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The Causes of Ice Dams & How to Prevent Them

As the trusted insurance consultants for Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas, we continue to assist area policyholders with property insurance claims after winter accidents and severe weather events. One major culprit for winter home damage is ice dams. Many homeowners may have ice dams without even realizing it. So, what are the signs, causes and cures for ice dams? Norcia Insurance Consultants is here to answer just that. 

Ice Dam on Home in Wisconsin

What are Ice Dams? 

While once thought of as a problem with the roofing or ventilation, ice dams are actually caused by the presence of warm, moist air in the attic, combined with snow on the roof and the right weather conditions. Ice dams occur when heat gets into the attic and then melts the underside of the snow on the roof. This melted snow then flows down the roof until it reaches a cold spot like the eaves or soffit and forms a frozen dam where additional snowmelt and ice build up. Then, the ice buildup can back up under the shingles, damaging them and allowing water to leak into the ceilings and walls beneath. 

Primary Cause of Ice Dams

The primary cause of ice dams are attic air leaks. Air leaks can damage insulation and more. Warm, moist air leaking through holes around plumbing vents, electrical wires, chimneys and more lead to reduced performance of your insulation. And, water vapor carried with the escaping warm air from your home may condense, freeze and build up in the insulation causing plaster and paint to crack and peel, leading to rot and other structural damage.

How to (And How Not to) Prevent Them

Removing snow from the roof can eliminate one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. However, it is important to be careful not to damage the roofing materials, yourself or your property. DO NOT install heating cables as they will shorten the life of your roof and cost money to operate. Also don’t remove ice with chippers, chemicals or heat as it can damage the shingles gutters and other components. Adding additional insulation like higher density foam on the top plate of exterior walls can reduce heat transfer to the roof deck. However, insulation alone is insufficient. 

The long-term solution to ice dams is to air seal your attic. Make the ceiling of your home air tight so warm, moist air cannot flow from the house into the attic space.

Ice dams are no joke so it is important to do everything you can to prevent them from damaging your home. If your home is damaged by ice dams, just keep in mind that the experts at Norcia Insurance Consultants are here to help.

Home Safety Tips for a Cold Minnesota Winter

It is officially winter, bringing cold weather to Minnesota. And it isn’t just any winter. This winter, cooking at home and indoor activities are at an all-time high. With more time spent at home, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind to help you, your family and your home stay safe this winter. The expert insurance adjusters for MN, Norcia Insurance Consultants, know just about every possible risk out there and here to discuss some of the most important safety tips for this year’s Minnesota winter.

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Inspection of your heating system. Before your furnace begins working its hardest, it’s important to ensure it doesn’t have any major issues that could create a dangerous situation. Have your heating system professionally inspected in order to check the safety limits and burners for proper operation. An improperly working heating system can create carbon monoxide hazards as well as other dangers.

Chimney inspection. Another area of the home that has to do with heat and also requires inspection are your wood-burning fireplace chimneys. They should be checked and cleaned of soot buildup to ensure proper air flow and safe operation.

Roof inspection. Winter can be hard on roofing, your home’s #1 defense against the elements. So, now is the time to contact your roofing contractor to come out and inspect your roofing and gutters. Overlooked simple repairs, such a missing or displaced shingles, lose or leaky gutters, damaged flashing or caulking, cracked flanges can lead to more costly damage.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspection. With a winter spent mostly indoors and the constant running of your heating system, it is important to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Also make a habit of changing their batteries. Home fire alarms should last about 10 years, but it is important to check on them consistently to ensure they’re working as they should to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

Professional dryer vent cleaning. An often neglected task that is very important this time of year. Bulky clothing and blankets can put extra strain on your dryer so clothes dryer vents should be checked for a buildup of lint or blockage. If drying times are getting longer, it means the vent may be getting restricted and not allowing the proper airflow through the appliance. 

Did you know that dryer fires occur in the thousands every year? That is why it is so important to do what you can to keep your home’s dryers running safely. And, it helps to hire a professional dryer vent cleaning company to ensure a thorough job. But, if a fire does occur and causes damage to your home or property, be sure to contact the fire department right away. And, when you need help filing your insurance claim, seek assistance from our experienced public adjusters.

These are just some of the most important safety tips to follow this winter. Are you interested in learning more about how our public adjusters in MN can help you in the event of a fire or other damages this winter? Call Norcia Insurance Consultants at 866-512-LOSS (5677) or Schedule a Free Consultation.

When Should I Dispute an Insurance Claim?

The insurance claims process can be difficult for claimants especially when you don’t have insurance claims consultants on your side. It becomes even more difficult in the event of an insurance claims dispute. That’s why, if you find yourself filing an insurance claim this fall or winter, be sure to have the professionals working by your side and on your behalf. Here at Norcia Insurance Consultants, we are the experts in insurance claims disputes for Minnesota and can help with any problems that come from filing an insurance claim. How do you know it’s time to dispute an insurance claim? The experts at Norcia are here to help. 

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Many insurance companies, rather than standing by their policyholders, try to dispute claims or vastly underestimate property losses. As a claimant, you should dispute an insurance claim if you believe you deserve a different response from the claims adjuster. The timing of when to launch your dispute can be imperative to the future of your claim. At Norcia Insurance Consultants, our insurance claims experts can help with the paperwork, timing and everything in between.

Once you receive a response you do not agree with from an insurance company, we will help you review your original claim to search for ways to improve it before opening a dispute. The claim you originally filed, if filed without our help, could contain mistakes or lack information that may have changed the insurance company’s answer.

That’s why you should enlist our help from the very beginning. From evaluating and recording damage, filing your claim and talking to your insurance company on your behalf to filling out and sending paperwork, our public adjusters will do everything we can to help. We will make sure all forms and documentation are filled out properly, and we will make sure to do our best to get you the full insurance payout you deserve.

We know it can be intimidating to go up against a large insurance company during insurance claims disputes. These corporations are usually worth a lot of money, and they want to do everything they can to hold onto as much of that money as possible. So, allow us to help you every step of the way. When you call Norcia Insurance Consultants, we can be your valuable resource in resolving any insurance disputes amicably. We work for you, not the insurance companies, and always have your best interest at heart.

Need help with any insurance claims disputes involving your Minnesota home or business? Call Norcia Insurance Consultants at 866-512-LOSS (5677) or you can contact us to set up your Free Consultation.

Handling Insurance Disputes After a Damaging Summer Storm

There are severe thunderstorms in the forecast. While this is a pretty typical summer occurrence, you never know when one of these storms will turn ugly. Down-pouring rains, high winds and tornado watches aren’t totally out of the ordinary in our neck of the woods and they can leave behind them some devastating storm damage. Fortunately, many have homeowners insurance that cover these types of damages. Not so fortunately, insurance companies occasionally deny these claims. That’s where the experts at Norcia Insurance Consultants come in; we are experts at resolving insurance disputes. Experiencing insurance disputes after filing a claim? We have got you covered! We can help solve your insurance disputes in Green Bay and the surrounding areas while working to help get you what you’re owed. 

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How do you go about filing an insurance claim after a storm and what do you do if caught in insurance disputes? It’s simple; call the experts at Norcia. We are here to give you a quick rundown of what you should do after a damaging storm. Here’s what to do:

1. Make sure everyone is safe and your home is safe to be in. Do not go outside if it is still storming out or if it’s possible tree limbs could still break and fall, even if you suspect your home or property has been damaged. Wait until the weather clears up and it is safe to venture outdoors.

2. As soon as it’s safe to do so, go outside and slowly walk around the perimeter of your home. Take note of any damage you see, even if it’s only a small amount.

3. Pick up the phone and call the experts at Norcia Insurance Consultants. We will be able to walk you through every step in the process. Even if you are unsure whether the damage warrants an insurance claim, we can get you the help you need to get you started. Even if a claim is fairly minor, like a cracked or broken window that won’t exceed your annual deductible, you should still report that damage.

4. Don’t even contact your insurance company to file insurance claims directly. With assistance from the experts at Norcia, we can take care of this for you. We can come to your home, talk to your insurance company for you, explain to you what is unfolding, clarify all aspects of the paperwork and go over contracts to help you understand them.

For help with insurance disputes in the Green Bay area, call Norcia Insurance Consultants at 866-512-LOSS (5677), or you can contact us to set up your Free Consultation.