Simple Tips to Prevent an Unwanted Repair

Seven Tips Before You Buy a Used Camper in Auburn, WASpring is a great season to start looking for good used campers. Whether you’re looking at a dealership or from a person off of Craigslist, it’s important to know how to look for possible damage or wear.

Look for these trouble areas to save yourself on repairs:

  1. Delamination

RV’s are typically made of a laminated plywood and adhered with an adhesive. This adhesive over time can become deteriorated and cause the side of the RV to delaminate. This delamination can become worse over time and unfortunately, there is not an inexpensive fix. Reasons for delamination can be moisture, heat or simply age. To look for delamination, look down the side of the RV. You’re looking for a change in the plane – it looks almost like a large bubble. Take your hand and press on it. Does it flex or feel like there is air between the exterior fiberglass shell and the interior plywood?

  1. Tires

Tires are easy to inspect. What you’re looking for is small cracks in between the tread. As RVs sit, they develop flat spots and weather cracks. These cracks while largely cosmetic in nature, can over time deteriorate the tire. If the tires are worn or cracked, consider this into the cost of purchasing the RV.

  1. Rodent Damage

Rodents get into everything. Your RV or trailer is no different. In fact, they make ideal homes for rodents because most of the year, they’re sitting undisturbed. When looking for signs of rodents, pull up some seat cushions and look in storage spaces. You’re looking for rodent droppings. Mice and rats leave droppings everywhere. This can both be a health hazard and also damage your RVs interior as they nest.

  1. Water Damage

RV’s are incredibly susceptible to water damage. Truth is many manufacturers in the US don’t build the RVs with as much quality as they could. Water damage is usually pretty easy to spot or smell. If the RV smells musty or feels damp, this is a big indicator. Look for mineral stains or water stains on wood, around skylights and air conditioners on the roof. Also, go around the RV or trailer and push in on all of the sides all the way around. If water got into the walls, it can quickly rot the structural portions of the RV. Pushing on the sides will identify any areas that may be compromised. An RV should be stiff and hard, if it flexes, it is possible there is water damage. Check closely around windows and on the roof.

  1. Appliances

RV appliances are incredibly expensive to replace because of their compact size. If you’re considering a used RV, have the owner or dealer fire up the refrigerator prior to you getting there so you can feel it cool. RV refrigerators can run on electricity, battery or propane. They take about 2 hours to cool down, so before your arrival, ask them to turn it on. Also, while there, test any water heaters and/or other systems that may be important to you.

  1. Canvas

If your trailer or RV has any canvas, look it over closely for mold and staining. Also, if any windows are plastic on your RV, check all zippers and windows for cracks. New canvas tops for a pop-up camper can cost upwards of $3,000.

  1. Floor

The floor of an RV is one of the most common places an RV, camper or trailer is damaged. The floor is typically made up of simple plywood and in older RVs was not protected by anything. Additionally, floors that were protected underneath often time trapped water that entered from above causing the floors to rot. When inspecting a trailer for a rotted floor, get on your hands and knees and push all over the floor looking for flex. If the floor flexes or feels mushy, it is likely rotten and may require replacement. You can also take a small screwdriver or pick and lightly push from underneath (for exposed wood floors only) and see if the material is rotted.

Taking these steps can save you a lot on costly RV repair. We hope you enjoy your camping season. Many memories can be made while camping so we hope we’ve been successful in helping you be an expert when shopping for a used RV.

It is our goal at Head and Malesis Insurance to provide you with the service you deserve and the knowledge you expect. Head and Malesis Insurance has been providing Washingtonians with insurance options for 30 years! We value each of our clients and want to do everything we can to exceed your expectations. We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, advise you when needed and provide you with an overall, positive insurance experience. If you want to discuss your home, auto or other insurance needs, please feel free to call our agents or visit us online on our insurance website. We also provide life insurance.

Six Areas to Look to Prevent a Costly Repair

How to inspect your roof for damage in Auburn, WAWe all know that owning a home is an expensive investment. Unfortunately, you can’t just move in and let it set. Homes require constant maintenance to ensure you don’t get costly damage. We suggest doing a yearly home inspection.

Most people will never venture up onto their roof to see what is going on up there.  A homes roof takes a beating. In the summer, it bakes and the sealant can shrink and expand hundreds of times each year. Making sure your roofing is up to par will save you from costly damage such as mold, water damage, sagging rooflines, pests and much more.

During winter, rainwater can find its way through tiny cracks causing moisture in your attic or between the layers of roofing. Identifying these issues early on can save you thousands of dollars in repairs to the roof itself, drywall, mold or go into your walls creating all sorts of havoc.  It is critically important to understand that your home insurance does NOT cover water intrusion damages caused by deferred maintenance.

Things to look for on your roof inspection:

  1. Missing or damaged shingles
    1. Shingles can become damaged by wind and hail or even just years of use. When inspecting your shingles, make sure the granules are covering the shingle. Ensuring that your shingles are in proper working order will ensure water stays out of your home.
    2. Look for curling shingles, or if wood, cracked or decayed shingles.
  2. Flashing
    1. Your flashing is the metal pieces that go around skylights, butt up against walls and down the valleys on your roof.
    2. Make sure these pieces are whole and without damage such as being twisted upwards, or having holes in them from rust or other damages.
  3. Flat Roofs: Look for obvious patches, cracks, tears, or blisters.
  4. Gutters: Make sure your gutters are clear from debris, are not leaking and are butted up tight against the structure.
  5. Chimneys: Ensure your chimney cap is on tight and if it is brick, inspect for cracks.
  6. Ventilation: Make sure your ventilation caps are clear of obstruction.

Inspecting your roof is a quick and easy job. Take your time and be careful while up there as there are many trip hazards and climbing on and off of the roof onto a ladder can be tricky. But, if done safely, a roof inspection can identify problems that would normally not be covered by your homeowners insurance.

It is our goal at Head and Malesis Insurance to provide you with the service you deserve and the knowledge you expect. Head and Malesis Insurance has been providing Washingtonians with insurance options for 30 years! We value each of our clients and want to do everything we can to exceed your expectations. We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, advise you when needed and provide you with an overall, positive insurance experience. If you want to discuss your home, auto or other insurance needs, please feel free to call our agents or visit us online on our insurance website. We also provide life insurance.

Small Changes Can Add Up to Big Savings

How to lower your energy bill in Auburn, WAEveryone loves to save money especially if it’s done with a few easy steps. Electricity bills can add up quickly in your home, but by making a few small changes can lower those bills and save money for other things in your monthly budget.

Easy To Do Steps to Lower Your Electricity Bill

Home Heating

Heating your home uses the most energy, but can offer up the best ways to save money.

Keep your heating system tuned up and inspected. A poorly maintained heating system adds up overtime. Get your heating system inspected by a professional to ensure you’re not wasting energy and money.

Check the furnace filter. When a filter is dirty, they use more energy. Replace the filter when needed and follow the instructions in your furnace manual. Usually every couple of months.

Don’t block heat registers or return ducts.

Home Cooling

Invest in an air conditioner that has a high energy efficient rating (EER). A unit with an EER of 10 will save you twice as much as an EER of 5 would to operate.

Keep the filter clean. Again, the dirtier the filter, the harder it has to work.

Keep your temperature consistent. Instead of constantly changing your thermostat up and down, pick a temperature and stick to it.

Appliances

Insulate your water heater. Your water heater and refrigerator can be prime energy suckers. By insulating your water heater, you could have a great return on savings.

Hang dry more of your clothes. This can save on energy, plus keep your clothes in better condition.

Not using an appliance? Unplug it. Keeping an appliance plugged in uses energy, so if you’re not using an appliance or even a phone charger, unplug it.

Always do a full load. This goes for the dish washer and washing machine. Focus on doing full loads vs. partial loads.

Clean the drain weekly. Unclog the drain of food particles and clean it weekly to keep your dish washer running efficiently.

Keep the thermostat at a specific temperature. The refrigerator is best at 38 to 42 degrees, while the freezer is best at 0 to 5 degrees.

Other Tips

Turn off the lights. This is a simple one! If you’re not in a room, turn the lights off.

Change your light bulbs. More and more people are doing this, but energy efficient light bulbs will help you save money on your energy bill. Plus, they last much longer! Dimmer light switches can be a great addition to your home and use less energy while you enjoy your preference of lighting in a room.

Utilize power strips. Many computers, televisions and other electronics use power when they are off. Plug these devices into a power strip and when you’re not using them, simply hit the power switch button to turn them off.

While we can’t lower your energy bill for you, we can help you find ways to lower your insurance. It is our goal at Head and Malesis Insurance to provide you with the service you deserve and the knowledge you expect. Head and Malesis Insurance has been providing Washingtonians with insurance options for 30 years! We value each of our clients and want to do everything we can to exceed your expectations. We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, advise you when needed and provide you with an overall, positive insurance experience. If you want to discuss your home, auto or other insurance needs, please feel free to call our agents or visit us online on our insurance website. We also provide life insurance.