Prevent water from going where it shouldn’t

One of the most disheartening experiences is to find flooding or extreme water damage to your treasured Florida home. We know you want to protect what’s important. That’s why we’re offering these tips to help you prevent many of the most common causes of water damage. 

Just a little time and some effort can prevent a lot of heartache and hassle:

  • Make sure your water pressure is not set too high. For just $6 or so, you can purchase a gauge that will help you test the strength for the appropriate level, between 60 and 80 PSI.
  • Standard hoses on new appliances are not as durable as they used to be. So, check your devices. If they’re rubber, either replace them with longer-lasting stainless steel braided hoses or replace them every three years.
  • Keep water from leaking into the walls or floor of your bathroom by replacing cracked tiles and re-grouting when it’s needed.
  • Examine the shingles on your roof. Worn, curled or missing shingles allow water in, so replace them as soon as noticed.
  • Consider buying a water alarm, which can help you find leaks, or automatic shut-off mechanisms, which can help avoid bursts.
  • A lot of water damage occurs when you and your family are away from home.  Avoid running the washing machine or dishwasher while you’re out.
  • When you leave for vacations, turn off the water supply to appliances.
  • Keep up maintenance on all appliance hoses. Slow leaks from worn-out hoses can cause significant damage, and Homeowners insurance coverage does not apply.  

An Extra Note About Front-Loading Washing Machines

Speaking of appliances, if you have a front-loading washing machine, it’s essential to know that the seal around the door opening, or gasket, there to keep water inside the tub during the wash and spin cycles. If you notice water on the floor in front of the washer, rivulets of detergent and water, or unexplained water marks around the door, the seal may have failed. The first sign of seal failure on your front-loading washer is usually water dripping or flowing from the bottom of the door. 

This loss of water indicates that the seal is torn, cracked, or crumbling. Age, mold and mildew, and improper cleaning can cause the seal to fail. Clean the seal regularly but handle it gently and avoid harsh cleaners that break down the rubber. Replace all seals that fail. On most models, clips hold the seal in place. Unplug the machine, pull the old seal out of the clips, and carefully press the new one into place. Check that it is secured with the clips to prevent leaks and damage to the new seal.

The Wurzel Insurance Agency can work with you to ensure you have the coverage you need. Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents or email us:

3 Reasons to Consider Flood Insurance

If you own a home in Florida, you should definitely consider flood insurance to protect your property. The high risk of flooding from hurricanes and tropical storms makes this coverage well worth your while. With flood insurance from The Wurzel Agency in Oviedo, FL, you can recover much quicker from a flood disaster. If you’re still on the fence about purchasing this coverage, consider the following flood facts.

Floods Can Cause Substantial Damage

Flooding can happen quickly and with little warning, leaving you with thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home, not to mention the loss of belongings. It only takes an inch of floodwater to cause structural damage to a home. If floodwaters rise to 3 inches, you may need to replace carpets, wood flooring, baseboards, furniture and more.

Floods Can Occur Anywhere

Floods can occur anywhere, not just in high-risk areas. Florida is known for its heavy rains, tropical storms and hurricanes, which puts Florida homeowners at high risk of flood damage. Adding flood insurance to your existing coverage can give you peace of mind that your home and goods are protected against this disaster. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting one of your most valuable investments.

Flooding Isn’t Covered by Standard Home Insurance Coverage

Standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. Your home insurance will protect you from rainstorm damage if your roof leaks and water enters your home. It also includes damage from leaky plumbing. If heavy rains cause flooding and floodwaters wreak havoc on your home, you’ll be responsible for the cost of repairs unless you have flood insurance.

The good news is that flood insurance is affordable, putting it well within your reach. To learn more about flood insurance coverage and costs, contact The Wurzel Agency, Oviedo, FL.

After-School Safety Tips for Kids and Parents

Parents, class is back in session here in the Sunshine State, so you’ve likely already reviewed the essential safety tips for kids who walk or bus to and from school. 

Those tips, of course, are:

• Walk with a buddy

• Stay in well-lit areas

• Never accept a ride with strangers 

• Once home, lock the door and don’t let anyone in

However, Dr. Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, urges you not to overestimate your kids’ safety smarts. Kids under 10, for example, may not grasp the concept of crossing a street safely, she says. 

She suggests teaching them: “Stop. Left. Right. Left.” Meaning that children should, “stop at the curb, look left, right, then left again before crossing, and keep looking as they cross.”

Another thing kids need to know, says Borba, is how to ask for help. Have kids practice saying, “I need help,” out loud and instruct them to “find a uniformed employee, a police officer or a woman, preferably with a child,” when they need assistance, she says. Once home, kids will likely use the Internet, so be sure to discuss digital safety too. 

Staying Safe Online

Internet safety advocate Sue Scheff, the author of Wit’s End and Google Bomb, says, “People need to put parental controls and security measures on computers and cell phones. Unfortunately, these aren’t guarantees, so having a cyber-smart child is your best defense.” Teach kids about the dangers of sharing personal information, such as their home address and phone number, online and also, about using social media responsibly. 

While online, it’s best for kids and adults to converse and connect only with people they truly know and trust, to keep their social accounts private. After all, photos and information that go online today will still be there years later, when kids apply for college scholarships and jobs.

Above all, stay involved in your kids’ digital lives. Let them know you’re there for them, always – to talk, not to judge or punish, says Scheff. “Many kids fear to have their Internet removed if they tell their parents that kids are bullying them online,” she says. So, keep the lines of communication open to help keep everyone safe, both in and outside of your home.

The Wurzel Insurance Agency is here for you! Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents, or email us:

Heavy Rain? Be on the Lookout for Damage

Your home protects you from the elements, but heavy rains can weaken that protection. With a little maintenance and much vigilance, it’s not hard to stay safe and dry. Summer rainstorms are a fact of life in Florida, and they help keep things green, even if they keep you inside. However, when they get heavy, it’s time to start thinking about the potential impact all that water has on your home. The first step is finding and fixing any immediate problems as soon as it’s safe to do so. Then, you’ll want to take measures to prevent those problems from happening during the next downpour!

Where is all that rain going?

Your roof and gutters form a crucial line of defense for your home — and in a storm, they’re vulnerable, because so many things can damage them. Trees, hail, and other objects can create weaknesses that might lead to leaks in your roof, so check for missing shingles and other issues. Moreover, keep your gutters clear, so all that water drains properly.

Are you checking everywhere?

Water dripping from the ceiling is hard to miss. Water in your crawl space, however, can quickly go undetected because hardly anyone ever checks there. Don’t forget to look there after a storm (or have a professional do it) to make sure everything is nice and dry. If you do see moisture, you’ll want to get it checked out as soon as possible.  Also, don’t just look up – another place to check is your home’s exterior, whether it’s siding, brick, or another material. Weak spots can be hard to see, so look at various times of the day in different lighting conditions. Make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed to keep out the elements, too! 

What about around your property?

Stormwater has to go somewhere, and if your property doesn’t drain well, or if runoff goes toward your foundation, you could have problems. So, watch for patterns, and grade property, so it drains away from your home if possible. Always be wary of hillsides and tilting trees after heavy storms, because the land might not be stable.

Don’t forget to keep storm drains clear of leaves and other debris. This can prevent flooding both on the streets and your property.

What should you do during the storm?

During powerful storms — especially those afternoon thunderstorms — stay inside! This is not the time to check your roof, your exterior, or your property unless there’s an emergency and you know it’s safe to go out. Monitor your interior, making sure no water is getting in. If it is, do what you can to alleviate the situation at the moment, even if it means just placing something under a leak to collect the water. For more severe problems, though, remember that safety is the most important thing. Monitor the storm’s progress with a weather app or your local news station, and stay safe! 

The Wurzel Insurance Agency is here for you! Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents, or email us: