insignificant. But that being said, it could prevent costly damage in the future. If you are sick of cleaning them, look into getting screens attached or leaf guards! There are plenty of options out there.

 


Hurricane Preparedness Month

Hurricane Preparedness Month

Did you know that September is Hurricane Preparedness Month? There’s several steps you can take to prepare your home or building. Hurricane season begins on May 15 in the North Pacific and on June 1 in the Atlantic and Caribbean, and ends on November 30. It is forecasted, and is being proven, to be a very busy season in 2023.

 

What’s the difference between hurricane “watch” and “warning”?

A hurricane watch is when hurricane conditions are possible in an area. This means there’s sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. Watches are announced by experts about 48 hours before they expect tropical storm force winds to start.

A hurricane warning is more serious. This means stronger hurricane force winds are expected. This warning is usually issued 36 hours before tropical storm force winds are expected. This hopefully gives people enough time to prepare for the storm. 

 

How to Prepare in Advance

Make a plan:  

  • Copy emergency phone numbers and keep them on your refrigerator or near the phone, as well as program them into family cell phones. 
  • Have an emergency supply kit.
  • Locate nearest shelter and different routes to get there. 
  • If you have a pet, identify shelters that are pet friendly. 

Have emergency supplies on hand. You can’t predict what type of damage can happen around you. Power and water could be cut off, damage could be done to your car or roads could be flooded or blocked off. 

A few things to prepare are:

  • Emergency food and water supply.
  • Emergency medicine supply. 
  • Power sources, like flashlights.
  • Important documents, like medical documents, passports, personal IDs, and wills.

 

How to Prepare if You Hear “Hurricane Watch” or “Hurricane Warning”

There are several things you need to get ready in this case. Your transportation, family and pets, home and evacuation plan if necessary. 

Car:

  • Fill your gas tank
  • If possible, move vehicles undercover
  • Keep emergency kit in vehicle

Family and pets:

  • Get your prepared emergency plan and go over it together.
  • Listen to the news, radio or continue to check for updates regarding the storm.
  • Put pets and farm animals in a safe place.

Home:

  • Clear your yard removing items that could blow around during a storm. Things like lawn and patio furniture, grills, bikes or toys. 
  • Use storm shutters to cover up windows and doors. If you don’t have these, nail pieces of plywood instead. 
  • Prepare to turn off your power. This is necessary if there is flooding, downed power lines or if you have to leave.
  • Get drinking water readily available.
  • Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. 

 

Evacuating or Staying Home? 

Don’t ignore orders to evacuate. No matter how new, sturdy or well built your home or building may be, you never know what type of force a hurricane could bring. On the other hand, you could be ordered to stay home if driving conditions are too dangerous. 

Have an open mind, plan and readiness for either situation.

 

Visit our website to view the active hurricane tracker.


Disaster Relief

How it Started

In 2020 we traveled to Louisiana to do our first disaster relief job. We responded to Hurricane Laura (Category 4), which damaged the state with an 18 foot storm surge. As it was our first experience with disaster relief, we partnered with several restoration and mitigation companies to complete the work. Shortly after, in early 2021, Texas had a historical winter event where the whole state experienced freezing cold temperatures for a record breaking nine day stretch. Texas is where we realized national large loss disaster relief is something we want to move forward with and pursue as we saw the need for help in our travels.

CORE

A few short months later, we became connected with CORE, by becoming a CORE Elite Member. Joining CORE gave us access to a whole new level of capabilities. We now are able to partner with like minded companies nationally to complete the jobs at hand. This relationship allowed us to perform disaster relief more efficiently, as there are 44 Elite members nationwide. This gives us, and them, access to more manpower, equipment, and knowledge. 

Since becoming members, we have done disaster relief work in Florida from Hurricane Ian, Louisiana, New York, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and most recently the flash flooding in Vermont.

Today

We are so grateful to not only be serving Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but now the entire country. That being said, we have a wonderful new Large Loss Team that works with us to build relationships, attend events around the country and work together to get the jobs done more efficiently. Currently, our team consists of Corey and Lindsey Brandon (Kentucky), Will Matthews (South Carolina), Tony Rillieux (Mississippi), Mike Walker (Mississippi) and a large loss team of project managers and mitigation technicians based in Portsmouth, NH that travel to help facilitate and run the jobs. 

To learn more about CORE, visit their website https://gowithcore.com/core-values/. To report a disaster relief claim, visit Insurcomm’s Major Disasters page.


July Vermont Flooding

Vermont Floods

On July 14, 2023 we were dispatched to Barre and Montpelier, Vermont to assess the damage caused by the floods that occurred a few days prior. We were humbled by the devastation that we witnessed and saddened by the damage that occurred to the local businesses and homes. 

Within 24 hours we had our crews working on debris clean-up and further demolition. We are fortunate to collaborate with some of our likeminded partners from various restoration companies throughout the country. This is due to our relationships through CORE as CORE Elite Members. Partnering with them allows us to have the manpower, equipment and knowledge to get work started and completed.

Nearly four weeks later, two National Project Managers, 18 mitigation technicians, our administrative/support staff, and 124 laborers, we are still working countless hours to get things back to “normal”. 

That being said, catastrophic events like this take a toll on a community and it may be a while before things get back to normal. We are thankful for the adjusters and property owners who have given us the opportunity to be a part of this process. We are blessed to have a hard-working team and the resources to provide these kinds of services.

 


Insurcomm Office Expansion

If you’ve been following along, it’s clear we’ve been expanding. Why? you might be wondering. This is due to many factors: a new large loss division, new service offerings and higher efficiency office administrative work. We now have employees in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Everyone we hire to join a team or to start a new position serves an important role in our process.

Our large loss team is new and growing, our environmental team is expanding, as well as our business development team, administrative staff, new project managers as well as new team coordinators who help facilitate schedules, billing, and more.

Because of this exciting growth, we have expanded into the downstairs offices in our building which was previously occupied by tenants. This expansion allows us to continue to serve our customers with the highest level of service in the industry.

If you want to schedule a tour of our building and warehouse, to see who we are and the level of service we provide – please contact [email protected]


Celebrate Independence Safely

Happy Fourth of July!

There’s no question, we all look forward to Fourth of July weekend! Fun, family, friends, fireworks, BBQ and usually near water. What’s not to look forward to? On the other hand, celebrating safely needs to stay in the back of our minds.

Firework Safety

Below are some tips on how to use and handle fireworks appropriately.

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Do not handle while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Never light them indoors
  • Anyone using fireworks should use protective eyewear
  • Do not light fireworks close to homes or buildings
  • Do not re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in the event of a fire
  • Don’t try to ignite fireworks in a container
  • Light one at a time

Sparklers Aren’t for Everyone

Sparklers, or mini fireworks, are found being used by young kids at parades, firework shows, at home or at festivals. They’re a lot more dangerous than most think.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency visits for firework injuries. And on top of that, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries for children under 5 years old. They can quickly ignite clothing or hair, and children have had severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. They can burn at about 2,000 degrees.

Some fun alternatives are confetti poppers, colorful streamers and glow sticks!

How to Celebrate Safely

The best idea: go to a nearby town or city that hosts a firework show, and let the professionals handle it! Sit back and enjoy. Here is a list of public fireworks in the following states:

New Hampshire: Fireworks across New Hampshire

Maine: Fireworks across Maine

Massachusetts: Fireworks across Massachusetts