They’re only trees... but as we have seen with the recent ice storms, proper maintenance of them is critical. Keeping your trees healthy will allow you to continue to enjoy them and their benefits — one of which is providing enough oxygen for four people every day!
Maintenance will also reduce the risk of a tree falling on your home or your car (or even worse, someone else’s home or car).
Here are some tips from the National Arbor Day Foundation to help keep trees healthy, identify warning signs and address problems. A healthy tree that you care for properly — and regularly — is far less likely to become a hazard. Remember, prevention is key!
Inspect your trees often This applies to all seasons! The sooner you spot a problem, the sooner you can take corrective action — and potentially save your tree. Check trees regularly each year, and have a qualified arborist inspect them annually.
Plant the right species Brittle trees can produce weak limbs that fall and injure people or property. Examples include Silver Maples, Lombardy Poplars, Box Elders, and Willows.
Prune the right way, at the right time Trees should first be pruned when they are young, and then at regular intervals as they age. Make the cut outside the branch collar, and never allow trees to be topped.
Plant in the right place Don’t plant trees that will grow to be large close to your home or under power lines.
Learn to spot problems According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, there are several key things to consider when evaluating your trees for potential issues.
The tree’s history: Has it been topped? Have branches broken? Have large limbs been lost unexpectedly?
Branch quality: Dead limbs are dangerous — they can fall easily and are a big red flag. Take prompt action. If you see branches that cross or rub, prune as soon as possible, because that can lead to weak spots.
Appearance: Vigorous trees can be determined by the amount of leaf cover, as well as the color, size and condition of its leaves. If a tree’s trunk is forked, that’s a signal of weakness.
Decay: If you see cavities, disfiguration or fungi on the trunk, large branches or roots, this may indicate decay. It doesn’t automatically mean that a tree is a hazard, but it means you should closely monitor it. If there’s a large amount of sound wood surrounding internal rot, for example, the tree may still be safe.
If you have a dead or dying tree, it should be promptly removed unless it is in an area where structures or people won’t be threatened. And have an expert do the job — bringing down a large tree is extremely dangerous, and accidents can result in severe damage, injury, and even death.
The law typically holds the owner responsible for damage or injury caused by a defective tree. So don’t forget about them when you’re working in the yard or examining your landscaping. Keeping your trees healthy can limit the potential for disaster — in addition to keeping your space beautiful and vibrant.
We no longer live in our grandparents' era. We live in the digital, have to have it now age. We can receive instant results like game scores, recipes, and answers to most of our general questions with just a touch of a button. You can also get instant quotes for auto insurance, home insurance, and more from specific carriers; but what you can't get is personal service! Personal service is invaluable by making sure you are properly protected while getting the best rate and coverage available in the insurance industry.
As stated earlier we are no longer living in our grandparents' era either, so why do we feel the need to have the same insurance company they did? Don't sell yourself short... Open yourself up to options! Most everything we do in life, we have options. Why should your insurance be any different?
By having a local, independent insurance agent you broaden your ability to have...
Lower Rates and Better Coverage. An independent agent has the ability to quote from many different top rated insurance carriers and provide you with several options that will best serve your current needs. Independent agents are consumer-driven, they are able to provide a much higher level of service and care than that of a captive agent (single carrier agent - i.e. your grandparents' agent).
Ease of Service. An independent agent can service all of your insurance policies, so if there is ever a question or need there is only one number to call, and an actual real-life person to answer your call!
Unbiased Opinion. An independent agent represent a multitude of excellent insurance companies, their job is to match your needs with the company that best satisfies them.
Flexibility. The insurance market is constantly changing along with your insurance needs. By being with an independent agent you know they will shop, negotiate, and switch companies as needed. This creates an effortless environment for you! There will be no need for you to switch insurance agents EVER again!
An Advocate. An independent insurance agent is YOUR advocate - not the insurance company!
An independent agent has it ALL! It bears repeating: a local, independent insurance agent is your one-stop-shop! So, what are you waiting for? Go out and make your grandparents proud... Be Smart and Switch to a local, independent agent today!
Many of us can relate, you wake up on a cold winter morning and shuffle into the bathroom, turn on the faucet and... trickle, trickle or possibly nothing at all. You have a frozen pipe. What do you do now or better yet, how do you avoid this messy, potentially expensive situation in the first place?
Below are some ideas to help keep the water flowing inside even when it is freezing outside:
Before It Gets Cold
Drain water supply lines to your sprinkler and swimming pool. Don't put antifreeze in the lines, as spills or leaks can threaten pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses before putting them in storage. Place an inexpensive foam cover over the faucet. Better yet, close the inside valves that supply water to the hose bibs. Then open the outside hose bibs to let any remaining water drain out, and leave them open.
Insulate water pipes with pipe sleeves, heat tape or heat cable, particularly pipes that run through unheated areas of the house, such as attics, basements, crawl spaces and garages.
As Temperatures Drop
Keep your house warm, and allow the warm air to circulate as much as possible. Seal drafts and keep interior doors open. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period, don’t turn off the heat. Keep it set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Open cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow heat to reach the pipes. Be sure to move cleaners and other chemicals out of reach of children and pets.
Open indoor faucets, hot and cold, to allow a trickle of water. Flowing water is less likely to freeze.
When a Pipe Freezes
The first thing to do, faced with the telltale trickle, is try to find where the pipe is frozen. Keep the faucet open, and open other faucets in the house to determine if the problem is widespread. If it is, turn off the main water supply and call a plumber.
If it's a single pipe, and you can reach the frozen section, try using a hair dryer, heating pad or portable space heater – just never leave it running unattended. Keep the faucet open and work up and down the pipe, starting at the faucet and working backward to the frozen section. Apply heat until full water pressure returns, then reduce the flow to a trickle until the cold snap ends.
An alternative method: Wrap the frozen section with towels soaked in hot water. Don't pour hot water directly on a frozen pipe, and don't use a propane torch or other open flame.
If these approaches don't work, or if you have a leaking or burst pipe, don't hesitate to turn off the main water supply and call in a licensed plumber. And, be sure to touch base with your local independent agent too, preferably before a crisis. You'll want to know whether you're covered for burst pipes and the ensuing water damage.
From our offices in Weatherford, Texas, we serve clients anywhere in the State of Texas, though the following areas are geographically closest to us: the counties of Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Wise, Johnson, Parker and Hood and the cities of Arlington, Bedford, Brock, Burleson, Cleburne, Colleyville, Coppell, Dallas, Decatur, Euless, Fort Worth, Frisco, Granbury, Grapevine, Hurst, Keller, Mansfield, Millsap, Mineral Wells, North Richland Hills, Southlake, Watauga, Weatherford, and White Settlement.