There are always plenty of things to do to maintain your Florida home—and spring is the perfect time to cross a few items off that home maintenance list. While there are many more than we’ve listed here, these spring home maintenance tasks will help you protect your home and family from two of the worst perils a homeowner can face: home fires and water damage.
Home fires are every homeowner’s nightmare. Once a fire starts, you may have as little as two minutes to escape. That’s why it’s so important to do everything you can to prevent fires and make sure you’ll be alerted immediately if a fire starts. (Click here for more information on what to do before, during, and after a fire.)
· Test smoke alarms and replace batteries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Test smoke alarms monthly, and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms when they reach 10 years old.
· Check fire extinguishers and replace if out of date. And make sure you know how to use them!
· Clean dryer vent ductwork. You should clean your lint filter after every load, but it’s also important to have dryer hoses and vents cleaned on a regular basis to prevent lint fires.
· Test GFCI outlets. These outlets prevent electrical shock, and can also help to prevent electrical fires.
· Inspect and clean refrigerator coils. In addition to helping to prevent fire, cleaning coils can help your refrigerator run more efficiently.
Prevent water damage
Water damage is extremely expensive to repair, and depending on the cause, may not be covered by homeowners insurance. Proper home maintenance is the best way to avoid water damage. Take these precautions to help prevent water intrusion or damage to your home.
· Clean gutters and downspouts. Leaves and other debris can clog them and allow water to run down your home’s exterior and pool at its foundation where it can seep in through any existing cracks. Make sure downspouts direct water away from your home.
· Check your foundation for drainage problems or water damage and make necessary repairs.
· Repair any leaks or other damage to your roof.
· Check plumbing for leaks, especially around toilet bases and under sinks. Consider installing a leak detector device.
· Inspect exterior doors and windows for leaks. Caulk or apply weatherstripping to make a tight seal to reduce water intrusion.
· Check appliance hoses (washing machine, dishwasher, icemaker) for damage or leaks.
And while this isn’t a maintenance issue, make sure you know where the main water shutoff is to your home so you can quickly turn off the water in case of a leak or burst pipe.
Is it time for a homeowners insurance review?
Once you’ve completed your spring home maintenance, you may want to review your homeowners insurance. The Florida homeowners insurance market remains in turmoil, but Lakewood Financial is here to help. We write with multiple insurance companies, and will be happy to review your homeowners policy with you, or to give you a homeowners insurance quote. Please call us at 941-747-4600, or click here to contact us online.