Getting ready for the winter in Florida might mean putting out lights on your palm trees or wearing a light jacket, but there are some things you should probably do for your home, too. The winter is right around the corner, and even if Florida does not get particularly cold, you still need to do regular winter home maintenance. To that end, here are some tips to help you prepare your Florida coast home for the coming winter.
Do a Safety Check
Most people in Florida have a fireplace or a furnace but don’t typically use them very often. Because of that, it is critical that you get them checked on a yearly basis before the two or three nights you might actually need them. Always call professionals to check them out to make sure they are safe for use. Make sure you’re connected with a Florida home warranty provider, so if they find an issue, it can be covered.
Other safety checks include checking smoke alarms to make sure they have new batteries. Ensure you have a working flashlight or lanterns in easy-to-reach places in case power goes out during inclement weather. Also, make sure your fire extinguisher works and is not expired because they do expire. On another note, smoke alarms also expire, so expect to replace them every 7-10 years, and the winter is the perfect time to do that.
Leaves winter in the winter, right? And those leaves are going to block your gutters and cause debris to pile up on your roof. That is not a good thing, so clean out the gutters to prevent blockages.
Something else to think about is when you have blocked gutters. Your roofs are more prone to leaks because of localized flooding. What happens in Florida in the early winter months? Unfortunately, sometimes hurricanes. Keeping gutters clear is crucial to keeping your roof in check for hurricane season.
Seal the Windows and Doors
Florida does not get super cold, but it does get hot in the summer. You want to have the windows and doors in your house sealed to keep the heat outside and the cool air inside. It is easy to check your seals yourself to see if they need to be resealed. Take a basic piece of paper like copy paper. If your paper slips between the seals, you need new ones.
New sealants can be purchased at most home improvement stores or other retailers like Amazon or Walmart. It is not expensive and pretty easy to replace yourself. Take a few hours on the weekend to do it, but make sure you have enough sealants. Otherwise, you are going to have to go back out or order more. Measure the spaces that need work to ensure there is enough sealant on hand for the job.
Prep Gardens for the Spring
That sounds a little backward when winter is coming and winter hasn’t even hit yet but bear with us. If you plant the bulbs for your spring gardens during the winter, they are going to lay dormant through the winter. They will pop out of the ground eager to say hi and welcome that beautiful Florida sunshine when it is time.
While you are prepping your garden planting, it is an excellent time to clean up your gardening tools. You will not need some of them at all during the winter, like the lawnmower, so cleaning it up now gets you ready and organized for next spring.
Paint All the Walls
The winter is the perfect time to paint the exterior walls. It is not too terribly hot, and you will have enough time to let them paint dry. Do yourself a favor and use quality exterior paint so you will not have to do it again for a while. It will look especially good when it is done, too.
Painting the walls inside is also a good choice for the same reasons. You can also open up the windows for extra ventilation without worrying about sweltering heat if you do it in the winter. You can get your home ready for entertaining your family when they come over for the holidays.
Consider Stocking the Pantry
Stocking the pantry means just that—not hoarding toilet paper. You do not need to stock for disaster prep, although getting a little extra of the essentials is never a bad idea thanks to hurricane season in Florida. Getting your pantry stocked is more about staples for winter dishes. If you know you happen to cook a lot of chili during the winter, stock up on the major ingredients so you have them on hand.
You might also consider adding a few of your favorite bottles of wine or your favorite snacks for when you want to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. The winter is about being cozy, so do what you need to do to prepare for a relaxing, well-stocked season.
The Bottom Line
Preparing your Florida home for the winter can be a very individual activity. For some, it means applying another coat of water-resistant sealant to the deck outside. For others, it is about making your home warm and cozy to enjoy the changing of the seasons. Start by making sure your safety is top-notch so you can enjoy your home safely. Don’t forget to clean the gutters, and remember to seal any gaps around your windows or doors.
Once you are done there, prep your gardens for the spring and consider painting your home’s exterior. Even if it just needs a minor touch-up, taking the time to paint it is worthwhile because it will make you feel accomplished. This is also an excellent time to paint the interior if you are so inclined. Once your home is ready for the winter, your last step is to make sure you have everything necessary to enjoy your wholly prepared home.