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Protect Your Home in the Winter Months with These Tips

Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 1:09PM

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In Florida, we enjoy year-round sunshine and mostly moderate temperatures. For many people, it’s the ideal vacation destination. Others have homes in the state, where they can escape the colder climates in other areas of the country.

Still, there are steps you should take to protect your property during a Florida winter. Mother Nature is unpredictable and can wreak havoc on an ill-prepared home. Consider these topics to ensure your house is safe during the winter months:

Humidity

While most people are aware of the high humidity during Florida summers, the fact is that humidity is always present in the air. Using heat and air conditioning is a good way to address the situation. However, it’s important to keep possible drafts in mind.

Make sure you’ve sealed your windows, doors, roofs, and other areas where drafts commonly occur. This will conserve energy and save you money in the long run. In addition, schedule an HVAC maintenance check. Ideally, this checkup should be performed at least every six months.

Lastly, make sure to reverse your ceiling fans to a clockwise direction. Doing so pushes warm air from the ceiling back into the room. This creates better air circulation, which can keep your family more comfortable, and also help lower your power bill.

Temperature Swings

So far, this winter has given some cold temperatures in many parts of the state. Extreme weather shifts affect a home’s structure and stability.

It’s a good idea to occasionally walk around your property, inspect structures, and note any changes. This is particularly wise following weather events such as temperature swings and heavy rainfall. Doing so will prevent surprises that could require costly repairs.

Also, consider the effect of cold weather on irrigation systems. While it’s unlikely they will freeze solid, cooler temperatures can have unwanted consequences on these systems.

Storm Preparation

While rare, storms do occur during Florida winters. Most recently in January 2018, schools were closed in the Panhandle following a deep freeze that even saw snow in some regions.

In March 2016, Orlando residents experienced a hailstorm with one-foot drifts. In February 2010, some parts of Oskaloosa County saw four to six inches of snow. And during the winter of 1989 -1990, 26 citizens died of hypothermia.

Just as in the summer months, it’s important to consider severe weather and potential damage situations. That’s why it’s a good idea to remove trees and branches that are overhanging or otherwise very close to your property, and assess other possible damage scenarios.

Next, ensure gutters and downspouts are clear. Organic matter builds up fast, especially during times of low rainfall. Also, inspect the roof, paying special attention to missing shingles and/or loosened flashing.

Other Considerations

Don’t wait for another cold snap to care for your Florida property this winter. With more than 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, we know what it takes to build and maintain a quality residence. Contact us anytime for more information on how to enhance your current property, or begin plans for a new home.


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