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Prestige Insurance Group, Inc.

Dirty GuttersIt seems obvious, but to protect our investment, we must properly maintain our homes. If the air conditioning goes out, we call a professional to get it fixed. Taking proper care of our homes isn't just to keep us comfortable; it is necessary to prevent a little problem from becoming a costly expense. Some areas of maintenance get little attention, but add years of trouble-free operation to a home's systems and provide a safe environment for your family.

For example, the slope grading of the property should slope away from the structure so that when rain runs down the roof or through gutter downspouts, it will flow away from the home. Poor sloping can allow water to stand against the walls of the home and cause moisture damage to paint, framing, siding and even cement block and foundations. Sloping changes over time, due in part to a lack of a gutter system, so that rain falling off the roof allows erosion of the soil closest to the building. Gutter systems are not very costly, and when done properly, preserve landscaping, in addition to keeping water away from walls and foundations. Check with a landscape contractor to correct any drainage problems.

Paint and siding protect the concrete block walls and frame construction from moisture intrusion. Small settlement cracks in stucco left unfilled or unpainted continue to enlarge and expand each season, allowing moisture to enter cement block and walls. Small holes where siding meets windows and doors allow rain to enter and undermine the framing of the home. Fill small holes, gaps and cracks with caulk and paint to protect your home's exterior from the elements.

Caulking around windows and weatherstriping around doors serve to keep the air conditioning costs down, bugs out, and prevent moisture from getting into walls. Wind-driven rain finds access when these relatively inexpensive items disintegrate in the hot Florida sun. Check these annually and replace or caulk as needed.

Lastly, check filters in the home — including air conditioning air handlers, hood vents over the stove and under microwaves. Clean the coils and vent of the refrigerator and clean out the dryer duct. Dirty filters and duct work causes strain on systems and appliances which depend on the air supply for proper operation. Keeping these clean will add years of useful life to your systems and appliances, as well as keep utility bills down.

Protect your investment for years to come with one weekend of cleaning and repairing each spring!

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Make sure your coverage accurately reflects your needs. Call Prestige Insurance Group, Inc. at (888) 969-8778 for a free Florida home insurance quote.

(Article Courtesy: Avatar Insurance)
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