Living in Naples, we don’t experience the same kind of harsh winters that people weather up North. Let’s be honest, it’s one of the great things about living in this area. It’s also why so many Naples residents are “snowbirds.” But just because we don’t worry about the impact of snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures on our homes, spring is still a great time to do a home check-up. Let’s take a look at how to prepare your Naples home for spring.
Spring Cleaning May Not Be Enough
At this time of year, many of us think about the annual spring-cleaning ritual. And while that’s a good thing to do, it may not be enough to just make sure things are clean. Houses don’t take care of themselves, so here are some maintenance suggestions to ensure that your come continues to be comfortable and secure.
Are You Ready for Rain?
The winter months are the driest months around Naples—and springtime isn’t bad either with monthly averages running around two to three inches. But you’ll want to make sure you’re ready for the wet months of June, July, August, and September you can expect to see monthly rainfall averages of more than eight inches. Check around any rooms that have outside walls to see that you don’t have any damp areas. Follow your nose as well, to check that no areas show evidence of mold or mildew. If you have rooms that don’t get a lot of use, pay particular attention there since it’s easy to overlook those spaces.
Make Sure Your Windows are Sealing Properly
You’ll want to check to see if all of your windows are in good mechanical shape. Do they open and close easily and securely? You don’t want air-conditioned air to be escaping in the warmer months that are coming. It’s also a good time to check your screens so that you can let fresh air in during the more temperate spring weather. Checking and repairing your screens is pretty easy and inexpensive. Again, it’s smart to check rooms you don’t use much. It’s easier to keep your windows operating properly than it is to repair or replace them because they've deteriorated.
Do a Safety Check
Spring is the perfect time to check on such items as your smoke detectors and CO monitors. Your batteries may still be in good working order, but replacing them every six months is cheap insurance—and it doesn’t take much time. And while you’re at it, you might as well take a look at any fire extinguishers you have in the house. It’s easy to overlook things you don’t use. Still, you want extinguishers to be in perfect working order if you ever do need them.
Check Your AC Performance Before You Need It
One of the keys to making it through the hotter Naples summers is to make sure your
AC is working properly. You may not have used your AC as much during the winter months, but you don’t want to be calling the repair people in the middle of summer and have to wait. Give it a good test run. If it’s operating perfectly you’re in great shape. You still may want to ensure that it’s clean (including filters). If you discover a problem it will be much easier (faster) to get it taken care of in the spring rather than in the heat of summer.
Inspect and Clean Gutters and Downspouts
You don’t want to let clogged gutters or downspouts create serious problems. You’ll want to make sure that rainwater is flowing away from the foundation of your home. It’s amazing how quickly airborne debris can accumulate and keep your gutters from doing what they’re supposed to do. If you have longer drainpipes (or plastic extenders) make sure they are still in the correct position to move water away from your home.
Inspect the roof.
We may not get the harsh winter weather with ice and snow that is so hard on roofs, but the blazing Florida sun can take its toll. If it’s been a few years since you’ve had your roof looked at, you may want to consider having a reputable roofing company check it out. Like so many other things pertaining to home maintenance, catching potential problems early makes them easier and less costly to fix.
Terminate the Termites
Late spring and early summer months are peak season for swarming dry wood termite swarming flights. And termites are a concern for southwest Florida. According to the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), coastal and southern areas of the state are more likely to have an infestation of dry wood termites occur. It’s also worth noting that the Florida Building Code does not require a preventive treatment for dry wood termites for new construction homes. The FDACS offers some helpful (free) information about dry wood termites. This report includes things to look for if you suspect termite infestation.