When it comes to having a vacation home in the Tampa area, there are so many wonderful things about being able to escape the brutal winters in the North and come and relax. But with those perks there also come downsides. For many snowbirds, they’ve found maintaining a home in Florida that they are away from for half the year to be a challenge. And it makes sense. We have a very humid climate that compounds ‘normal’ issues that can happen to a home anywhere in the country. So if you’re one of the fortunate people that get to enjoy Florida’s mild winter climate but need some guidance on maintaining your home the rest of the year, here are some quick tips for you!
Things to do each year
Here are some things we recommend you do upon getting back to your home for the winter!
- Inspect your roof – the heat and humidity of a Florida summer can cause roof damage. If you’re unable to safely do this yourself, consider hiring a roofer to fully inspect the roof and take care of any damages before they lead to bigger problems down the road.
- Inspect your window screens – ahh…how nice is it that you can open your windows and let in a cool breeze in the dead of winter? Well, not so great if doing so let’s in our renowned insect population! Holes in your screens are an open invitation to fuzzy critters you probably don’t want to have in your house for a glass of wine!
- Make sure your gutters are cleaned out – yes, winter is typically the dry season here in Tampa…but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t rain. If we do get a winter rain storm and your gutters are filled with debris, you’re putting yourself at risk of suffering home water damage.
- Change your AC air filter – while you’re probably not going to be using the AC much, hopefully you left it on during the summer. If so, then it’s bound to be dirty and you’ll want to make sure and replace it upon arrival.
- Flush your hot water heater – flushing your hot water heater reduces the amount of sediment build up in the tank and increases the life span of the system.
- Seal your home – heat and humidity can create lots of issues for homes. And that is definitely the case when it comes to the seals on your windows and doors. Carefully walk the entirety of your exterior and check for erosion of the caulking and where necessary, remove the existing caulk and replace it.
- If you have a fireplace, have it cleaned – soot buildup in a fireplace can be incredibly dangerous. If possible, take a flash light and peek up the chimney. Is it dirty? Then hire a chimney cleaner to come out and give it a quick cleaning!
- Check your carbon monoxide & smoke detectors – these alarms play a huge part in making sure you are alerted to potentially deadly problems. They’re so important you simply can’t afford to assume anything when it comes to them. So make sure they’re working properly!
Owning a home is hard work. Owning 2 homes is twice the work. Don’t assume your Tampa home is going to just keep you comfortable all on its own. Do the legwork to stay on top of potential problems before they get worse! Doing so will allow you to enjoy your time here even more!