Florida’s mild winters are a big part of what’s attracted so many people to The Sunshine State, especially those of us who’ve chosen to settle in Central Florida. While summer continues to be unpredictable in terms of its storms, Florida residents at least know they never need to worry about snow!
The last few months of the year bring at least a few nights of temperatures down in the 50s. While most nights with temperatures in the 40s that require anyone who grows fruits or vegetables to be aware of frost aren’t as common until January. Through December central Florida may barely break 65 at night.
Unusual as that might seem for those who are new to the area, it has its perks. The period from October through December offers you unparalleled opportunities to get through your chores around the house. Dry, cool weather means you don’t have to get up early to get done before the heat but without being too cold!
As a Central Florida roofing contractor, we understand the importance of timing when it comes to any major work outside or around a home. After all, it can be 30, 40, or even 50 degrees hotter on the roof than it is down on ground level. When you’ve got cool weather, it’s best to make the most of it!
With that in mind, we’ve got some homeowner tips for you.
Wondering What Home Maintenance to Get Done This Winter? Here Are Our Recommendations
Whether you are new to owning a home or find yourself comfortably retired in the perfect spot, now is the time of year to make sure your home maintenance is up to date. It’s also when homeowners of all types check the internet for homeowner tips so they can avoid overlooking anything important.
Of course, there’s always more to do around the house! An exhaustive list might have hundreds of items. But you don’t want to set so many expectations that you feel exhausted before you even start. With that in mind, our team has put together a homeowner tips list with “can’t miss” home maintenance for Florida.
Make sure these items are on your to-do list this winter:
1. Replenish Your Hurricane Supplies
From year to year, hurricane supplies can spoil or go out of date. Make sure you have canned food, plenty of water, a crank-operated radio, batteries, sanitary items, a flashlight, a whistle, and a can opener. Inspect any canned items to make sure they have not been dented or punctured in a way that would break the seal.
Remember that you need one gallon per person per day in water. There are some things you might have to do more closely to the storm’s arrival (such as get updated supplies of medication) but you can never be sure if bottled water or even local tap water will be available. Purchase a supply of water early and keep it safely stored.
The easiest way to make sure your hurricane kit is complete is to use a written checklist.
2. Get a Professional Roof Inspection in Central Florida
Most Central Florida homeowners have a shingle roof. Shingle roofs are the least expensive per square foot and the easiest to repair, but they do have certain roof maintenance needs. One of the most important is the annual roof inspection. A Central Florida roofing contractor can help keep small problems from turning into big ones.
With an annual roof inspection in Central Florida, your roofing expert can replace shingles as necessary to keep your roof strong. Sometimes, shingles are softened by excess heat and become permeable to rainwater without showing any outward signs – they look fine, but they’ll start to leak as soon as the rain comes down.
If you have a roof other than shingle, your inspection needs depend on the material.
With residential metal roofing, some homeowners skip the annual inspection in favor of doing it once every two years. This is normally fine because most damage to metal roofing systems is only superficial. In the event of a major hail strike or other significant damage, the affected panel can be replaced, leaving the others intact.
If you have a clay tile or concrete tile roof, stick with the once-a-year roof inspection plan. Tiles that crack will need to be replaced since they can leak like any other roof element. It’s crucial for a roofer to check out the roof system and make sure no tiles slide out of place, even by a small amount.
3. Clean Out Your Gutters
The yearly gutter cleaning should be taken care of in winter or fall when cool weather makes it easier. Cleaning out the gutter ensures that rainwater will drain correctly, flowing away from the foot of your building. If water seeps directly into the foot of the building, it can infiltrate your concrete foundation and cause cracks.
As always, we recommend that homeowners avoid getting up on the roof if they can help it. Instead, use a purpose-built gutter cleaning brush. If you have a shingle roof, be alert to any build-up of reflective granules inside your gutter. This means that your shingles are weakening and some need replacement.
4. Check Your Window and Door Seals
Thanks to Florida humidity, doors and windows can easily become warped over time. Not only does this raise the risk of weather related complications, but it also makes your home more expensive to cool or heat. Warm air doesn’t rise or escape as efficiently and your HVAC system works much harder as a result.
Luckily, it’s easy to fix gaps or cracks in the doors and windows of your Florida home. You usually have a choice of using caulk or weatherstripping. Remember: If the glass of a window is cracked, replacement is better than repair. Consider dual pane windows that feature a layer of inert gas between the glass sections.
5. Inspect Your Foundation for Cracks
Your foundation is just as important to the safety of your home as your roof. Smaller hairline cracks are usually just cosmetic and not cause for alarm. However, there are a few different types of cracks to be more aware of:
- Cracks that are more than an eighth of an inch wide
- Cracks that are horizontal or angled at 45 degrees
- Cracks that are wider at one end than at the other
Foundation damage has a tendency to present symptoms elsewhere in the house, too. You might notice that your doors and windows become severely warped and difficult to close. Check your hallways for “stair-step” cracks, which might be along halls or might proceed from the corner of a door.
6. Get Your HVAC Serviced
The need for intensive cooling over the summer can raise the cost of electricity for Central Florida homes by $100, $200, or even an outstanding $300 per month over the summer. One of the best ways to control those costs is by making sure your air conditioner is as efficient as it can be.
There are some things you can do at home to help maintain your air conditioner, such as making sure your air filters are regularly replaced or cleaned. Still, there are several things that only a professional HVAC technician can do for you. Now, when you’re using your system the least, is the right time to make your move.
If you are looking for proactive ways to save money on cooling and heating, consider a GAF roof-integrated solar panel system. By converting our bountiful sunlight into energy, they can substantially cut down your electric bill from the first month. Depending on your solar panel system and utility, you might even be able to make money.
7. Look for Signs of Mold
Water can get trapped in a variety of unexpected places, and Central Florida homes are especially vulnerable.
In some cases, water infiltrates between shingles and gets trapped without leaking through the ceiling in a way that clues you into a leak. In others, Florida’s summertime humidity leads to the proliferation of mold. Mold can be present in bathrooms, garages, and much more.
Some forms of mold are extremely dangerous to humans, so keep an eye on this threat. If you notice a roof leak, prompt action is essential to make sure pooled water doesn’t foster black mold that may lead to a major insurance claim and take weeks to fully remediate.
8. Do Your Winter Lawncare
If you love to have a flourishing lawn in spring and summer, now’s the time to lay the groundwork. Overseed and fertilize your lawn now for terrific results later. Trim bushes, shrubs, and trees away from your home to protect you during future storms, and get any problem branches pruned back from power lines and fences.
While you’re out and about, clean and safely store patio furniture in your carport, shed, or other secure indoor location. This will save you time in case you find yourself dealing with an incoming storm late in the season.
9. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You probably go for years at a time without needing these to take action – thank goodness! So, take a moment to use each alarm’s testing function to make sure it’s working the way it should. Switch out the batteries if they have been in place for a year or longer.
10. Take Care When Hanging Holiday Decorations
Everyone loves decorations, but be sure to avoid damaging your home as you indulge! Avoid using nails or staples, which can leave holes in your gutters or the protective metal flashing around your chimney and roof joints. Plastic clips are easy to use and non-damaging. If you notice bent or dangling flashing, call Sheegog Contracting for a fix.
Sheegog Contracting Is Here for All Your Central Florida Roofing Needs
No matter how much you get done around the house or how good you are with DIY projects, a Central Florida roofing contractor is your #1 ally for making sure your roof stays safe and sound. If you notice some signs of roof damage or you simply want a preventive roof inspection, we are here for you.
Hurricane season ends for the year at the close of November, so it’s wise to make sure you get roof repair or even roof replacement before it starts up again in June. By starting today, you can rest assured your roof is prepared as can be for whatever nature throws at it in 2024.
Contact Sheegog Contracting today for Central Florida roofing you can trust.