Florida has seen a tremendous surge over the years of people moving in to take advantage of year-round comfortable weather and lower tax rates. However, snowbirds and newcomers alike may not be ready to take on some of the challenges that come as a homeowner in the Sunshine State. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make sure your Florida home is ready for everything from the usual home maintenance to having to reason with hurricane season.
1. Make sure your air conditioning is up to par
The summer months can be brutal with the mercury rising and the lingering threat of hurricanes and tropical storms. You need the air conditioner to guide you through it year-round, meaning your HVAC unit will constantly be put to the test. Hurricane-proofing your HVAC system is crucial to make sure it can withstand any severe storms or damage that can result from those weather systems.
Power outages can cause significant difficulties for HVAC equipment in the long term. Be sure to keep the unit plugged in via surge protector to brace for losing electricity in the middle of wicked weather. Regular maintenance by an HVAC technician is recommended to check for any cracks or leaks in ductwork and make sure that equipment is working properly. Refrigerant leaks can cause condenser units to burn out, and keep airflow from cooling down. Be sure to regularly change and clean air filters and vents to prevent the buildup of dust, mold, and other allergens that impact your indoor air quality.
2. Be sure to keep tabs on roof maintenance
Being in a hurricane-prone area like South Florida can leave you susceptible to significant damage to your property. Above all else, you want to make sure that your roof is in good shape to withstand heavy winds and storms. In fact, some insurance companies are now rejecting coverage or not address claims because of poorly maintained roofs. Homeowners’ insurance, particularly storm and flood insurance coverage, is crucial to making any necessary repairs from storm damage.
Don’t consider a few shingles sliding off the roof as no big deal. Have a contractor make an assessment from the inside and out. Moisture in beams in the attic could lead to a cave-in brought on by negligence over time. You’ll want to make sure that a leaky roof isn’t an issue in the event of a storm coming down the pipeline. Invest in hurricane straps and a waterproof tarp to put in place in the event of a major hurricane or tropical storm coming your way. Make sure that the exterior of your home is fully braced for any kind of impact, especially if you’re on the coastline.
3. Installing a pool is actually an asset
While you may just associate the occasional cleaning and assessment of a household as just part of the usual home maintenance tips for Floridians, your pool may also be a hidden gem of a tip. It’s actually a safeguard during hurricane season. Rather than worrying about your patio furniture being windswept by a severe storm, you can simply toss it into the water where heavy objects are safely secured.
Be sure to clean out drains after major storms to avoid any clogs that can lead to gunk building up in your pool’s filtration system. This can lead to mold growth, and even some potentially costly repairs beyond routine pool maintenance. It will save you in the long run, just like the occasional overview by a handyman to make sure your asset is best accounted for. It may seem like a lot, but it’s worth it for year-round warm weather and sunshine.