by: Diane Vespucci ~ Re/Max Realty

On one of the coldest days of the year, I found myself daydreaming about spring. Typical daydream – the smell of flowers blooming, a beautiful garden, blue skies, warm air – and then I began to write a to-do list. Poof went the daydream.
Performing regular maintenance on your home, just like you would on your car, goes a long way to stopping expensive repairs in their tracks. Here’s a start to a list of chores of your own to be done to protect the health and beauty of your home, so the next warm, beautiful day pull out this list and contemplate doing at least one thing. There’s a great sense of accomplishment crossing something off the list.
Check your roof. Its definitely something you want to do before hurricane season starts. No matter how young your roof is, the hot Florida sun, the winds and foreign objects, like tree branches and hail can cause damage you don’t see. Call a professional if you have any hesitation being on a ladder and checking it out. Your safety is first. While someone is up there, check the gutters and clean them out. Some lucky few might get away with debris free gutters, but probably not.
Call your friendly dryer vent person to get those dryer vents lint free. I lived next to a house that went up in flames and can attest it’s a pure horror for everyone involved, so be religious about cleaning those dryer vents out.
Make sure your smoke alarms work. If they don’t get them replaced immediately. If you don’t know how to do it or can’t call the fire station, call an electrician but get it done. The life you save will be your own and others.
Replace your HVAC filters. Those are usually a monthly chore. Don’t recall last time you did it? Call the HVAC folks and have them come do a system clean while you’re at it. Twice a year keeps your AC system in good shape, and you’ll be glad you invested in the bi-annual inspections in August.
Check your hoses and faucets. Weak hoses can cause a big, wet mess. Keep an eye on your water bill too. If your home was built in before the year 2000 and you have copper pipes in slab and haven’t yet re-plumbed your home, be prepared. Any spike in your water bill is worth looking into – and no, the water company doesn’t call you, but they will bill you. Several years ago the first notice I received that my 1994 home had a slab leak was an $1800 bill. Sure, the water company deducted a good bit but I paid about half of it for water I never used. Who knew a slab could leak? Four neighbors also had slab leaks in the next year.
Check for bugs. Hopefully you do quarterly spraying to keep bugs away, or at least an annual termite inspection. If you don’t, you may want to look into it. Termites and other wood destroying organisms can cause a lot of damage and repairs are expensive. If you’re concerned about chemicals used for pest control, talk to one of the local companies using pet and human friendly sprays. I know they keep my house bug-free.