Like any regular car check-up guide, a home maintenance guide to check and follow is important for your home’s welfare. Continual checking on your exterior, roofing, plumbing, heating, and cooling, electrical, and security systems will help you prevent malfunctions, save money, and keep your home looking its best at all times.
Follow this Florida home maintenance guide to help you schedule updates, repairs, cleaning, and other necessary tasks to keep your home a conducive place for living.
1. Place a capful of vinegar into the AC condensation line
The condensation line of your AC unit serves the crucial purpose of draining excess moisture away from the system. Over time, algae, mold, and debris can accumulate within this line, leading to clogs and blockages. Placing a capful of vinegar into the line on a monthly basis helps prevent the growth of these microorganisms, keeping the line clear and allowing for proper drainage.
2. Clean / replace air conditioning filters (high-quality filters every 3 months)
Over time, dust and other airborne particles accumulate in the filter, reducing its effectiveness and allowing contaminants to recirculate in your indoor air.
3. Clean pool filter (test chemicals weekly)
A clogged or dirty pool filter can impact water circulation and hinder the proper distribution of pool chemicals. This can lead to imbalanced water chemistry, which affects the effectiveness of sanitizers and can result in cloudy or even algae-infested water.
4. Flush toilets & run water through sinks that aren’t used regularly
Water that remains stagnant in pipes can lead to sediment buildup, mineral deposits, and even the growth of bacteria. Flushing toilets and running water through unused sinks helps prevent these issues by keeping water flowing and preventing stagnation.
1. Check exterior drainage conditions
Proper exterior drainage is your first line of defense against water infiltration. When rainwater isn’t channeled away from your home, it can seep into your foundation, basement, or crawl spaces, causing structural damage, mold growth, and even compromising the stability of your home’s foundation.
2. Inspect all vents, screening & outdoor openings; repair as needed
Outdoor openings such as vents, screens, and gaps around doors and windows can serve as entry points for pests. Insects, rodents, and even birds can find their way into your home through these openings. Inspections allow you to detect and seal any vulnerabilities, preventing unwanted guests from infiltrating your living spaces.
3. Preventative pest treatments for the interior & exterior of the home
Regular pest treatments provide an opportunity to identify pest issues early. Pest control professionals can spot signs of infestations before they become widespread. This early detection allows for targeted interventions, preventing pests from causing extensive damage to your home.
4. Trim any tree limbs touching the roofline
Tree limbs that extend over your roof can cause significant damage over time. The constant friction between branches and roofing materials can wear away protective layers, leading to leaks, water infiltration, and pest infiltration.
5. Inspect & repair caulked areas
Caulk serves as a barrier against water infiltration. Gaps and cracks in caulk can allow water to seep into your home, leading to water damage, mold growth, and structural issues. Make sure your kitchen & baths, windows, door seals, stucco & mortar cracks, interior settling & sheetrock cracks have sufficient caulking to prevent these issues from surfacing.
1. Lubricate all overhead garage door hinges with white lithium spray
Over time, hinges can become dry and develop friction, leading to jerky movements and increased wear and tear. A garage door that squeaks and creaks can be quite noisy and disruptive. Lubricating the hinges with white lithium spray reduces friction, minimizing the noise that occurs during door operation.
2. Inspect & clean all weep holes for water & drainage (windows)
Weep holes are designed to allow water to drain out of your windows, preventing water from pooling and causing damage. Accumulated water in weep holes can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew and can lead to the deterioration of window frames and sills. By keeping these holes clean and drained, you reduce the risk of indoor mold growth, rot, and structural damage, extending the lifespan of your windows.
3. Clean windows & doors, inside & out
Dirty windows can hinder the amount of natural light that enters your home. Regular cleaning removes dirt, dust, and grime, leaving your home looking fresh and well-maintained from the outside.
4. Inspect & service AC system
During the hot months when your AC works hardest, breakdowns can be both inconvenient and uncomfortable. Regular servicing helps detect potential problems before they escalate into major issues. A neglected AC system is more likely to experience premature wear and require early replacement.
5. Change the smoke detector & front door keypad batteries
Batteries lose power over time. Even if the batteries in your smoke detector or front door keypad are new, they will eventually lose power. This is especially true if the batteries are not used often.
A dead battery in a smoke detector can mean the difference between life and death. If the batteries in your smoke detector die, the smoke detector will not be able to sound an alarm if there is a fire. This could put you and your family at risk. Moreover, if the batteries in your front door keypad die, you may not be able to use the keypad to open the door. This could be a problem if you are locked out of your home.
6. Inspect & adjust the sprinkler system
Lawnmowers are a common cause of sprinkler head damage. The impact from mower blades or wheels can break, tilt, or misalign these vital components. Look for any signs of damage to the sprinkler heads. If a sprinkler head is broken, it should be replaced. Test the operation of the sprinkler heads. Make sure that they are spraying water evenly and that there are no leaks.
A well-adjusted sprinkler system ensures even water distribution across your lawn. If sprinkler heads are misaligned due to mower incidents, certain areas may receive inadequate water, leading to dry patches or uneven growth.
7. Clean & repair gutters;
Make sure you have splash deflectors at the base of the downspout to deflect water away.
Prevent water damage to your home. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and overflow, which can damage your home’s foundation, siding, and exterior walls. Gutters that are not cleaned regularly can become damaged by debris, such as leaves, branches, and dirt. Regular cleaning can help extend the life of your gutters.
1. Inspect roof; make repairs as needed
Small cracks, loose shingles, or damaged flashing can lead to leaks during heavy rains. A leaky roof can cause water damage to your home, including mold, mildew, and structural damage.
Additionally, a leaky roof can allow hot air to escape in the summer and cold air to escape in the winter, making your home less energy-efficient and allowing elements to damage your home.
2. Inspect your garage door system; consider changing your garage door opener code for security
A garage door system is a critical safety feature, and it is important to make sure that it is working properly. An annual inspection can help identify any problems with the system, such as a faulty opener, a broken spring, or a worn belt.
Further, if the opener code is easy to guess, someone could break into your garage. By updating the code every few years, you can help prevent unauthorized access.
3. Pressure wash driveway & exterior
Over time, dirt, grime, and debris can build up on your driveway and facade, making them look unsightly. Pressure washing can remove this buildup and make your driveway and facade look like new.
Moreover, regular pressure washing helps protect your home’s exterior materials from deterioration caused by accumulated dirt and grime. Consequently, it extends the lifespan of your siding, driveway, and other surfaces.
4. Replace landscaping mulch (after hurricane season)
Hurricane season can bring heavy rains, strong winds, and debris, which can displace and degrade your landscaping mulch. Mulch provides essential nutrients to your plants as it breaks down over time. Replacing mulch ensures a fresh supply of nutrients, promoting healthy plant growth.
Additionally, mulch acts as a barrier against weeds by blocking sunlight and hindering their growth. Regular mulch replacement maintains effective weed suppression.
5. Inspect entryways for wood rot & repair as needed
If you find any signs of wood rot, you should have it repaired as soon as possible. Wood rot can spread quickly and can cause serious damage to your home.
Remove the damaged wood, this may require cutting out the damaged wood and replacing it with new wood. Next, treat the area with a wood preservative, which helps prevent the wood rot from returning. Lastly, seal the area to keep moisture out of the wood.
6. Get an updated home value from your real estate agent!
The value of your home can fluctuate over time, so it’s important to get an update at least once a year by getting a home valuation from a local real estate agent. The real estate market is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. By getting an annual home value update, you can see how your home’s value compares to other homes in your area. This will help you to make informed decisions about your home and the market.
Every 2-3 years:
Clean dryer vent / drain septic / clean roof
A clogged dryer vent can cause the dryer to overheat, which can lead to a fire. It can also cause lint to build up in the vent, which can restrict airflow and make the dryer less efficient. Meanwhile, a clogged septic tank can cause sewage to back up into your home, which can be a health hazard. It can also cause damage to your septic system. Lastly, a dirty roof can reduce its lifespan and make it less energy-efficient. It can also make your home more susceptible to leaks and damage from storms.
Every 5-7 years:
Repaint the exterior of your home
There are many different types of paint available, so it is important to choose the right one for your home’s exterior. Consider the climate you live in, the condition of your home’s exterior, and your budget when choosing a paint. Additionally, it is important to apply two coats of paint. This will help to ensure that the paint job is durable and long-lasting.
Regular maintenance can help to prevent small problems from becoming big problems. Moreover, it can help extend the lifespan of your home by keeping it in good condition and can also improve the comfort of your home by keeping it clean, free of pests, and energy-efficient. Finally, a well-maintained home is typically worth more than a home that is not well-maintained. This is because a well-maintained home is more likely to be in good condition and free of defects.
I hope this home maintenance guide has provided you with insights into the specific tasks that need to be performed for regular home maintenance. If you have any further questions or would like additional guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.