October 6, 2017

With spring cleaning far behind, and summer fun all but over, it’s time to start fall home maintenance.  Fall is the perfect time to perform important maintenance to your home so you’re not caught in the middle of winter with a drafty house or a malfunctioning heater.  We’ve compiled the top eight fall home maintenance tips, along with what you can do to ensure your home stays warm and comfortable this winter.

1.  Heating System

If you have a furnace you need to take some basic care:  Change the filter, check the blower belt, and oil the blower motor; inspect all electrical components and controls; ensure that the exhaust flue to the outside is clear of obstructions and in good condition from the furnace to the roof cap with all connections securely fastened; and finally, remove all flammable objects from around your furnace and water heater

2. Chimney and Fireplace

Chimneys and fireplaces cause some of the most expensive damage to homes. Build-up from creosote can easily ignite, causing a devastating fire. If you are unfamiliar with inspecting a chimney, it may be worth calling in a chimney sweep, which is usually quite affordable. Make sure to leave your flu closed when not in use, and always have a fireplace screen in front of open flames to protect your home from wayward sparks.

3. Windows

Windows may be a continual source of frustration for homeowners. There are many seal repair kits available at local hardware stores. Walk around the interior windows, placing your hand near the seal. Check for any breezes flowing through. Do the same process for doors. When you find one, mark it with a sticker or other indicator so you can tally how many repair kits you need. If a window is improperly sized, cracked, or broken, it needs to be replaced.

For doors, you can purchase draft preventers and other seal kits to improve the seal. Every 1/8 of an inch can lower a room a whole degree, so it can really pay off to have updated, well-sealed doors and windows.

4. Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers, and First Aid Kits

Every six months, replace batteries in all the detectors in your home. Check the expiration dates on your first aid kit and fire extinguisher, and that each is up to date and in a convenient place. If you don’t have a fire escape route, this is a good time to draft one.

5. Indoor Pipes

Winterizing pipes is one of the easiest, most valuable ways to protect your home over the winter. Most home repair stores carry fitted insulation that can easily wrap around any size pipe. If you can’t afford to do every pipe in your home, give priority to the pipes that are closest to the outdoors, or most likely to freeze. It’s also a good idea to shut off water to any area that won’t be used, and to check pipes for leaks or cracks that may grow larger with the varying temperatures of fall.

6. Yard Maintenance

Fall leaves may be beautiful, but these can slowly rot, causing huge backup and damage in gutters. This backup will cause water to spill over the gutter and into your yard and walking areas, which can cause damage to your home and make walking conditions dangerous. Disconnect all garden hoses, and store them coiled and flat in a cool, dry place. If possible, turn of water to all outside faucets and drain them to protect the outside pipes from damage. Also, store any outdoor furniture that may become damaged from snow or ice.

7. Roof Inspection

A roof inspection may seem overkill, but harsh winter winds and heavy snow can take a toll on your home. It may be a good idea go up to your rooftop to check for any broken tiles or cracks. It’s important to take care of any damage now to avoid repairs during the cold winter months.

8. Stock Up on Winter Supplies for Your Home

Before prices on winter gear soars, stock up on winter items such as snow shovels, firewood, or sidewalk salt. It’s better to have the supplies now than to have to run to the store during a snowstorm!

These fall home maintenance tips are quick, easy, and affordable. It might be a good idea to brush up on home repair insurance coverage as you’re making improvements and renovations. As the adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - especially when it comes to home repairs.

Source:  Trusted Choice

October 2, 2017

Kim DiMatteo, CIC, and Loretta Lesko, CIC, were recently recognized for professional leadership and advanced knowledge by the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), a leading national insurance professional organization.

Kim & Loretta were awarded a certificate marking more than fifteen years of participation as a designated CIC, which requires annual completion of advanced education and training.

Their ongoing allegiance and support of the CIC Program is a testament to the value their places on "real world" education and customer satisfaction.  "Your clients, associates, and the insurance profession as a whole will benefit from such dedication and leadership," cited Dr. William T. Hold, CIC, CPCU, CLU, President of the Society of CIC.



September 29, 2017

With National Preparedness month wrapping up, it's a good time, in light of the hurricanes and storms, to remind you to prepare.  One project to consider is a Family Communication Plan.

Family Communication Plan

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

FEMA has prepared four steps to create your plan and test it.

To find out what you need to know click on Make a Plan .

September 19, 2017

Our thanks to all that participated in the Annual DiMatteo Charitable Foundation Golf Tournament.  We raised over $30,000.  This year's charities were:  Boys & Girls Club of Lower Naugatuck Valley, Make A Wish Foundation-Connecticut, and Valley Community Foundation, Inc. Each charity received $10,000 and additional monies will be given to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma victims.  

Our congratulations to our foursomes:
Ray Baldwin,  Mark and Joseph Lauretti

Chip Hunziker, Craig Shapero,  James Ingle and James Cilfone

Ssve the date - August 20, 2018 for our next tournament.

September 15, 2017

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old, according to the National Passenger Safety Board.  Many deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.

One item that might not be used by caregivers and parents is the tether.  The tether connects the top of a forward-facing car seat to the vehicle. It helps to prevent serious head and neck injury.

Click here to down load "How to Use a Car Seat Tether" to add another layer of car seat protection for your children.

September 6, 2017

On June 9th, Kim DiMatteo was presented the Hall of Fame Award by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield Count at the Greenwich Hyatt.  The award, based on nominations by the Board of Directors, goes to a member that demonstrates consistent dedication and service​, as well as contributes time, financial resources, and outstanding leadership skills in direct service to the HBRA.

September 1, 2017

We want to take the opportunity to celebrate Labor Day by dedicating our prayers and resources to the people in Texas as they deal with the devastation from Hurricane Harvey.

To assist in the recovering efforts and to provide food, water, and shelter, please donate today. To donate, click here to be directed to the donation page of The DiMatteo Family Foundation, where we will send the relief to the local charities in Texas.

Tragedies can bring us all together. Let the fruits of our labors go to the people of Texas letting them know they are not alone.

Thank you.


August 25, 2017

School is starting and is your child ready?  Keeping him/her safe from injury is extremely important.  To assist you, we have provided a Safety Checklist from the National Safety Council which speaks to walking to school, riding a bike to school, riding the bus, and then school safety tips such as back-pack related injuries and preventing playground injuries.

Take a moment to download this important document and prepare your child for traveling safely to school.

August 22, 2017

Our thanks to our sponsors and teams who participated during the DiMatteo Family Charitable Foundation Golf Tournament.  We had a great time.  Take a look at our video which we prepared for all.  See you next year!

August 18, 2017

We are set for unique experience on Monday, August 21st --  a total coast-to-coast solar eclipse. During that time, the sun will be blocked for two minutes and create eerie diamond rings of light, weather permitting.  So, if you are watching on tv or seeing it in person, you should be awed. 

If you are planning to view the eclipse in person, here are some safety suggestions:

Make sure you wear eclipse glasses for eye protection.  Safe solar viewing is ISO 12312-1. 

Experts stress that the only safe way to look directly at the sun, except at the brief phase of totality (in the path of totality), is using a special-purpose solar filter, popularly known as eclipse glasses. Eclipse glasses block more UV rays than everyday sunglasses, protecting your retinas from burning even when you feel no discomfort looking at the sun through shades.

NASA offers the following solar eclipse viewing safety guidelines:

Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter. Always supervise children using solar filters. Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun. Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics. If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases. Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly. If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

Be safe as you enjoy the eclipse - the next one is 2024.



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