If you’ve ever owned a home in Florida before, you know that just like your vehicle needs regular maintenance to run well—so does your home. It can be easy to ignore or put these things off, but a well-maintained home will save you money from costly repairs in the long run, and make your home easier to sell when the time comes.
Start giving your home some TLC with some of these must-do maintenance tips:
On a monthly basis:
- Clean or replace air conditioning filters. If you have an energy recovery system (air exchange system), remember that these filters also need to be cleaned or replaced.
- Inspect, clean or replace kitchen vent hood filters (non-charcoal filters).
- Flush all toilets and run water through all sinks, especially in bathrooms that are not used on a regular basis.
On a quarterly basis:
- Check the exterior drainage conditions to ensure that nothing is causing water to stand in puddles for more than 24 hours and that water from any source is not draining toward your foundation.
- Check your GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) for proper operations by tripping the circuit interrupter buttons and then resetting them. If they will not trip and reset, contact your Customer Care Department for service or information on what to do.
- Inspect, lubricate and clean all of your exterior vents. Make sure that air flows freely and that each has an operable damper to prevent back flow of outside air and to keep small animals from entering your home.
- Lubricate all overhead garage door hinges with white lithium spray.
- Inspect and clean all weep holes for water drainage (windows).
On a seasonal basis:
- Every six months, inspect and service either your heating or air conditioning system, depending on the season.
- Twice a year, you should inspect and repair the following caulked areas, as necessary.
- Kitchen and bath wet areas.
- Flushing areas.
- Window and door seals.
- Around all penetrations (hose, faucets, duct work from vents, fireplace and chimney vents).
- Vinyl, aluminum or wood siding.
- Stucco or mortar cracks.
- Interior settling or shrinkage sheetrock cracks.
- Clean and repair gutters. Make sure gutters are free of material that could prevent free flow of water. Make sure you have splash deflectors at the base of the downspout to deflect water away from the home.
- Inspect and adjust sprinkler systems. Set your timers for the proper season to ensure enough, but not too much water per station.
On an annual basis:
- Drain and refill your hot water heater(s). This may be necessary on a more frequent basis if you live in an area with extremely hard water.
- Inspect and test your hot water heater safety valve.
- Inspect your garage door(s), rails and lock system; adjust and lubricate, as necessary. Consider changing your garage door opener code as a security precaution.
- Service your lawn mower and yard equipment (blowers, edgers and trimmers).
- Clean your faucet aerators and inspect your plumbing for leaks.
- Clean and sharpen your garbage disposal by running a tray of ice cubes and depositing a cleaning (foaming) product into the disposal.
- Inspect or have tested your home fire extinguishers.
- Replace smoke alarm batteries.