You may not need to winterize your home in the Greater Tampa Bay area, but routine maintenance and repairs are just as much a part of owning a home here as anywhere.
Contractors across the country were recently surveyed by Angie’s List to determine the most common home aches and pains, and how to remedy them before you have to seek emergency care.
Angie’s 7 Signs Your House Needs Professional Care
1. Up on the Roof:
If you notice loose shingles, have attic leaks, suspect chimney issues or see other signs of damage up high, call in a reputable roofing, gutter or chimney expert, or a handyman to give you great advice about what you need done.
2. Leaks don’t fix themselves:
Leaky faucets, running toilets and other small plumbing issues will just get worse, so do yourself a favor and get those fixed before major damage occurs. If you notice a jump in your water bill but haven’t increased your usage, you likely have a hidden leak, which left undetected could lead to mold, wood rot and severe water damage.
3. Caulk it up:
The caulking around your tub and shower prevents moisture penetration, which can lead to mold, tile and wall damage and warped cabinetry. Keeping everything watertight will save you a bundle, so be sure to repair any caulking failures. But don’t stop there. All homes get cracks and voids in their outside walls over time. Look closely at where two boards come together, because cracks often start there. Also look for damage from animals that are looking for a way in. Caulk any cracks you see to avoid water penetration, subsequent wood rot and to keep the critters out.
4. Sparks fly:
Lights that dim on their own schedule are a clear signal that you have an electrical problem. Experts say too many homeowners tolerate this situation for too long, which puts their homes at risk for electrical fire. Another often tolerated-too-long issue is when using one device causes another to switch off because you’ve blown a fuse. This is a sign you have a capacity or circuit box issue. Less dangerous but still signal-worthy are springy outlets that don’t hold plugs. If you have any of these issues, call in a licensed, reputable electrician.
5. Drafty doors and windows:
Improperly sealed windows and doors will bring cold air inside during the winter and let cooled air out in the summer, costing you big bucks on your energy bill. An energy audit can tell you where your leaks are and how to seal them.
6. Filter it out:
HVAC experts say 60 percent of their service calls result from systems stressed by dirty air filters. Changing air filters regularly (every quarter or so; more if you have pets) can save you up to $100 each year on your energy bill, and will keep you from needing emergency repair. Many highly reputable heating and air conditioning companies offer maintenance plans that include an annual inspection. Doing this will give you an early alert to any issues you have with your entire HVAC system so you can stave off breakdowns.
7. Pump it up:
Take a look at your sump pump from time to time. If it’s in good shape and its batteries are good, it could save you thousands of dollars in flood damage. But you don’t want to find out it needs repairs after the water starts rising. Get an annual inspection and check the batteries at least quarterly.
You won’t find sump pump’s in the Greater Tampa Bay area, but you will find or may even own a septic tank. It is important to service your septic tank and lateral lines every two to four years to avoid unexpected problems, or worse, having a pool of sewage back-up inside of your home.
Safety Tip: Leave it to the professionals to climb ladders and roofs tops. Far too many homeowner’s experience severe or fatal injuries through falls from ladders and roof tops.
Sally Null – Greater Tampa Bay REALTOR®
I’m a proud member of the Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®, Florida REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS®, as well as the Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service. These relationships guarantee my Greater Tampa Bay buyer’s immediate access to hundreds of the newest Greater Tampa Bay listings on the market each day while also providing my Greater Tampa Bay seller’s exposure to a huge network of buyers from across the state, country, and globe.
As my customer’s attest, I am a committed and passionate Greater Tampa Bay REALTOR® who prides myself on putting my customer’s priorities above all else. My determination and attention to detail allows my customers to receive first class service with utmost integrity.
Please call or send me an email today so we can discuss how I can best serve your Tampa Bay Florida real estate needs!
CDPE – Certified Distressed Property Expert
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
2119 W. Brandon Blvd., #A
Brandon, FL 33511
813.786.5946 – cell
813.684.8400 – fax
Map of Greater Tampa Bay Florida