Important Home Maintenance Tips for Florida Homeowners

Paying attention to – and taking care of – home maintenance tasks is not just a good idea; it can actually leave you with more money in your pocket. You save by preventing larger, and costlier repairs and injuries. You’re also more likely to be on the receiving end of lower insurance premiums and a full payout on claims. Performing home maintenance tasks also enhances the value of your home and the major appliances you rely on every day.   

Why should you keep up with minor repairs? Let us count the ways:

It can prevent bigger problems. Have you noticed a small leak around a toilet or sink? Don't wait for the trickle to turn into a deluge. Minor fixes now can prevent having to pay dearly later to fix the warping or buckling of cabinet walls and flooring as a result of long-term water damage. Are your gutters clogged? Keep them clear of leaves and other debris to avoid water buildup, mold growth, and the relentless swarm of mosquitoes.

It can affect your insurability. Failing to address significant maintenance issues can lead to higher insurance premiums, limited coverage options, or even a denial of coverage. Ignoring household upkeep makes certain damages more likely (such as those due to plumbing, electrical, and moisture issues). And, if your neglect led to the damage, your insurance claim could be denied in full or in part. Your rates may rise, and it could become difficult to get insurance.

It can increase property value. A well-maintained home is more appealing in the event of a sale and can command a higher price.

It helps maintain a safe environment. If household repairs are put off, creating safety issues in the home, it could lead to accidents or injuries to you, your family, or guests. You may also need to utilize your liability coverage under your homeowners insurance policy if you’re sued.

It can extend the life span of major appliances. This includes your HVAC system, water heater, dishwasher, refrigerator, dryer, and more. For example, by regularly cleaning filters and assessing for problems like leaks, you should be able to replace your appliances less often. Your monthly utility bills should also be lower when your appliances are well-maintained and running at peak efficiency.

Are you ready for practical home maintenance tips you can use, beginning right now? Read on.

Take Care of the Small Stuff

Not only is it cheaper to perform preventive measures or minor repairs as they’re needed, but regular checkups and routine repairs of your home can ensure it remains a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable place to live.


Get started with these preventive home maintenance tasks:


  • Keep outside gutters clean – it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure standing water won't damage your home.
  • Replace air filters – it improves air quality in your home, reducing the risk of respiratory issues.
  • Clean the dryer vent after each load – this helps your dryer operate efficiently and can help protect your home against the most common cause of dryer fires.
  • Test smoke/carbon monoxide alarms monthly; replace the alarms every 10 years. 
  • Check gauge/expiration date on fire extinguishers to ensure they’ll operate as they should in an emergency.
  • Flush toilets and run water through all faucets in the house to make sure everything is functioning as it should. Keep an eye out for leaks, slow drains, and unpleasant smells – which could indicate a plumbing issue, clogs or faulty fixtures, and the presence of stagnant water or bacterial growth.
  • Turn each circuit breaker off and on to ensure all is working as it should. 
  • Press the "test" button on all GFCI outlets – these are typically found in bathrooms, the kitchen, near a washer and dryer, in garages, and outside the house.
  • Inspect all electrical cords for signs of tears or fraying, making it unsafe to use.
  • Apply caulk wherever it has cracked or pulled away from windows, doorways, bathtubs, toilets, sinks, etc. for proper insulation.
  • Drain your hot water heater – doing this once a year can reduce the likelihood of sediment buildup and prolong the life of your heater. This is especially true throughout Florida, where hard, mineral-laden tap water is common.
  • Professional cleaning of HVAC and dryer vent – your AC should be professionally cleaned and maintained at least twice a year, and your dryer vent (the tubing going from your dryer to outside your home) once a year.


Be on the Lookout for Bigger Issues

Take care of your home – and it will take care of you. The following are some of the most important things you should regularly assess. If you have concerns about any of the following, seek professional assistance to make the appropriate repairs.


  • Standing water outside the home? Pay attention to where water collects after a heavy rain. Rain should easily flow off the roof and away from your home's foundation. If it doesn’t, consult a landscaper about possible solutions.
  • Look for signs of leaks under sinks, around toilets, the water heater, washer and dryer, dishwasher, on ceilings of multilevel homes, around doors and windows, etc. A licensed plumber can identify and fix many of these types of problems. If water is coming in around your windows or doors, a licensed contractor may be needed. If mold is already present, you may need to contact a specialized mold remediation service.
  • Is your electrical system safe and up-to-code? Unless you’re a licensed electrician, you may want to pay for an electrical inspection of your home. 
  • Sticky doors or windows. Pay attention to difficult-to-open/close doors or windows. It could be the temporary swelling of wood frames in humid weather. But if it happens all the time, even in cooler temps, it may indicate improper installation or the settling, sinking, or cracking of your home’s foundation.
  • Is your insulation intact? If you notice areas in your attic or elsewhere where insulation appears to be missing, contact a licensed roofer or contractor for help. Ensuring your insulation is intact can help improve the efficiency of your air conditioning, keep your home pleasantly cool, and discourage mold growth. Thermal imaging devices (and apps for your phone) can make it easier to identify under-insulated areas of your home.
  • Loose tiles and floorboards. This could be related to water damage underneath the tiles or flooring. Or it could be sign of foundational shifts, a pest infestation, or simply wear and tear in high-traffic areas. Contacting a flooring contractor or specialist is a good place to start.


Better Yet: Hire a Pro to Inspect Your Home

Feel like all of this is beyond your abilities? Or maybe you’re worried about problems lurking in areas you can't see or access? No worries. Schedule a home maintenance inspection by licensed professionals. Ask for a preventive maintenance inspection and be sure to mention anything you're concerned about. These inspections aren’t just for when you’re buying or selling a home – they’re also one of the easiest ways to catch potential problems before they become big, scary, and really expensive.


The home maintenance inspector will assess the condition of items and systems many homeowners are ill-equipped to properly inspect, such as the roof, attic space, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, foundation, the home's exterior, as well as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. You can use the report they produce, which should include all noted issues, whether big or small, to decide which repairs to complete and on what schedule.


An added benefit of going with a professional home inspector is they are a neutral third party without a financial incentive to recommend particular fixes. The cost is usually under $500, depending on the size and location of your home. Additional services, such as thermal imaging or drone inspections, could increase the cost. 


Florida Peninsula Insurance: Helping You Keep Your Home in Tip-Top Shape

As the owner of residential property in Florida, we want you to consider Florida Peninsula Insurance Company your helpful, local resource for home maintenance tips and so much more.


Preventive maintenance is always going to be the better, easier, and/or cheaper option – and much better than having to fork over big bucks to repair what has become a major home problem. At Florida Peninsula, we want to help you avoid the high cost and aggravation of significant repairs by keeping up with routine maintenance of your home.


To find out more about your property insurance options with us, contact your Florida Peninsula agent now or get a quote online. 

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