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A Sticky Issue: How to Remove Gum

Despite its refreshing taste and breath-freshening abilities, chewing gum often finds its way onto and into places it doesn’t belong, stubbornly sticking to surfaces and creating a mess. Fortunately, removing gum isn’t terribly tedious if you know the proper methods.

Chewing gum is challenging to remove when warm, so hardening it is the first step in any gum removal process. Achieve this by using ice cubes or freezing the gum-adhered item, making removal easy without stretching or damaging the underlying surface.

Fabric, carpet, and rugs. For fabric, carpet, or rugs, apply an ice cube directly to the gum, rubbing it until it hardens. Placing the gum in the freezer is an efficient alternative if it is on a small, portable item like an item of clothing. Consider putting the ice cube in a plastic bag for rugs or carpet to avoid soaking the material with water. Once the gum hardens, gently scrape it off using a blunt knife, like a dinner or putty knife. Though it requires effort, being cautious can help avoid damage to the fibers.

Hair. Removing gum from hair necessitates a slightly different approach. Instead of hardening the gum, applying cooking oil or another natural lubricant (some use peanut butter) can ease the removal process. Gently work the substance into the gum and surrounding hair before carefully picking or combing out the gum. This requires caution, especially when working on someone else, as it can be painful. Alternatively, one can use the freezing process to ‘crack’ the gum off, followed by an oil treatment to remove all remnants.

Persistence. Regardless of the method used, removing gum demands patience and careful handling. Sometimes, it may require combining techniques, especially for more stubborn pieces. However, diligent application of these methods usually results in successful gum removal, leaving the surface unharmed. By approaching this sticky situation with patience and the proper techniques, you can ensure that the unwelcome gum finds its way out without leaving a trace behind.

But at times this type of sticky situation is just too much to handle on your own, such as when gum is embedded and hardened into your carpet or expensive area rug. When that happens, you have a resource you can rely on: Your favorite cleaning company. Do the right thing and let them handle this.

After all, it pays to call a pro!

How Deductibles Work

Homeownership entails numerous responsibilities, one of which includes navigating the world of insurance policies and the subtle nuances within them. Central to understanding your homeowners' insurance policy is a mastery of the different types of deductibles: Standard and percentage deductibles, each catering to other aspects of coverage.

Standard deductibles. Standard deductibles are fixed amounts, typically from $500 to $2,000 and more, representing what you'll pay out-of-pocket for most insurance claims. Regardless of the damage cost, this amount remains constant. However, specific claims are more peculiar and necessitate a different kind of deductible known as the percentage.

Percentage deductibles. Percentage deductibles primarily apply to claims related to wind, hail, and hurricanes, calculated as a percentage of your home's insured value, usually between 1-10%. For instance, for a home insured for $400,000 with a 1% deductible, any claim would require a $4,000 payment out-of-pocket before insurance covers the remaining cost. If you opt for the higher percentage, you can see how quickly this type of coverage can get expensive if something happens to your home.

Disaster deductibles. Beyond the regular realms, there are disaster deductibles. Standard policies typically do not cover natural disasters like earthquakes, mudslides, and sinkholes. The deductibles for these are also percentages of the insured value, with areas prone to specific disasters having higher minimum percentage deductibles, like most California homes having around 15%. In regions like Florida, sinkhole coverage is mandatory due to the prevalence of ground cover collapse.

Flood insurance. Flooding is another peril not covered under standard policies, necessitating additional coverage, especially for residents in high-risk flood areas. Flood insurance, available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private insurers, offers two types of deductibles: Building damage and content damage.

Choosing the right deductible involves balancing short-term and long-term costs, assessing financial resilience, and understanding how deductibles impact premiums. Premiums, the periodic payments made to maintain coverage, are influenced by risk levels set by insurers based on factors like construction, age of the home, and regional claims history.

It's crucial to note that filing claims may increase premiums, regardless of the deductible amount. The nature of your claims, frequency, and the cumulative cost to the insurer are crucial factors in determining future premium costs.

All this being said, you do have help. Your favorite restoration company is your expert on disaster restoration and working with your insurance company to get you back to normal. After all, it pays to call a pro!

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