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April/May 2024 Newsletter

Springtime in Southwest Florida is time to get ready for home watch

This is the April/May 2024 Newsletter for TE Reliable Home Services. We hope that you find this newsletter to be interesting and informative. Please feel free to share it with others who may find it to be useful.

As we transition from Winter/Spring to the Summer rainy season and many people depart Florida for their Summer homes, there are two important topics at hand.

Prevent Mold

Mold is a common issue in Florida due to its warm and humid climate. It thrives in damp environments, making Florida’s conditions ideal for mold growth. Mold can often be found in areas with poor ventilation, high humidity, and moisture buildup, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics.

Preventing mold in Florida requires diligent maintenance and attention to moisture control. Here are some tips:

1)Control Humidity: Use your air conditioner and dehumidifier to maintain indoor humidity levels below 60%. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees max when you’re away. If you have a dehumidifier, set your humidistat to 50%.

2)Ventilate: Ensure proper ventilation in bathrooms, kitchens, and other moisture-prone areas. Ensure that your HVAC filters are regularly changed to maximize airflow. Leave a couple of your ceiling fans running on low when you’re away. This will help maintain air circulation. Also, if your AC fails, the ceiling fans will keep the air circulating in your home until the AC has been repaired.

3)Identify and Repair Any Water Intrusion: Promptly repair any leaks in the plumbing, roof, or windows to prevent water intrusion. Don’t forget to inspect the AC drain line(s) regularly, especially in the Summer months.

4)Monitor for Signs of Mold: Regularly inspect your home for signs of mold growth, such as musty odors, discolored walls or ceilings, or visible mold.

Car Storage Best Practices

You may be leaving a vehicle parked at your Naples home over the Summer. Here are some best practices to avoid surprises when your return in the Fall or Winter.

Prevent Mold in Your Car

Prevent mold growth inside your vehicle by controlling the humidity in your garage. If you don’t have air-conditioned garage and your garage tends to have high humidity, you have two options. The first would be to purchase a portable dehumidifier for your garage and then program it to run when the humidity gets too high in the garage. Portable dehumidifiers need to have a drain for the water collected from the garage air. It’s easy to run a section of hose from the dehumidifier in the garage to the outside under your large garage door.

The second option to prevent mold growth in your car would be to utilize a box fan to maintain air flow in your garage. You can control the fan with a timer so that it does not run continually. Some people prefer to utilize Damp Rid or a similar product for their vehicle. This tends to be ineffective because these products rely on a larger volume of space (such as a closet) and ongoing airflow. Assuming that your car windows are closed, your car does not have enough interior air volume & circulation for this type of product. Don’t forget to push the ‘Recirc’ button on your vehicle’s HVAC system when you park it for the Summer. This will close the car’s vents, preventing humid garage air from entering your car’s interior.

Avoid a Dead Battery

Your car’s battery is always slowly discharging to keep your vehicle’s electronics active. If you have any additional parasitic drains on battery, your car may need a jump start when you return. Handheld jump start kits can easily address this, but the process of deeply draining your battery may impact the lifespan of the battery. To avoid this issue, you can either disconnect the battery or your can utilize a battery maintainer.

Disconnecting the battery is relatively easy, but it does require a few minutes and a wrench. This method is very effective, but all of your car’s electronics will need a reset when you reconnect the battery. Resetting your car’s electronics can be a time-consuming task!

A battery maintainer is an ideal solution, keeping your battery charged without the downsides of either affecting the lifespan of the battery or needing to reset your car’s electronics. By the way, a trickle charger is not the same as a battery maintainer. A battery maintainer is designed to preserve the charge level of a battery, while a trickle charger slowly replenishes the battery. The subtle difference is that a battery maintainer protects the battery’s health by keeping it from overcharging, while a trickle charger can overload batteries if left unattended for too long.

Tire Flat-Spotting Can Happen

When a vehicle is parked for a long period of time on a hard surface, tire flat-spotting is a real possibility. When you return you might not see a flat spot as much as you’ll feel a distinct vibration when you drive the car. There are some easy and inexpensive actions that you can take.

The first action to avoid tire flat-spotting addresses tire inflation. Inflate your tires to the manufacturer’s recommended level. According to a NHTSA study, approximately a third of all vehicles on the road have under-inflated tires. You might also consider adding 5-10 pounds of additional air pressure. The extra air pressure will help the tires to avoid the development of flat-spots.

The second action is to park your vehicle on pieces of carpeting or plywood. This is a much softer surface than the concrete in your garage floor.

Additional Questions about Home Watch?

We hope you enjoyed the April/May 2024 Newsletter. Click here to contact TE Reliable Home Services for any questions you have about Home Watch.

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