• Q: What should I do when I actually have a loss or experience property damage.
    • A: Nobody ever expects to have a property loss or for that matter experience any kind of accident. In the event you are unfortunate enough to have to make an Insurance claim because you have experienced a loss it is important you follow these necessary steps to ensure your health and safety.

      1. Make sure you and your family are safe and if necessary evacuate your house and call emergency services if required.
      2. If your safety is not in jeopardy, find the cause of your loss.
      3. Try to eliminate the source. For example, shut off the water supply creating the problem or cover over a broken window to prevent further damage.
      4. Remove any contents from the damage area to try to prevent further damage.
      5. Arrange for an Emergency Restoration Company such as FGS Muskoka to attend and control the situation in order to mitigate or minimize further damage.
      6. Contact your Insurance Company to report the incident and follow their instructions. It is your obligation to minimize damage after a loss. It is your right to contact a Restoration Firm of your choice to professionally deal with the situation.
  • Q: What do I have to do to prepare my home for the spring storms that will arrive shortly.
    • A: The spring storms usually consist of high winds and heavy rain accompanied by power outage. The winds and rain are difficult to handle at times but by keeping your eavestrough clean and diverted away from your foundation you will reduce the risk of a flooded basement. Trim your trees regularly. Look for dead or dying trees and branches and remove them regularly. It is the unhealthy trees that usually cause most of the damage to your home during a windstorm. Try to keep trees trimmed a healthy distance from your home. Many people in Muskoka have a sump pump in their basement to help push ground water away from the foundation. During times of power outage the pump can't operate therefore causing an influx of water in the home. Try to have an alternate power backup for your pump. A generator or a battery backup will help in this regard. Unfortunately, power outage usually comes with heavy rain and that is the time you need your pump the most. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer tree or water damage, phone a disaster restoration specialist such as First General, right away to deal with the damage and secure your home.
  • Q: How can I best prepare for disaster?
    • A: Unfortunately, one day you may become the victim of a disaster such as a flooded basement, sewage backup or house fire. Although at the time you may feel like a victim and helpless, there are pro-active steps that you can take before disaster strikes. Preventative measures are simple things like not storing your photos on the floor as water will usually affect the floor. Keep as many of your stored items as you can in plastic water proof containers. Keep photo negatives or electronic storage devices containing photos, as well as other important documents, in a safe at an off-site location such as a safety deposit box. These important documents include things like copies of birth certificate, S.I.N., passport, credit cards etc. Regularly service your heating or air conditioning system, have your chimney cleaned at least twice a year. These items should be common practice but because of busy lifestyles and time constraints, sadly, most people don't take the time to protect their family's health and safety until it's too late.
  • Q: What is the biggest property damage concern during the summer months?
    • A: Aside from unpredictable heavy rains and subsequent flooding, the biggest property damage concern this time of year is fire. As being witnessed in Northern Ontario now, wild fire is creating great concern for Northern Communities. Fire can start in many ways... lightening, careless smoking, careless friendly fire and housekeeping issues. It is very important to keep combustible liquids in a separate and safe locked area outside of your home. Do not store gasoline or any other extremely flammable liquids in your house. Keep your home clean. Do not accumulate household cleaners, dirty rags, mops etc. in an untidy manner. Spontaneous combustion does actually happen and other fire triggers can set off much larger fires if there is an accumulation of combustibles. A simple lightening strike can cause considerably more damage if you store gasoline in your garage, or have a closet full of dirty cleaning rags, as both combust quite easily. Never leave candles unattended, the barbeque on or smoke cigarettes in bed. More fires start from unattended candles than you could ever imagine. When cooking on your stove, never leave it unattended. There is no reason to start cooking and then leave the kitchen and the cooking process unattended. If you do have to leave, simply remove the pot or pan from the heat. Your barbeque should not be anywhere near combustible materials. It should not sit next to your house or on your wood deck. If a barbeque fire happens to start it will easily spread to combustible building materials and the fire is instantly out of control. These are things our parents have been telling us for generations and there is good reason for that. A large percentage of house fires are the result of carelessness and could easily be avoided. It is important to keep your home in a tidy and safe state at all times, keep a fire extinguisher handy and have a plan for fire, because you never know when accidents will happen.
  • Q: Is water damage from spring thaw covered by my Homeowners Insurance?
    • A: For the most part, spring runoff or surface water is not covered by Insurance. Seepage through the walls, doors or window openings is not normally covered, and therefore it is important to protect yourself against such a loss. Make sure your eavestrough is clean and clear and the exit pipes are diverted away from your house. Try to divert snow, ice and water on the ground away from your house by making little paths or trenches to the ditch or other natural drainage routes. The less ground water that is around your foundation, the less likely it is for the water to sepp through the walls. Your weeping tile or drainage around your foundation plays the biggest role in removing ground water from around your foundation. Old tilecan get blocked or collapse over time, causing the groundwater to sit around the foundation. If your weeping tile protrudes from a hillside, make sure that the exit point is free of any ice or any othe blockage. Water will always take the path of leastresistance, so if there is a blockage in the tile, and there is a weakness in your foundation, water will seep through the walls if that is, in fact, the easiest path. Water forms what is called hydrostatic pressure in the ground and the pressure has to be released one way or another and unfortunately under the wrong circumstances, that way is into your house.

Emergency Tips

Feeling helpless when a property loss occurs is a normal reaction. We recommend the following tips.

Emergency? Contact First General Services Muskoka More Information...

Contact First General Services Muskoka to Contain Your Emergency


"Wayne, work looks great, you do amazing work. Thanks for all your efforts and hard work, I wouldn't hesitate to have you come back sometime for a beer. You're a great worker, much appreciated."
- Shayne R.

"Hi Ron, I want to thank you again for responding so quickly to our water loss, particularly on New Year's morning. As you know we were headed to Timmins that day so your assistance was very much appreciated. Many thanks for the great job you're guys did."
- Peter H

"Ron, thank you so much for the quick response at Laura's place. I am so grateful. Thank you so much for your excellent knowledge and service, I hope you and your family are doing well."
- Hilary R.

"Hi Ken, Cliff and I are so pleased with the great job you and the crew did in restoring the lower level of our home. Thank you."
- B.H.

Find Out About First General Services' Muskoka Customers Read More Testimonials...

Read First General Services' Muskoka Customer Testimonials...

Customer Corner

Login to manage your account and to use a variety of self-serve features.

Customer Corner Learn More...

Customer Corner