While Orlando doesn’t usually experience snow during the winter, it’s still important to prepare your Florida home for winter each year. Seasonal maintenance is important to protect your home from expensive damage caused by storms and other weather conditions. From rainy weather to temperature dips, ensuring your crawl space is dry and protected from water damage will help reduce mold and mildew growth, as well as pests. From reducing moisture build-up to adding waterproofing protection, here are some fall maintenance tips for Florida homeowners.
Waterproofing Your Crawl Space
For many of our northern neighbors, winter weather means plunging temperatures, snow, and ice. Orlando thankfully doesn’t get the same type of winter weather as many places across the U.S., but we do see colder temperatures and rainy days as we move into fall and winter. When the calendar changes to fall and the pumpkin spice fever begins, it’s time to check your fall maintenance schedule to protect your home from winter weather.
If you don’t already have a sump pump installed in your home’s lower level or crawl space, add one today to protect against flooding from winter storms. If your sump pump is already installed, now is a good time to add or check your backup battery to ensure your home is protected from water damage due to flooding when the power is out. Installing a sump pump can protect your crawl space from moisture build-up and water damage that can also attract pests, mildew, and mold growth.
If your crawl space is not already protected with professional waterproofing and insulation, now is the time to start. Adding additional crawl space protections, along with crawl space encapsulation, will help save you money from water and storm-related damages this winter.
From leaks to flood damage, professional waterproof protection can save you thousands of dollars in costly weather-related repairs later on. Another addition to your Florida home that can help reduce moisture build-up is a dehumidifier. Especially near washers and dryers, adding a dehumidifier can help fight mold and mildew damage, as well as make your home less attractive to pests this fall.
Roof, Pipe, and Gutter Maintenance
Another part of your fall home maintenance schedule should be protecting pipes from winter weather. While we don’t see the number of freezing temperatures and long-term winter weather that other places in the U.S. do, Orlando can still be impacted by cold snaps and freezing temperatures.
That’s why it’s important to check for, identify, and fix leaky faucets and pipes in the fall. Standing water caused by leaks invites pests and mold into your home. Fixing leaky roofs is also important before winter weather starts. Before more damage can be caused this winter, get your roof fixed this fall!
Another way to protect your crawl space and foundation from water damage is by practicing good gutter and downspout maintenance. Each season, clean your home’s gutters well and ensure that the downspouts are facing away from the home. These lines also can be placed in the ground. During heavy rain, water should pour away from the home and not pool near the foundation to protect against damage such as cracks and leaks.
Protecting gardens and landscaping is simpler in Florida than in other places in the U.S., but you should still get ready for freezing temperatures by bringing plants inside if possible. If freezing temperatures are in the forecast, you can also lay blankets across shrubs and other plants to protect them.
Before a freeze happens, winterize exterior faucets by disconnecting hoses, draining the water inside, and storing them inside. You can turn off the water supply to outdoor faucets and keep the handle in the “on” position for added protection during a freeze. This helps reduce pressure build-up in the pipes.
Fall HVAC Maintenance
Chances are your cooling unit has worked hard through the summer, while your heating unit has been sitting dormant since last winter. Before you need your heat this winter, schedule professional HVAC maintenance to help protect your unit for the extra work this winter.
Scheduling HVAC maintenance now can help improve heating and cooling outputs, which reduces your electric bill and saves on electricity. That’s good for the environment and for your pocket! To reduce heating bills even more this year, identify air leaks throughout the home. To do this, find drafts by moving your hand around doors and windows on a hot or cold day. If you feel a change in temperature near a window or door, chances are you have an air leak that’s allowing your heated or cooled air to escape and pushing up your electric bill. Fixing these leaks can also protect against future water damage.
Protecting Your Home’s Foundation
Before water damage can hurt your home’s foundation this winter, schedule a free foundation inspection to identify cracks or other potential leaks. Fixing even small foundation damage is important before the weather changes because leaks can make the problem worse and invite pests, mold, and mildew.
For more information on crawl space waterproofing and foundation repair, contact the experts at Florida Foundation Authority to schedule a free inspection and repair estimate today.