The Beginner’s Guide to Home Maintenance in Florida: Outdoor Tips
We get it. With summer fun on your mind, the last thing you want to do is home maintenance. The truth is, the longer you put off outdoor home maintenance projects, the more money you will end up spending in the long run on repairs.
For every dollar spent on preventative home maintenance, homeowners can save approximately $100 in future repairs. Who doesn’t want to save themselves potentially hundreds of dollars?
Whether you’re living in your home in Florida or renting it out, you’d do well to get a jumpstart on these tasks before fall arrives.
Here are 5 tasks you can do to get the outside of your home ready for Fall:
Outdoor Home Maintenance Tasks
Clean out your gutters
After summer rainstorms, gutters can potentially become clogged with leaves, twigs, shingle debris, and sludge.
Clogged gutters can create standing water which can attract mosquitoes, lead to damage to your home’s foundation and roof. Home foundation repairs are among the most expensive, costing the average homeowner an average of $6,965 or more in water damage claims.
The solution? Safely use a ladder to reach your gutters, preferably with someone below for support. Wearing gloves, use a small plastic scoop (either one just for gutters or a child’s sand scoop) to remove the gunk. Afterward, use your garden hose to flush out any remnants.
Check your roof for leaks
With hurricane season in full swing, you’ll be glad you checked for leaks before it’s too late.
The first step in locating potential leaks is by spot-checking the ceilings and walls in every room of your home. Look for things like water stain spots, bulging areas of paint, and musty odors. Next, check the outside of your roof from the ground for warped or missing shingles.
Other places to check include your attic storage space: look for black marks, mold, or water stains. Since light can be reflected off water, bring a flashlight with you to make it easier to see. If it’s not currently raining, enlist the help of a friend to pass water from the garden hose along your roof while you are inside to see if any water drips through.
Does your backyard look more like a disaster zone at the end of the summer?
If you answered yes, then now is the perfect time for cleaning out the BBQ grill, swimming pool, repairing ripped pool screens, and wiping down patio furniture.
To clean your BBQ, start by removing the grills and soak them in a bucket of warm, soapy water to loosen up the grease. After about 20 minutes, remove the grills from the bucket and use a long-handled wire brush to scrub them down. Lastly, rinse out your grill using a garden hose to flush out the soap and grease bits.
For an extra deep clean, mix equal parts of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice into a solution and scrub down the grills again using the wire brush. Rinse thoroughly.
Repairing ripped pool screens is a job best left to professionals, just because you don’t want to compromise the integrity of your screen enclosure with a weak patch job. Have questions? Contact us for a free estimate.
Wiping down all patio furniture and outdoor play equipment is a great idea to prevent the buildup of unwanted bacteria. Use a vinegar/water solution with a damp cloth to keep them looking in tip-top shape.
Check for pests
Between the heat and rain, summer is a perfect time for insects to set up shop in and around your home, where they are protected from the elements.
By checking and servicing any problem areas now, you will save yourself from a lot of frustration (and disgust) later.
Bug-proof your home by first inspecting all around the outside of your house. Look for any cracks or holes, especially where your home’s siding meets the foundation.
Next, use caulk or sealant to seal up the cracks. Caulk can also be placed around window or sliding door frames for an extra layer of protection. Types of caulk can be latex or silicone depending if you plan on painting over it or how long you want it to last. Check with your local hardware store for the best product for your project.
De-stink your trash can
Nothing is worse than the smell of hot garbage on a summer day.
When your trash bags leak they release food, drink, and other particles that can make your garbage can a haven for bugs and small animals.
First, remove any debris from your trash can. (Note: this can be done with either outside or inside trash cans.) Next, squeeze a few drops of any dishwashing liquid into the bottom and add water using your garden hose. Depending on how dirty it is, you can let the soapy solution sit in the trash can for up to 20 minutes.
After the trash can is rinsed and dried, coat the bottom inside surface with a thin layer of either baking soda or cat litter. This will help absorb bad smells in between cleanings.
You can also place dryer sheets or cotton balls soaked in your favorite essential oils inside. Odor be gone!
Get your outdoor home maintenance done now so you can live easy, save money and keep your home looking great in the future. And always remember safety first.